BURNET COUNTY (KXAN) — A central Texas subdivision is planning to incorporate, in hopes of stopping a rock crushing plant from moving in next door.
The Big Horn Creek subdivision called a special election Thursday, where residents voted 53.57% in favor of becoming a city.
According to Burnet County Judge James Oakley, county commissioners will canvass the election results on December 11th, then it will be up to Big Horn Creek to move forward with the incorporation process.
Spicewood Crushed Stone, LLC submitted an application to put the plant in at 5550 East State Highway 71 in Spicewood on August 2nd.
“There’s not a lot you can do, other than incorporate,” said homeowner R.G. Carver.
Carver led the effort to incorporate his subdivision as a city. He says he did it because he’s watched as other communities try but fail in stopping rock crushing plants once they’ve already applied for a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
“So we started looking into, ‘How do we control this, because we want to control the land and the water and air around us,'” he said. “If we were able to incorporate prior to them coming in, we can set standards, ordinances, regulations, zoning etcetera.”
Opponents said they worry about the regulations and extra taxes that could come of incorporating. However, Carver promises there won’t be much change other than the ability to draft ordinances that keep quarries away. He says Double Horn Creek already pays for its private water and roads and contracts emergency services through Marble Falls.
“We’re going to pay the mayor $5 each year, and we’re going to pay the councilmen $1 a year,” he said.
However, he says neighbors will have to pay extra in taxes for a secretary and legal counsel.
“It would mean about $350 to $375 a year or roughly $30 a month per home,” Carver said.
Neighbors aren’t sure whether incorporating will be able to stop the Spicewood Crushed Stone plant, since the company already submitted its application, but Carver says there’s a chance it could. His hope is that becoming a city will at least stop future plants from coming in nearby and help regulate Spicewood Crushed Stone if its permit goes through.
“We’ll set up monitors along our border between the quarry and us, and we will know when they violate the air standards,” Carver said.