DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — The dispute continues between Hays County residents and one of the biggest names in Texas barbeque.
The Black family, behind Terry Black’s barbeque in Austin, has purchased property near Dripping Springs with the hopes of turning it into a large wedding venue. Neighbors have fought the project before, but now they have filed a lawsuit.
“We’re doing a large event center, very nice, very high end,” said Mark Black. “The idea is to take this 64 acres and make it one of the most beautiful ranches in Texas, architecturally and agriculturally driving through with farms and vineyards and stuff like that.”
But the large event center is rattling the peace. “Every step of the way we’ve been fought by the neighbors,” said Black.
First, it was noise the neighbors were worried about, now it’s traffic.
“The main complaint is this is our road. We started the community almost 40 years ago, we paid to build the road, we maintained it since then,” said Radiance Property Owners Association President Bill Brock.
According to a lawsuit filed by the Radiance neighborhood, the Black family was able to get permits that would allow the venue to use part of the neighborhood driveway that is considered private property.
“The road is ours, we have the deed to it, I have it right here,” said Brock waiving a piece of paper. “So, that’s not right, they shouldn’t be allowed to do that. We are just telling them, ‘no you are not allowed to use our road.’”
The stretch of road in question isn’t that long, in fact, it’s just a few yards. But, when your community is built on mediation principles, any added traffic isn’t ideal.
“We like peace and quiet, we practice our meditation on a regular basis. No one would like 300 cars showing up and a couple of big building being built right next to them,” said Brock.
The suit claims there are safety concerns with that many cars at a venue and only one road out to the highway.
“If there’s a major fire, it’s going to be very tragic,” said Brock.
The Black family says they haven’t been served the lawsuit just yet, but are prepared to fight and will do everything they can to keep their visitors safe.
“We’re not scared of a lawsuit, they’ve been threatening us the whole time and bullying us the whole time, and like I’ve said it’s only made it better and better. It won’t be the last thing and I’m perfectly okay with that,” said Black.
We reported the Dripping Springs City Council approved the site development permit for the project in March. But we called the city today to ask if someone specifically studied this road issue in granting the permit and did not get a clear answer.
KXAN will keep you posted as the lawsuit moves forward.