Local government

BELTON — A planned subdivision located southeast of Temple will see delays following concerns over drainage issues on the property.

The preliminary plat for the Sunset Acres subdivision was tabled during Monday’s Bell County Commissioners Court meeting in a unanimous vote. Commissioners pointed to concerns over water runoff and drainage from the nearby Revol Greens greenhouse facility that is currently under construction.

The planned subdivision is located along FM 436, west of its intersection with Callahan Loop, and would see a lot of the drainage from the greenhouse facility.

Commissioner Bill Schumann, who represents the area, said he knows that the developer did account for the current drainage on the site but was unsure if future drainage was considered.

“My only concern is that, as they continue to expand that greenhouse operation, the flows around and through that site will probably change significantly as they add buildings,” Schumann said. “This drainage easement looks great for what has been there for 50 or 100 years, but that may not be what is there in another year or 18 months. Certainly not in the next five years.”

Schumann pointed out that the greenhouse project had only began phase one and it had already done a lot of dirt work to redirect and contain water flow on the property.

The proposed subdivision is being developed by 3B Development LLC and will contain an estimated 24 lots on a 26.8 acre tract. Each lot in the development is at least one acre.

Before tabling the plat, Commissioners first checked with the county engineer to confirm that there was still time to get the answers before the deadline to approve it.

State law requires the county vote to approve or deny a plat within 30 days of receiving the request. If the county doesn’t vote on the plat in time, it will automatically be approved.

County officials said they believed that there was enough time to take a week and get more information about how the drainage would affect the development.

“There is a clock running,” County Judge David Blackburn said. “And we don’t know what the beginning date of the clock is and we don’t know if we will run past that (deadline). And, if we run past that, then it is approved by law.”

County officials did point out to Commissioners that even if the preliminary plat is approved, there will still be time to consider the drainage problem during the final plat approval process.

Despite concerns over drainage, Schumann was encouraged by the development moving forward in spite of the adjacent project.

During the approval of the Revol Greens project, homeowners neighboring the project protested a tax abatement by the county. These homeowners did not like the idea of such a large industrial project so close to their homes.

“I guess this goes to show that a development adjacent to an industrial enterprise is not necessarily thwarted due to that industrial enterprise,” Schumann said. “If that were a solar farm, it is possible this fellow would have developed just like he is right now.”

Commissioners will likely review the plat for the second time during their next meeting at 9 a.m. Monday in the Bell County Courthouse, 101 E. Central Ave. in Belton.