AAS: Commissioners approve subdivision on busy Texas 71

Posted on in News Clips

Critics say RGK Ranch will bring more traffic to already dangerous highway.

By Marty Toohey
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

“I do not believe the county commissioners made a decision today that is in the best interests of their constituency,” said Karen Huber, who lives near the project and is one of its most vocal critics.

Gerald Daugherty, the county commissioner whose precinct includes RGK Ranch, said Huber’s line of thinking is illegal and would not get Texas 71 fixed any faster.

“Our goal should be fixing the road,” Daugherty said.

Critics raised other concerns about RGK Ranch. The Hill Country Alliance, a coalition of neighbors who are upset about the pace of Hill Country development, said the subdivision should be rejected because it was not required to follow some of the county’s current environmental rules.

It did not have to because plans for RGK Ranch were submitted before those rules came into effect two years ago.

But Greg Kozmetsky, whose family owns the RGK property, wrote in a letter Friday to the county commissioners that the project should satisfy everyone’s concerns and would voluntarily meet or exceed most of the county’s rules, such as covering no more than 20 percent of the property with roads, houses or other substances that block water from soaking into the ground.

“I believe critics of the plan haven’t really criticized the plan,” Kozmetsky wrote, “but the fact we have one.”

During the final weeks of discussion, Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt persuaded the Kozmetsky family to sign a contract requiring RGK Ranch to follow most of the county’s requirements.

Eckhardt said the county could not require more of the Kozmetskys, especially when they were willing to compromise.

She added, however, that because the county’s rules are not strict enough, she was left “to make another decision that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”

mtoohey@statesman.com; 445-3673

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