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‘Illegal’ subdivision getting closer to approved plat

subdivision on williamson-burnet county line

The entrance to a subdivision on the Burnet and Williamson county line that Burnet County deemed illegal 18 months ago. Two of the front lots are partially in Williamson County, but the majority of the 18 total lots are in Burnet County. Courtesy photo

Lot owners in a troubled subdivision that straddles the Williamson-Burnet county line near Florence soon might be able to build after an 18-month-long battle that came close to ending up in court. 

In November 2021, Burnet County commissioners threatened to sue developer Brad Parker and his real estate agent, Jerry Seay, for not following county regulations for property development. Several property owners showed up to past Burnet County Commissioners Court meetings angry that they could not get 911 addresses or permits to put in septic systems and start building. 

A consensus might have been reached among the developer, property owners, and Burnet County at a meeting held in Briggs and via Zoom on Monday, April 17. (This reporter attended by Zoom.)

Heated arguments erupted frequently as the group attempted to settle on who was going to be responsible for maintenance of what would be a private road. The issue was whether all of the 19 landowners would have to agree to form a homeowners’ association that would collect fees to pay for road repairs. Signatures from each of the 19 property owners are required on the plat before it can be submitted to Burnet County for approval. 

According to Precinct 2 Commissioner Damon Beierle, who was at the meeting with Burnet County Development Services Director Herb Darling, the final agreement (reached after the Zoom time expired) requires all 19 to sign a road management agreement rather than forming an HOA. 

“Our goal is to protect the road and the future of it,” Beierle told after the meeting. “The road management agreement will be drafted with the same language of the covenants they have already agreed to, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Beierle assured worried property owners that commissioners will vote on the plat as soon as possible after it is submitted.

Most of the arguing at the meeting — and over the past 18 months — has centered on Burnet County’s role in subdivisions with lots over 10 acres. Prairie Acre lots are around 11 acres. 

According to Seay, the county has no authority when it comes to a subdivision with lots over 10 acres and with a private road. 

“I disagree with Burnet County and how they are handling this,” Seay said at the meeting. “Burnet County does not have the right to do this. This is a private road that has never been regulated and enters onto a Williamson County roadway. We submitted to Williamson County, and they had no problem whatsoever.”

Beierle disagreed with Seay, adding that he had checked with Williamson County — and would do so again — and that county follows the same regulations as Burnet County.

When asked why the road builder had been ready to start building for a month but had not begun, Parker said he was the reason. 

“Until I saw a solution to these problems (no approved plat or HOA), I didn’t want to spend $270,000 and still have these problems,” he said. 

Property owner Lee Schiel, who is a U.S. Marine veteran and a quadriplegic, pointed out that, without a road, he could not access his property to build on or live. He and his wife, Donna, sold their home when they bought in Prairie Acres on promises they say they received from Seay that no permits were needed and they could build immediately. That was 18 months ago. More recently, he said Saey told him not to sign the plat. 

“I want to know why,” Schiel said. 

“Because Burnet County is wrong,” Seay replied at the meeting. “I personally would not sign. I don’t mind fighting city hall. At some point, there will be a resolution to the kind of power a county does and does not have. I wouldn’t sign it.”

Parker stepped in to tell Schiel and the others that once the plat is signed, he will begin work on the road, although he could not give a timeframe. 

“I will know in six weeks,” he said. 

Prairie Acres is not the only subdivision that has tried to get around Burnet County regulations. Once county officials explain the statutes and laws, Beierle said, developers usually comply without argument. 

“We really hope for the sake of these property owners that we can get through this and protect them and their investment,” he told

2 thoughts on “‘Illegal’ subdivision getting closer to approved plat

  1. A link to the County regulations would be helpful so we could read and make up our own minds, rather than just having 2 opposing viewpoints to choose from. I suspect the County is “liberally interpreting” the regulations to cover themselves and their overreach. Local governments are rife with people interpreting law unto their own opinions to expand their power or feelings thereof.

    1. I am a lot owner and am very familiar with the regulations. Go look them up. How would you like to be waiting over a year to build a home? The developer got a letter to cease and desist selling any more lots and never disclosed it to us. And this isn’t the first time the sellers agent was warned not to do this. The county is looking out for buyers and this scamming is going on all over the state of Texas.

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