Marble Falls eyes annexation of 1,200 acres, part of rock crusher site

The Marble Falls City Council approved a resolution Sept. 19 opposing a proposed rock crusher plant on U.S. 281 just south of the city limits. The city also is taking steps to annex 1,200 acres in the area, including several hundred acres of the ranch on which the proposed rock crusher would sit. The Horseshoe Bay City Council adopted a similar resolution opposing the rock crusher. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is taking public comments on the proposed rock crusher’s air-quality permit until Oct. 9. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

The Marble Falls City Council approved a resolution Sept. 19 opposing a proposed rock crusher plant on U.S. 281 just south of the city limits. The city also is taking steps to annex 1,200 acres in the area, including several hundred acres of the ranch on which the proposed rock crusher would sit. The Horseshoe Bay City Council adopted a similar resolution opposing the rock crusher. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is taking public comments on the proposed rock crusher’s air-quality permit until Oct. 9. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON

MARBLE FALLS — The city of Marble Falls is considering annexing approximately 1,200 acres southwest of the U.S. 281-Texas 71 intersection, including a parcel of a ranch where a proposed rock crusher has drawn the ire of nearby residents.

During its regular Sept. 19 meeting, the Marble Falls City Council approved a measure to begin the process to annex the land. The council also approved a resolution opposing Asphalt Inc.’s plan to build a rock crusher near Flat Rock Road and U.S. 281, which, according to the document, falls within the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Assistant City Manager Caleb Kraenzel said the proposed annexation would include approximately 40-50 percent of the 281 Creighton Ranch, where the rock crusher would be built.

The annexation, which has several steps still ahead of it, would allow Marble Falls to restrict use of the affected land as to not conflict with city plans for the surrounding area.

“A lot of the plan for that area includes residential and housing,” Kraenzel said.

Other uses could directly conflict with the residential concept or future residential development. The plan presented to the council shows future use of a large portion of the proposed annexation would be “neighborhood residential.”

Gregg Ranch — a large-scale, masterplanned community planned southwest of the 281-71 intersection — is already within the city limits. The development lies just north of the proposed rock crusher and east of the proposed annexation. An official with the development as well as several other people voiced their support of the planned annexation of the adjacent land during the council meeting.

Under the intent to annex plan, city officials sent letters to affected landowners. The city will hold the first of two public hearings on the proposed annexation at noon Tuesday, Oct. 24, at City Hall. A second one would come about a week later with a possible vote on annexation occurring Nov. 21.

Kraenzel added that the affected land might not fall under the city’s auspices right away, even if the council eventually moves to annex it.

“If the land is ag exempt, (property owners) can opt out of the annexation with the city for a set period of time,” he said. “But if they begin to develop the property, then it would be annexed.”

One of the misconceptions of annexation, Kraenzel pointed out, is the extent to which the city would have to offer city services, particularly regarding infrastructure. While Marble Falls would provide fire, police, building inspection, code enforcement, and animal control, annexation doesn’t mean the city would have to build roads or establish waterlines on the 1,200-plus acres.

“What the city has to do is provide utilities to the property in the condition that it was annexed,” he said. “So if there are two ranch houses on the land, then the city is only obligated to provide utility services for those two houses.”

Even then, the city wouldn’t have to immediately provide those utilities upon annexation.

If a property owner or developer decides to develop the land and build more homes, they are responsible for building out the necessary infrastructure.

Kraenzel pointed out that Gregg Ranch developers have already agreed to extend utility connections to the edges of that property, which would allow any developments outside of it to tap on to those connections.

In August, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality deemed Asphalt Inc.’s air-quality permit for the proposed rock crusher plant “technically complete” and began a state-mandated, 30-day public comment period, which will be followed by a 30-day TCEQ review period. An error on a publicly posted sign regarding the proposed rock crusher extended the public committing period until Oct. 9.

Along with the city of Marble Falls, the city of Horseshoe Bay also adopted a resolution during its Sept. 19 meeting voicing its opposition to the proposed rock crusher. The Marble Falls and Horseshoe Bay resolutions request the TCEQ hold a contested hearing on the case.

Go to ci.marble-falls.tx.us for more information about the Marble Falls resolution or tceq.texas.gov/about/comments.html to submit a public comment regarding the proposed rock crusher.

editor@thepicayune.com

5 thoughts on “Marble Falls eyes annexation of 1,200 acres, part of rock crusher site

  1. The assistant manager just contradicted himself. In one line he clearly states the city doesn’t have to establish water lines to the 1200 acres then comes right back and states the city is obligated to provide utility to the properties. Water lines are a utility. Then he states the city doesn’t have to immediately provide the utilities. State law says 2 1/2 years in most cases. Other areas are 4 1/2 years. So when do they get water Mr Kraenzel?

  2. Steve,

    I’m sure Mr. Kraenzel will gladly clarify his comments. I find it interesting that an article and an issue focused on land use and the impact of that use on the community, the focus chosen was that of city utilities.
    Marble Falls is working, and spending funds in the process I might add, to help and protect citizens currently outside of the city as well as working to protect the investments that have been made to grow the city to the south.
    One of the greatest single entities effected by this is the hospital, which serves a very large population radius and is a welcome and needed neighbor. Baylor Scott and White has made a tremendous investment.
    This crusher plant threatens the health and well-being of the entire area.

    Dave Rhodes
    Marble Falls

    1. Mr Rhodes. The distance between the hospital and the crusher plant site is very near the same distance as the Huber mining operation closer to town. There are still many buildings right next to it being built. If these type facilities are such a threat to the well being of our entire area then why are any of them still here and why are developers still building by them?

  3. I understand there will be a protest September 30, 11AM at 281 and 403. All of marble falls should be there. This impacts all of us

  4. Well well well. Looks like the city is up to their old tricks again trying to fast track this annexation. Really. First hearing on Oct 24th at noon and the 2nd Oct 30th at noon. Pretty sure those 2 public hearings have to be at least 20 days apart.

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