Hindered in building a much needed second wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), the city of Granbury has expanded its development ban to include the central and western portions of the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ).
The move follows a similar embargo adopted for the eastern part of town on Dec. 14, 2020 and extended by the City Council earlier this month to Oct. 4, 2022.
According to the city, the collective embargos will affect about $250 million in economic development.
The delay with the new WWTP, planned for 3121 Old Granbury Road, is due to nearby residents and business owners opposing that location for a variety of reasons.
Their protests have affected the city’s ability to obtain a permit from the state in a timely manner. According to City Manager Chris Coffman, there have been threats of legal action against the city.
The duration of the development freeze for central and western Granbury is expected to last until at least Feb. 1, 2022.
The city scheduled the first of two public readings for Wednesday night (Oct. 20) during a special meeting of the City Council. The second public reading will take place during another special City Council meeting set for 6 p.m. Monday.
The new moratorium will not be voted on by the City Council until after the second reading has taken place, but a temporary moratorium is already in place. It took effect five days after the city published a notice about it.
If the council votes to adopt the stay, a “full moratorium” will go into effect, City Attorney Jeremy SoRelle said.
If the council elects to not adopt the development prohibition, then the temporary moratorium will expire, he stated.
Last month, TCEQ commissioners voted to send the city’s permit request to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) for a contested case hearing.
That process is expected to take months.
When considering development projects that were approved prior to the moratoriums, the current WWTP on Water’s Edge Drive is at capacity, according to Public Works Director Rick Crownover.
The city began planning a new WWTP in 2016 in accordance with TCEQ rules after the current plant reached 75% capacity for three consecutive months.
A permit request for the new $13 million WWTP was submitted by the city to TCEQ in June 2020 and the permit and construction plans were administratively approved by the agency.
According to city officials, if the new plant is not built the city will be in violation of TCEQ rules due to not having adequate wastewater capacity.
Periodically, the current system will be overloaded, which may result in contamination of nearby bodies of water, a press release from the city stated.