Bastrop City Council could vote to repeal development moratorium Tuesday after floods

Austin

BASTROP (KXAN) — For the past nine months, the City of Bastrop has been under a development moratorium. Tuesday night, the city council is expected to lift the ban. 

It was enacted on August 14, 2018, after city officials noticed homes that had never flooded before started to flood last year. Then, in November, it was extended to May and the city adopted an emergency drainage ordinance. 

“We weren’t against development, we were against development that could have an adverse impact to drainage,” said Mayor Connie Schroeder. 

If the council lifts the ban, the city plans to implement an Enhanced Permit Review Ordinance and a new drainage ordinance to ensure development moving forward won’t lead to more floods. 

Since the city enacted the moratorium, they began working on Building Bastrop. An initiative to create new land use regulations. The Enhanced Permit Review Ordinance will be an interim process for interested developers until Building Bastrop is finalized. They expect to present the first draft next week.

Schroeder said this is all to get ready for the growth that’s expected within the city. 

“Projections are saying that we could double or triple our population in the next 10 to 15 years,” she said. “The old adage of you either control the growth or the growth controls you.”

Despite the moratorium being in place, the city still approved more than 600 permits. Schroeder said these were approved after they determined it would not impact drainage. 

Here’s a breakdown of the permits issued since mid-August 2018 through mid-April 2019:

A total of 617 permits were issued. 

  • 49 of those were for new single-family residences
  • 13 commercial remodels
  • Four new commercial buildings
  • Three commercial finish-out permits

The remainder of the permits are trade permits: electric, HVAC, plumbing, etc.

Since the emergency drainage ordinance went into effect last November, Schroeder said they learned is drainage should be looked at first.

“We will look at the drainage and take drainage into account in development as one of the very first steps,” she said and added this has to happen before the project is organized on the property.

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