LWV Educates Members on Land Use
League of Women Voters of the Comal Area (LWV-CA) on Saturday hosted a regional meeting aimed at educating members about the need for legislation granting counties more authority for land-use management.
Roxanna Deane, president of LWV-CA and library director of Canyon Lake’s Tye Preston Memorial Library, where Hill Country LWV members met, said the group shared stories about challenges created by growth in Kerr, Gillespie, Williamson, Travis, Hays, Bexar, Guadalupe and Comal Counties.
“Members reported that subdivisions are being built in the unincorporated areas of counties with little or no regulation regarding water resources or impacts on roads,” she said. “Industrial operations can be built next to subdivisions because counties do not have authority regarding incompatible land uses.”
Annalisa Peace, a member of the league’s San Antonio-area chapter and executive director of Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, described the situation as “loving the Hill Country to death.”
She said previous attempts in the Texas legislature to give counties more authority have failed.
“Now is the time to ask our state legislators to support new legislation to give our counties more tools to manage growth.”
Peace and Deane asked members to educate residents in their respective counties.
LWV-CA Land Use Committee Chair Jensie Madden said more information is available on the group’s website, lwvcomal.org. To search for land-use information, click “county authority resources.”
Update: Bryan Benway, district director for Rep. Kyle Biedermann, Texas House District 73, said after reviewing this article: “Please remember that in order for the state legislature to write a bill for ‘county authority’ that the county leadership, judge and commissioners, need to tell us what authority, if any, they would like. We need that information. If we wrote a bill without knowing what they want and specifics, that would be like us writing a bill for education without getting info and ideas from the people who know it best, the educators. In other words, we cannot write a bill about county authority unless we know what the county officials want, if anything.”