Local government

BELTON — Despite ongoing concerns regarding drainage, 55 new homes were approved by the county this week east of Salado.

The homes, part of the Armstrong Estates Phase 2 subdivision, are on a 55.2 acre tract just south of FM 2268. Commissioners unanimously approved the final plat for the subdivision, which is located south of its first phase approved in May.

One of the main concerns of the county has been the number flag lots — parcels with long driveways that make them look like flags — that are a part of the subdivision.

Commissioner Bobby Whitson said that while there is nothing in the subdivision that would have caused commissioners to deny the plat, he knows it will most likely cause the county problems.

“I had discussions with the developer on here, and this is better than what they started out with and I appreciate them for trying to work on it the best that they can,” Whitson said. “Obviously, we have concerns about the flag lots, those are problematic forever. After someone gets on one of those, they keep coming to us wanting us to pave the driveways and you have issues with access.”

The subdivision is bordered on its east and south sides by Armstrong Loop, a county road, and will build a new road called Armstrong Estates Road.

County Engineer Bryan Neaves said he did have some concerns about drainage to the western side of the new subdivision.

“I’ve got some major concerns about the ditch that is along Armstrong Loop,” “You have all those flag lots in there, and you are going to have a whole bunch of driveways, probably 20 something lots.”

Neaves said the burden this type of drainage puts on the existing type of infrastructure was something that the county might want to look at in the future. He also pointed out that about 100 new homes were expected to be built along Armstrong Loop in the future, adding to problems there.

Currently, Neaves said, there was nothing in county subdivision regulations that would regulate this type of drainage.

Neaves said he will need to look at drainage pipes in the area to make sure they can handle the current and expected load from an engineering perspective.

“Many county roads have never had their pipes engineered,” he said. “They would just stick a pipe in there and it would either work or it didn’t work. Sometimes they designed it and sometimes they didn’t.”