Major progress on the Blanco River in Blanco
Last week, the City of Blanco took some major steps towards responsible management of its wastewater. Specifically, the City Council voted to double their storage pond capacity, seek out customers who want to use treated wastewater for irrigation and other purposes, and authorize the Blanco Water Reclamation Task Force to explore One Water pathways for the city. These measures help ensure Blanco will not be in the position of having to dump their wastewater into the Blanco River now and in the future. The City Council did not withdraw its pending permit application to discharge wastewater into the Blanco River, but SOS and our allies in this effort, Protect Our Blanco and Wimberley Valley Watershed Assn., are hopeful the City Council will do that in the near future. Stay tuned.
Big win on the Blanco River in Kyle
Last week visiting senior Judge Margaret Mirabal reinstated a lawsuit by Save Our Springs Alliance against the City of Kyle challenging the City's approval of a 101 page development agreement covering over 3000 acres of land on the banks of the Blanco River allowing essentially carte blanche unregulated development of the land for up to 50 years. The development agreement was approved with almost zero notice to the public and with no time for Kyle City Council members to even read the agreement. If allowed to stand, the agreement also requires the City to heavily subsidize the development, including helping fund construction of a new bridge across the Blanco River. Judge Mirabal had previously granted the City's attorneys' request to dismiss the lawsuit; she reversed that earlier order in response to SOS's motion to reconsider the prior ruling.
There's still a long way to go, but we have a strong case that a City Council cannot under Texas law give away its regulatory powers to private landowners or bind future city councils to approve and subsidize whatever a landowner wants to build.