Commissioners deny developer project over residents' concerns

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By Lisa Treiber-Walter

Neighbors rising up against their developer to protect the “integrity” of the Live Springs Ranch subdivision won the support of the Gillespie County Commissioners’ Court on Monday, June 9.

Officials unanimously denied an application from Texas Diamond Properties, Ltd. (a business reportedly owned by billionaire Red McCombs) to cancel a portion of the Live Springs Ranch subdivision and to vacate the plat as it relates to 11 different lots and portions of two interior roads.

The subdivision spans both Gillespie and Kerr counties on Gillespie’s southwestern side and a half dozen people spoke in a 9 a.m. public hearing on the application.

Protesters said the plan would create “islands” out of certain lots, isolating and devaluing them by surrounding them with a larger parcel of land belonging to one owner.

Additional opposition said it would unfairly increase existing property owners’ financial burden for the upkeep of the front gate and subdivision roads, as well as lessen security in the gated housing area — all of which, they claim, affect their established rights.

“I bought out there six years ago under the assumption that my neighbors would have the same restrictions I would,” said Ronnie Burrier, owner of Lot 59, which would become an “island.”

“They are kind of cherry-picking lots and just (putting up) an eight-foot fence around them, which I don’t like at all,” Burrier said. “So, I’m asking you to deny the application in hopes that the developer will sit down with the landowners out there and see if we can come up with some kind of a compromise that will allow him to sell some of the lots and allow us to keep the integrity of the subdivision.”

“We thought we were buying into a fairly secure subdivision — one road in and one road out,” added resident Jim Warnix. He said traffic has already increased considerably because of the combined large property located deep within the subdivision.

“Now, it’s just a drive through. Ranch hands, field workers, day workers — all their friends and relatives. Everybody’s got gate codes. We’re just totally unsecure now and we don’t appreciate that,” Warnix said.

“I’m very disappointed with the developer for not exhibiting proper, professional fudiciary responsibility toward us, the landowners. Rather than protect us from this kind of thing that’s happening, they’re our worst enemy. They’re perpetrating on us what they should be protecting us from,” Warnix said.

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