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ZAP approves subdivision after pledge of mitigation for fill

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 by Kimberly Reeves

The Zoning and Platting Commission held its collective nose last night and finally passed the preliminary subdivision plat for the 215-acre Fox Hill subdivision.


The case drew a number of interested bystanders from within the agent community. Fox Hill has been the subject of some controversy after it was discovered that an undetermined amount of fill had been spread on the land in 2005 to avoid the flood plain. The land is in the Onion Creek flood plain, already known for frequent flooding.


Last night was the fifth time the preliminary plat had been to ZAP. The last time, back in April, ZAP instructed the developer to determine, with independent verification, the amount of fill on the site and enter into a mitigation agreement with the city.


Last night, attorney Jerry Harris presented the ZAP with that agreement, noted the developer had pledged the cash fiscal on the mitigation project and had agreed he would not move forward with the final plat until the city was satisfied with the mitigation work.


Chair Betty Baker labeled the actions on the site “atrocious.” She noted, like others on the commission, that she had concerns about flooding in the area.


“If there were a way I could vote against this, I would,” Baker said. “Mr. Harris, I thank you for your diplomacy and your hard work bringing the differing sides together… I hope we’re doing the right thing because I still don’t know that we are. I hope it works out, and I’m sorry it started out the way that it did.”


The Fox Hill subdivision would be located on the Interstate 35 frontage road at Onion Creek. It’s within the city’s two-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction. The proposed land use would include 463 single-family homes and 350 multi-family units. Creedmoor Maha will provide water. Austin will provide wastewater services.


Local landowner Justin Spellman, the most vocal critic of the project, was still skeptical. He said he found the fact the outside engineer had not sealed the report to be suspicious.


Reviewer Jana Renfro, however, did view and agree with the report, noting that all but 1 of the 49 borings on the site indicated that the material at the bottom of the boring was native material. In other words, the fill was limited to 24 feet.

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