Thank you Free Press/News Dispatch for covering the Milestone Hays Commons issue in Hays City (and the other Milestone proposals in Buda). For well over a year, citizens in many northern Hays County neighborhoods have followed Milestone’s proposal for development on the 300+ acres near SH 45, FM 1626, and Bliss Spillar.
What alarms us and the elected Hays City leaders is that Milestone is proposing to disburse of hundreds of thousands of gallons of treated sewage daily on 60-65 acres in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. A 2008 Geologic Assessment mapped dozens of caves and sinkholes on this karst land-the very area that recharges our drinking water.
Several of us met with Mr. Smith in the fall of 2022 about these proposals. We informed Mr. Smith that the City of Hays was in negotiations with Milestone with a Development Agreement. On Dec. 19th members of the Hays City Council and the public met at Hays Dev. Services on Yarrington Rd. Why was the County moving forward with Hays Commons when the City was in negotiations?
But as you reported in your column, Comm. Smith brought to the Commissioner’s Court on May 2nd, a proposal to approve a preliminary plan for approval. The staff recommended disapproval because of deficiencies in the plan. A week later the Court rejected Smith/Milestone’s request.
Yes, many folks are concerned about monied-interest influence peddling. But what bothers us is Comm. Smith should be working to protect our water supply, not greenlighting a poorly planned development that would pave the way for a TCEQ permit for sewage disbursal.
Let Milestone continue negotiating with Hays City. Hays City has said no to a MUD and showed it’s concern about a high density subdivision and sewage application on sensitive land. The developer should continue to negotiate with the City not the County.
The San Marcos City Council will soon vote on whether to expand a huge heavy industrial park with enormous negative consequences for its’ surrounding communities including Martindale, Reedville, Maxwell, Kyle and New Braunfels. At its’ July 3 meeting, the City Council will hold public hearings on whether to annex and change the zoning on 580 acres to expand the planned Axis Logistics Industrial Park. This heavy industrial (HI) development was originally approved in 2019 as the SMART Terminal and sold in 2021 to Scarborough Lane, the current developer, who has acquired additional land to bring this proposed development to more than 2000+ acres.
The developer is marketing Axis Logistics as “one of the largest” industrial parks in the nation and an ideal location for manufacturing and distribution centers for the “mega-urban triangle of Houston, Austin, and San Antonio”. The developers have not been transparent about what industry it will bring to this area. What we do know is that increased flooding and run-off from the impervious cover will pollute the San Marcos River and that increased 18-wheeler truck traffic will make already dangerous roads more dangerous for this entire area. They are advertising themselves nationally and internationally as easily accessible to IH 35, FM 110 and TX 130.
This massive heavy industrial park will harm the well-being of its’ closest neighbors and the environment. Around the clock noise from heavy truck traffic, the loading and unloading of truck cargo, and stacking cargo containers up to 80 feet high will affect resident’s hearing and ability to sleep. The development also risks poisoning and drying-out wells – people’s drinking water.
Do we want our communities transformed into a home for a mega-industrial development? This is what will happen if we do not make our voices heard by our elected city officials.