Granbury City Hall

Granbury City Hall

A preliminary hearing at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) regarding Granbury’s proposed new wastewater treatment plant in the eastern part of town is on the docket for 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 13.

The proceedings will take place via Zoom before Administrative Law Judge Heather Hunziker. Only those named as parties may participate at the hearing.

The evidentiary hearing phase, which will occur later, will be like civil trials that take place in district courts.

The proposed site for the plant, 3121 Old Granbury Road, has drawn opposition from area business owners and residents who have expressed concerns over possible negative impacts to the environment, public health, and property values.

Hunziker will ultimately prepare a Proposal For Decision (PFD) to be considered by TCEQ’s commissioners in deciding whether to issue the permit.

Those commissioners voted in September to send the city’s permit application to SOAH for a contested case hearing. Hunziker will make affectedness determinations where certain opponents and issues are concerned.

The decision to send the matter to SOAH meant that, even if the city ultimately prevails, construction of the sewer plant will be delayed a year or longer. Opponents have threatened to sue the city, with could cause further delays.

The roadblock recently led the City Council to impose a widespread development moratorium in the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ).

The city’s current wastewater treatment plant on Water’s Edge Drive will be at capacity once projects that have already been approved are built, according to City Manager Chris Coffman and Public Works Director Rick Crownover.

According to Coffman, the moratorium will affect $250 million in economic development.

Victoria Calder, a leader of Granbury Fresh who frequently speaks at City Council and Hood County Commissioners Court meetings, stated at Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Commissioners Court that the delay with the permit is not due to opposition but rather to the reason for the opposition.

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