We are writing to make you aware of a potential problem that
has existed for eight months. Precedence
indicates the normal process will create a problem which will then require
litigation. We are suggesting a
reasonable and legal solution which those on distribution should support.
Application for air permit #109839 was submitted on April
25, 2013 by Westward Environmental on behalf of Tex-Mix for a concrete batch
plant on the east side of US 281 approximately ½ mile south of Rebecca Creek
Road. This property is in an
unincorporated area of Comal
County north of Bulverde
and is not under any zoning or deed restrictions.
Unfortunately, the property is contiguous to a residential
subdivision that has been in place for over 25 years, and directly across US
281 from a family ranch of fourth generation Comal County
settlers. This subdivision and ranch are surrounded by additional subdivisions,
residences, and ranches. When TCEQ held
the required public meeting, we mailed a notice to 2065 residential addresses,
a subset of the surrounding residences, to ensure public participation in the
TCEQ decision making process. Over 180 people attended to voice their
opposition. In the comment period, 290
comments in opposition were registered on the TCEQ website. The comment period has closed and we are waiting
written responses to our questions and comments.
One of our members has been diagnosed as a COPD sufferer, and
their home lies within the legal impact zone from the offending equipment. He has formally requested a Public Hearing in
the event the Air Permit is issued. We
have retained the legal firm of Duggins Wren Mann & Romero, LLP to
represent this resident at the contested case hearing.
We have organized as the Neighbors of Spring Branch to
oppose this intrusion:
Facebook Neighbors of Spring Branch
The easy TCEQ action is to award permit #109839, but the
laws don’t require that it be awarded. I
believe awarding permit #109839 would be in violation of TCEQ’s Mission
Statement and Agency Philosophy.
The TCEQ Mission Statement states in part, “consistent with
sustainable economic development”. Does
this mean that permits must be awarded so that expansion in the concrete
industry and housing trade continues unimpeded, or does it mean that a permit
should only be awarded if the resulting concrete plant does not cause a
net decline in the area’s economic value?
In this case, I feel it’s the latter.
I have found that most concrete plants are located in rural areas where
the adjacent land is either a field or another industry, not a neighborhood. Adding a concrete plant adjacent to a field
or industrial park does not necessarily negatively impact their economic value.
In the case of permit #109839, the proposed concrete plant
would be surrounded by existing residential neighborhoods. There are no other industries within several
miles of the proposed location, only commercial and retail businesses to service
the residents. Awarding a permit at the
proposed location would immediately lower the surrounding property values and
consign the area to future industrial intrusions, negatively impacting the
resident’s quality of life. We feel
awarding the permit would benefit the owners of Tex-Mix at the expense of the
surrounding neighborhoods. Therefore, we
don’t believe awarding permit #109839 would be “consistent with sustainable
TCEQ’s Agency Philosophy seeks “meaningful public participation
in the decision-making process”. We
believe the neighbors of spring branch have demonstrated meaningful public
participation, and it is overwhelmingly negative.
Please decide to NOT award permit #109839 since it would
violate sustainable economic development and is supported by meaningful and overwhelmingly
negative public participation.