Daily Record file photo
La Cima Public Improvement Districts renew debate over Edwards Aquifer
Nearly every seat was filled inside the Hays County Historic Courthouse Tuesday as residents took turns speaking out against La Cima’s petitions to create two Public Improvement Districts (PIDs) on approximately 1,005 acres of land.
More than 50 visitors had submitted their written comments on the proposal, and several more stepped up to the podium, imploring commissioners to delay their vote.
“It is hard to get people to come to the meetings; everyone here knows that,” one speaker said. “If you have this many people here on a Tuesday at nine in the morning, this is something people care about.”
Critics of the proposal included Virginia Parker of the San Marcos River Foundation, representatives of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, and several Country Estates residents.
Petitions were filed back in April by Frost Bank Vice President Robert Wynn and Lazy Oaks Ranch GP, LLC Manager Bryan Leeback, requesting Hays County approval for making improvements in the North (684 acres) and South (320 acres) La Cima Districts.
Proposed improvements include parks and open space; construction of ancillary structures including trails, pavilions, community facilities, and swimming pools; acquisition, construction, and improvement of water, wastewater, and drainage facilities; and streets, roadways, rights-of-way, and related facilities.
Much of the controversy at Tuesday’s meeting was tied to the North District, which covers a portion of the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.
With the aquifer serving approximately 1.7 million Central Texans, several Country Estates residents expressed concern that further development in the La Cima North District would exacerbate their existing problems with sediment buildup in well water.
Others went a step further with their accusations, claiming La Cima of developing land without regard for residents or regulations.
“To say that we develop in an unregulated manner is a complete farce,” said Eric Willis, a representative for La Cima Commercial LP. “We are the most highly regulated people out there. I have to be approved by the state, I have to be approved by the county, I have to be approved by the city. Everything we do has to be designed by civil engineers and checked by the county civil engineers, the city civil engineers, and the state engineers, so to say that we do things in an unregulated way is just not accurate.”
Commissioners voted 4-1 to create the La Cima South District PID following the debate.