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Bastrop City Council to repeal emergency moratorium on development


The Bastrop City Council is in the process of repealing an emergency moratorium on development. The action came right before storms dumped heavy rain on Bastrop on Wednesday. Council members say they're now ready to move forward with new, updated drainage standards designed to prevent the stormwater problems that have repeatedly flooded the same parts of the city. (CBS Austin)
The Bastrop City Council is in the process of repealing an emergency moratorium on development. The action came right before storms dumped heavy rain on Bastrop on Wednesday. Council members say they're now ready to move forward with new, updated drainage standards designed to prevent the stormwater problems that have repeatedly flooded the same parts of the city. (CBS Austin)
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The Bastrop City Council is in the process of repealing an emergency moratorium on development.

The action came right before storms dumped heavy rain on Bastrop on Wednesday. Council members say they're now ready to move forward with new, updated drainage standards designed to prevent the stormwater problems that have repeatedly flooded the same parts of the city.

"The house right here flooded, the one behind it flooded and the one over there," said Larry Specks.

Specks says he and his neighbors have seen flood waters come as high as the windows on their homes.

"And there was water all up inside the house," said Specks.

The problem grew along with Bastrop. The drainage system couldn't handle storms that dumped a lot of rain in a short period of time.

"It started in the streets and then the streets started getting real flooded. And then after the streets were getting flooded the water started running back this way to the creek back there," said Specks as he pointed behind the house where he's currently living.

Bastrops's drainage problems stretch beyond residential areas. A torn-up culvert at Buc-ee's is considered a prime example of how the city's rules and regulations aren't keeping pace with development.

"They were blowing out the exit storm sewer pipe right there on their property," said Bastrop Mayor Connie Schroeder.

Mayor Schroeder says when companies adhere to the city code and still have problems the city needs to take action.

"When people are absolutely following your rules and they're having an adverse impact on their own property, not to mention what they're sending downstream, that's when you know it's an emergency and something has to change," said Mayor Schroeder.

Bastrop put a temporary moratorium on development while the city figured out a better way to deal with the city's growth and its impact on drainage. On May 14, the city council will vote to update the city code and enhance the permitting process.

"We are putting things in place to make sure that the folks that have experienced flooding that we have a long-term solution for that," said Mayor Schroeder.

During a typical moratorium, no development takes place. But in Bastrop the moratorium only applied to development that would cause more drainage problems.

Looking at the numbers, Bastrop issued 617 permits during the 9-month moratorium.

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That number is fairly consistent with the number of permits issued during the same 9-month time period the year before.

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