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TipSheet: Travis County, 11.19.19

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 by Jack Craver

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. To help our readers stay informed, each week we offer a selection of interesting items from the voting session agenda. The entire agenda is available at the Travis County website.

20. Consider and take appropriate action on options and strategies available to the permit holders upon the termination of the regional permit for the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan. (Commissioner Shea)

Monitor’s Take: The city of Austin and Travis County jointly hired a consultant to evaluate options for the future of the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan, a regional permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aimed at protecting eight endangered species in western Travis County. The 30-year permit was issued in 1996 and is set to expire in 2026. It’s now up to the city and the county to figure out whether they want to seek to extend the permit. The Commissioners Court is just now wading into the issue; there will be no action on the matter today.

23. Consider and take appropriate action on a municipal solid waste transfer station application pending before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. (Commissioner Travillion)

Monitor’s Take: The politics of trash are generally as ugly as the subject matter. Waste Management wants to build a new solid waste transfer station at the entrance of the Austin Community Landfill in Northeast Austin. The new station would process 1 million tons of waste a year and generate over 1,100 vehicle trips per day. The Commissioners Court recently voted to put in place new waste landfill siting regulations that essentially barred Waste Management from expanding its current operations. While the landfill application is before a state agency, the county would have to approve development permits for the project.

24. Consider and take appropriate action regarding an exception from platting requirements for the Fitzhugh 10 RV Park in Precinct Three. (Commissioner Daugherty)

Monitor’s Take: The Commissioners Court has begun to demand increased scrutiny of RV parks. County staffers are now evaluating RV parks in much the same way they would evaluate any other proposed subdivision. Staff will also require that any new RV camp be subject to a restrictive covenant that restricts access to “road-ready, highway-use vehicles,” as opposed to stationary mobile homes that are not necessarily easy to move. Expect some discussion from commissioners about the requirements related to health and safety in RV parks, such as wildfire and flooding.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Travis County Commissioners Court: The legislative body for Travis County. It includes representatives from the four Travis County Precincts, as well as the County Judge. The County Judge serves as the chair of the Court.

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