We know that the Hill Country is ripe for the aggregate industry in Texas and the only way we are going to slow down their apocalyptic land grab is to make it harder to do business. This starts with government and government agencies stiffening the regulations and making it more difficult and more expensive for them to operate.
My family planned, built and moved to our dream home in Comal County on FM3009 in 2016. We were barely settled in when we learned that Vulcan had bought the property immediately across the street with plans to operate a quarry. Living 350 feet from a blasting zone is impractical due to the myriad of issues that this unregulated mining operation generates. We don’t want to give up our home or leave Comal County, but we feel we have no choice and therefore we are looking at alternatives. Kendall County is one such option — we are still in the hill country and still close to our families and friends. We’re considering Kendall County because their county agencies are more proactive at restricting the aggregate industries footprint than Comal County. For example, Kendall County has a dark sky ordinance with teeth. When Vulcan asked the county for a variance on lighting restrictions, it was denied. Comal County’s ordinance is completely unenforceable, it merely suggests and encourages.
Additionally, Kendall County’s Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District granted Vulcan only a portion of the water rights they requested. Will Comal County’s Comal Trinity GCD restrict Vulcan similarly? I doubt it. The president of the district is already on record saying they support quarries and won’t limit their water usage.
What are the long term implications? For us, Comal County will become more industrial, water-stressed, and a less desirable place to live relative to Kendall County.