Saturday, May 01, 2004

Possible Review of Irrigation Permits on Lake Bridgeport

by Karl Meek

John Femrite, the developer who is purchasing 600 acres of Boy Scout property on the north end of Lake Bridgeport, recently requested the Tarrant County Water Board (Tarrant Regional Water District) to consider allowing irrigation permits to get water to approximately 350 to 500 lots planned for his development. He told the Tarrant County Water Board he would like to follow the same course of action that many of the residents on the north end of the lake currently follow to get their water - that is to let each lot owner pump the water from the lake via an irrigation permit and then treat it themselves for use in their homes.

According to Kevin Burns, County Commissioner for Wise County, the Tarrant County Water Board told Mr. Femrite this was not an acceptable solution to his plan for getting water into his development and that it would not be approved nor allowed by the Water Board. Mr Burns went on to say that as a result of this request by Mr. Femrite, it appears that the Tarrant County Water Board would be forced into reviewing existing irrigation permits already issued in such places as Blockers Camp and Cozy Cove to ensure the permits were being used as originally intended and that water was not being treated for use in homes. How aggressive the Water Board would be in reviewing the permits, Mr. Burns could not say.

It certainly appears Mr. Femrite has again upset the balance and tranquility of the community and has no regard for the concerns and well being of his neighbors and fellow citizens on Lake Bridgeport. Regardless of what the final outcome might be for getting water to Mr. Femrite's development, the surrounding residents will without doubt be faced with higher property valuations and with paying higher taxes. The only real questions now remaining are: How will Mr Femrite get water into his development? Will he build a private water treatment plant on site for the exclusive use by residents in his development? Or, might he propose a new Municipal Utility District (MUD) allowed under the state constitution that could force surrounding communities to pay new taxes to supply water to his development? If a MUD were to be instituted, will Mr. Femrite share the expense and the water with existing residents on the north end of the lake? All of these questions should have everyone very concerned about Mr. Femrite's plans.

Kevin Burns Concerned about Roads

Kevin Burns told one resident today that Mr. Femrite plans to build 350-500 “heavily restricted” homes in his new development. There will be 1-acre lots on the 8 miles of shoreline and two-acre lots behind those. So far Mr. Femrite has not made any move toward committing to help with the roads. Mr. Burns is concerned that our roads will not be able to take the extra traffic.

Help for Our County Commissioners

The North Central Texas Council of Governments publishes a free Web page full of resources for our city councils and county commissioners called “The Center of Development Excellence for the future of North Central Texas” at http://www.developmentexcellence.com/

The Center of Development Excellence recommends 10 Principles of Development Excellence as a guide to cities, counties, school districts, other public agencies, and the private sector as they plan and create future development and redevelopment in the region. These Principles of Development can be found at http://www.developmentexcellence.com/principles.html

The Center of Development Excellence has assembled ordinances, codes, design guidelines, incentives, and other innovative local government practices from the North Central Texas region that might serve as practical examples of tools to advance its mission. While each of the tools appears to further one or more Principles of Development Excellence, the listing of an ordinance or policy should not be interpreted as an official endorsement by the Center of Development Excellence.

Each tool is accompanied by a statement from the submitting jurisdiction highlighting the relevance of the ordinance or policy as a Development Excellence technical tool. We encourage readers to review the materials and submit comments on the practicality and effectiveness of posted ordinances and policies as tools for furthering Development Excellence concepts. These comments may assist others in determining whether the ordinance or policy would be useful in helping meet their particular objectives.

Note that the documents contained within this site were current when posted, but may have been subsequently changed by the responsible party. Also, the information presented in some cases is an excerpt from a larger document. The ordinances and policies presented here are for information only and should not be used for determining development requirements. Please contact the individual local government for specific development requirements.

Additional technical tools from around the region will be added as the information becomes available. Please contact Jeff Rice, NCTCOG Project Coordinator, at jrice@nctcog.org or 817-695-9212 with suggestions for additional tools to list on the site.


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