A public posting by Collier Materials concerning dredging permits for Lake LBJ is insufficient, said Save Lake LBJ, a group concerned about the impact of equipment traffic on country roads and wildlife, noise pollution, and the effect on Lake LBJ itself.
Collier Materials officially filed Jan. 18 with the Lower Colorado River Authority for permits to build a sand dredging operation just west of the RM 2900 bridge, adjacent to the Comanche Rancheria subdivision. The public posting date triggers a mandatory 15-day period for public comment.
A notice that Collier had officially filed for permits with the LCRA was posted 108½ feet from the nearest public access point on 8½-inch-by-11-inch construction paper.
“You can’t read it unless you’re right up on it,” said Save Lake LBJ spokesman Virgil Yanta. “I think it defeats the purpose of the law, which is to let the people know what’s going on, to cast a little sunshine into the darkness.”
Collier has since moved the posting closer to the roadway.
The proposed sand dredging operation would draw sediment from the lakebed and sift and process it on a leased parcel of land at the site. A docking bay, a boat ramp, and space to stockpile equipment are included in the request to the LCRA for development, dredge, and fill permits.
Residents are concerned about the proposed route for trucks hauling processed sand, which would go along CR 309 to Texas 71. Save Lake LBJ member Taylor Delz cited several new residents who bought before they knew a dredging plant was coming.
“They came here because it’s quiet, and now they’re going to have a 120-plus 16-wheelers and all the equipment associated with the dredging, and it’s just not right,” Delz said.
Collier Materials was contacted for comment for this article but had not responded as of publication.
In an interview in March 2020, Collier touted the benefits of a quieter, cleaner operation than those previously proposed at Sandy Creek, which would use conveyor belts to move sand, thereby using fewer trucks. The Comanche Rancheria site also would not feature a rock crusher, Collier said at the time.
Anyone may comment on the Collier application. Comments must be received by Feb. 1 and should include reference to “Project No. 2020-3989.” Comments can be mailed to:
LCRA Watershed Management
Mail Stop L106
P.O. Box 220
Austin, TX 78767
Comments also can be delivered to:
Mail Stop L106
3700 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin, TX 787033