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LCRA seeks public input on proposed Highland Lakes dredging ordinance

Save Lake LBJ

A sign at the intersection of RM 2900 and CR 309 in Kingsland sums up some residents' feelings regarding a proposed sand-dredging operation on a ranch with Lake LBJ access. The Lower Colorado River Authority issued a moratorium on permits a month after Collier Materials applied for a permit for this site. Public comments on a new dredging ordinance can be submitted to the LCRA by Sept. 24. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

The Lower Colorado River Authority is taking public comments on a proposed dredging ordinance for the Highland Lakes through Friday, Sept. 24.

People can submit comments online or during a Wednesday, Sept. 15, public meeting, which is 6-8 p.m. in Building A at the LCRA’s Dalchau Service Center, 3505 Montopolis Drive in Austin. Those who submit comments online do not have to also submit comments at the meeting. 

The proposed Highland Lakes Dredge and Fill Ordinance is available for review on the LCRA’s website. This ordinance would establish rules for commercial dredging operations on the Highland Lakes.

In February, the LCRA board approved a one-year moratorium on commercial dredging in the Highland Lakes after determining the provisions regulating dredging didn’t adequately address large-scale operations.

The month prior to the moratorium, Collier Materials Inc. filed permit requests with the river authority to operate a sand-dredging operation just west of the RM 2900 bridge in Kingsland and near the Comanche Rancheria subdivision. Collier Materials was leasing about 60 acres on private property for the operation. The sand, once removed from the lake, would be refined and hauled away by trucks on County Road 309 to Texas 71. 

That process was put on hold due to the moratorium.

In addition to the new commercial dredging rules, the proposed ordinance includes dredging requirements and standards for non-commercial projects that are currently in the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance.

The LCRA is also considering a new fee schedule for permits. 

The board is expected to consider the proposed changes during its Nov. 17 meeting in Austin.

editor@thepicayune.com