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Lake LBJ sand plant public comment deadline is April 12

Collier Materials no trespassing sign

A 'No Trespassing' sign was added to a fence next to a public notice for a proposed sand and gravel plant on the shoreline of Lake LBJ in Kingsland. The notice was posted on March 28 to announce that public comments on a permit request to set up an aggregate mining operation on the lake are due in 15 days from that date. Main photo by Suzanne Freeman; inset photo by Dennis Kaspar

The deadline to comment on a permit application by Collier Materials Inc. to set up a sand and gravel dredging operation on the shores of Lake LBJ is Wednesday, April 12. The first announcement seeking comments, which was mailed to nearby landowners, gave a deadline of 15 days from receipt of the notice but was not dated. A second mailing was sent dated March 28 and posted on RM 2900. 

Comments are sought on one of four permits that Collier Materials has submitted to the Lower Colorado River Authority for an aggregate mining operation on Lake LBJ. Two permits are for dredging under the Highland Lakes Dredge and Fill Ordinance and two are for sand and gravel plants under the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance. 

The permit for Kingsland II Sand and Gravel Processing Plant in Zone C has been deemed “administratively complete” by the LCRA and is now in the public comment period

Most comments opposing the plant center on impact to the environment and tourism — also on whether Collier needs a permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Collier says no, while the TPWD says not so fast. 

Where and how the public notice was posted has sparked another disagreement between those opposing the dredging project and the commercial and government entities involved. 

A pink, laminated 8-inch-by-10-inch computer printout was zip-tied to a wire fence line near the intersection of RR 2900 and CR 309 in Kingsland. The fence is at the top of an embankment on the road’s shoulder. The amount of land between the fence and the drop-off is not enough to stand on comfortably or to safely bend over to read the small print.

“I got out of the car and could not scramble far enough up the 6- to 8-foot embankment to read the notice,” said Dennis Kaspar, whose property adjoins the notice site. “Go see it for yourself — if you can find it!” 

This reporter did go see, clambering to the top for photos then sliding back down the steep hill to email questions to the LCRA about if the public notice posting met the proper criteria for informing the public. 

LCRA’s reply was “yes.” A few days later, a “No Trespassing” sign was affixed to the fence within inches of the public notice. 

According to the LCRA, the notice was posted following guidelines in the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance by Westward Environmental Inc., the Boerne engineering firm handling the permit application for Collier Materials. 

“That location was chosen because that is where a driveway would connect the proposed plant to Ranch Road 2900,” the LCRA spokesperson replied to questions. 

On page 21 of the Watershed Ordinance, under Section 6, Application Processing 6.1(e)(1) Posted Notice, the ordinance reads that the applicant shall post the notice “in a location where it can be easily viewed by the public with a sign provided by the LCRA.” 

The ordinance also requires the same notice be mailed to anyone owning property located within 500 feet of the site or within 1,000 feet of the project limits, which was done twice because of the lack of date, according to Kaspar. 

Kaspar is also concerned about the location of the driveway to the proposed aggregate mining site, which is on a blind curve with a 50-mph speed limit and will mean cutting through that same steep embankment. 

“It will take a lot of work to cut into an 8-foot gravel bank,” Kaspar continued. “Then, they must build a road across undeveloped property, crossing a large creek that feeds directly into Lake LBJ at the Bridgepoint subdivision. Why don’t they use County Road 309 that already goes to one plant site? You will find that county commissioners don’t want those trucks, either!”

Llano County Precinct 1 Commissioner Peter Jones confirmed he has contacted the Texas Department of Transportation to inquire about the impact of truck traffic on nearby roadways, specifically RR 2900, Texas 71, and RR 2233, the most likely routes for trucks hauling sand and gravel processed at the plant. 

“They need to determine the potential traffic, state of the road, wear and tear on the road,” Jones said. “They should be looking at that early on and see what it takes.”

TxDOT confirmed that Collier Materials has applied for a driveway permit at the RR 2900-CR 309 location. 

“As in the case with all commercial driveway permits, improvements may be required such as left and right turn lanes to make sure of safe ingress/egress,” a TxDOT spokesperson replied in an email to questions. “Each permit will go through extensive review from the Burnet Area Office and District offices in Austin. TxDOT cannot restrict access based on land usage.”

TxDOT will continue to look at usage and demand and the impact on the roadway, the email answer continued. 

According to the posted and mailed notices, public comments should be mailed or delivered to LCRA, Mail Stop L106, Watershed Engineering & Planning, P.O. Box 220, Austin, TX 78767. 

Save Lake LBJ, a group organized to oppose the dredging operation, is circulating a link to an online comment form as an easier way to submit comments. The form is on the LCRA website

2 thoughts on “Lake LBJ sand plant public comment deadline is April 12

  1. I applaud your efforts at climbing that hill. I tried it the other day — not easy, but I did find an Indian artifact sticking out of the ground of the cutaway.

  2. Yes please! Take all the sand you can get out of our “watershed”! Sand pile is more like it!

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