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City debates releasing land to Dripping Springs

Friday, September 21, 2018 by Jack Craver

Once the city acquires land, it is exceedingly rare that it gives it up. However, that’s essentially what city staff has recommended Council do with two parcels of land (totaling 33 acres) on both sides of U.S. Highway 290, between Austin and Dripping Springs. The land is currently part of Austin’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, but under the proposal by staff, it would become part of Dripping Springs’ ETJ. “The product of several years of discussions and meetings with officials from Dripping Springs,” the agreement transferring the land “will accomplish legitimate public purposes of both cities and should be approved as a continuing process in regional coordination and cooperation with our neighboring jurisdictions,” says a memo from city staff. Staff argued that the land would operate under similar environmental standards if it was part of Dripping Springs’ ETJ, but Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo was nevertheless concerned by the fact that the land would no longer be subject to the city’s Save Our Springs Ordinance. She asked that the measure be postponed until Council’s Oct. 4 meeting, a request that Council unanimously approved.

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