The League acts only after study and member agreement to achieve solutions in the public interest on key community issues at all government levels. LWV-CA participates in studies at the local, state, and national level.
LWV-CA adopted a position on Land-Use Planning in Comal County in 2006. Now nine years later in the 9th fastest growing county in the nation, we will update the facts and issues and re-examine the position to determine if changes need to be made.
What Happened: Over 100 people gathered each afternoon on Feb 2&3, 2017 at the McKenna Events Center in New Braunfels to think about the future of Comal County and how we can preserve the things that brought us to this community. LWV-CA was one of the organizers of the conference, along with the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance and the Hill Country Alliance, with major support from the McKenna Foundation.
Participants heard about population growth in our county (one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S!) with forecasts of continued rapid growth, and how Comal County subdivision rules help somewhat to manage that growth in the unincorporated areas. County Judge Sherman Krause, former County Commissioner Jay Millikin, and County Engineer Tom Hornseth pointed out that county government is limited by state law to rules that relate to health and safety.
Other speakers focused on topics like protecting water quality through Watershed Protection Plans and preserving open space through parks and trails. Also explained were possible funding mechanisms for land preservation, like land trusts, conservation easements, and public funding through bonds and taxes. Judge Krause described the use of financial incentives to make sure new businesses and developments bring benefits to the community.
One panel discussion focused on the tools that cities have through their planning and zoning departments to direct growth, while another panel focused on the limited tools that counties have.
On both afternoons, participants had the opportunity to discuss in small groups what they had been hearing, and to give input about their own visions for Comal County. On Feb 2, a fun element was instant polling, when attendees texted responses on their cell phones and the results showed instantly on the screens. On Feb 3, participants broke into groups to set goals and make plans for adequate water sources, protecting water quality, preserving open space, and collaboration among local governments.
1. All of the power-point presentations will be posted on the Aquifer Alliance site. You may see for yourself the excellent data and information provided to the participants, find presentations about growth issues in Comal County, and sign up to receive notifications for future meetings.
2. Inputs from the participants will be gathered into a report, to be posted on the website, and to be presented to our local elected officials.
3. The goals from the participants will be the basis for an Action Plan, also to be posted on the website. All residents will have the opportunity to help work on this Action Plan.