A group of Crazy Horse Rancheros residents spoke at a public hearing over a revision to subdivide lots in the neighborhood Monday morning expressing concerns about the water.
“We have all these folks that live out there and I’m concerned about the water wells. The people have gone through several ownerships of the water company and have had problems with it and now we’re making a bunch more smaller lots and then we’re going to have a bunch more people that are going to need more water,” Crazy Horse Rancheros resident Jim Chambers said. “I do appreciate the developer coming in and cleaning up some of that area because some of that area needs cleaning up, [but] if we put more people out there and put more demand on the wells, it’s going to deplete the wells.”
According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website, the current listed owner of the subdivision’s public water system is New Progress Supply Corporation. TCEQ Media Relations Specialist Andrew Keese said Mark Patterson with Patterson Professional Services is currently working with the Public Utility Commission to legally acquire the system.
Resident Cathy Ashcraft said with the two-acre requirement to drill wells, the additional homes on smaller tracts of land will cause strain on the neighborhood, which is on Oak Drive, west of Zion Hill Road.
“We need to do something to improve our water source before you start adding more houses,” Ashcraft said.
Some residents have been able to drill their own wells, but others have had to stay on the public water system.
“I haven’t had clean water since May 11. Please do not divide these lots and move more people out here. I live on 1.69 acres so I can’t drill a well,” resident Ashley Williams said. “We have water — sometimes it’s sandy and sometimes I’ve actually had mud coming out of my bathtub. It’s not a good situation and to put more strain on the co-op water system is a very bad idea.”
But Parker County Attorney John Forrest said there was no documentation that could be found about prohibiting the community to be subdivided and legally, as long as everything is in order with the developer, the commissioners have a duty to move forward with the motion.
“As far as the legalities of it, the reason we have a public hearing is so y’all have the ability to bring documentation that would say you have an established right to prohibit the revision of your particular subdivision and as the developer stated, he did his research and didn’t find anything that showed that he couldn’t further subdivide that property,” Forrest said. “So as a matter of law, the court has a ministerial duty. It’s not that they want to, it’s that the law requires them to unless there’s something from the property owners. I would encourage the homeowners to become active and address those issues because as a group y’all can address the water issue. One individual calling is not as effective as a whole group in a community addressing it.”
Forrest said the creation of a Homeowners Association would help residents in the future regulations of the subdivision.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Larry Walden suggested residents contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality about the water issues.
“We just finished up quite an adventure in Horseshoe Bend where they had some of the same issues as you folks are describing,” Walden said. “TCEQ is very familiar with this area and the county as a whole does not have authority to regulate that, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality does. Don’t misunderstand, we’re here to help you folks to have a good outcome.”
As for the revision process on the subdivision, the commissioners approved the motion, but left residents with their suggestions on how to move forward with getting the water issues addressed.
“I think everybody here needs to understand what our legal requirement is. We’re required by law to take action, we have a legitimate request from a developer, he has met all requirements and we don’t have any choice,” Walden said. “We have to approve it if everything is in place. I think the court wants everybody to know that we’re here to help you, if we can, and in this case we can’t.”