Bulverde to look at ordinance change

by Crystal Gottfried, Staff Writer

The Bulverde City Council may change its subdivision ordinance at Tuesday's meeting.

Strict regulations regarding lot sizes in subdivisions outside the city limits has been in effect since incorporation and maintains a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet; about half an acre per home.

In its Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction, City council justifies the stringent standards because state law allows cities to force building on larger lots if there is a shortage of water.

However, the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority's new pipeline will bring additional water to Bulverde beginning next month and would eliminate the need for the ordinance.

Mayor Sarah Stevick told the Herald-Zeitung Saturday that the water delivered by the pipeline deals with the shortage of water issue, and even though it may be temporary, the city has no legal authority to control building outside city limits.

The mayor does not consider this outcome a good thing because it's been one of the city's strongholds forcing regulations in subdivisions regarding lot sizes.

Now, "anyone can build on any lot sizes," she said.

The council will need to deal with the issue this Tuesday because two proposed subdivisions would like to take advantage of the change in Bulverde's ordinance.

Park Village subdivision and Johnson Ranch have already presented plans to the city showing housing on lots well below the minimum and the city has thus far been able to turn down both plans.

Even though Stevick may not like this turn of events, it is state law.

The council also plans to discuss passing a resolution opposing the creation of the Comal County Water Control and Improvement District No. One at the Johnson Ranch subdivision.

David Hill, a Lufkin developer, wants to construct an onsite sewage treatment system for his Johnson Ranch Development. Subdivision plans feature 1,025 lots on 449 acres, with 250 acres of easements, rights of way and open space with another 61 acres of mixed-use development.

Hill wants to develop a water district for Johnson Ranch that is modeled after other Municipal Utility Districts which allow the developer to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance drainage, water distribution, wastewater collection and treatment systems then taxing property owners to pay back the costs.

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