This urgent message is about the possible settlement action to be taken by the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District at a specially called meeting this coming Wednesday, December 9, at 6 pm at Bastrop City Hall. The action is a settlement with Forestar Real Estate Group to replace Forestar’s permit to export 12,000 acre-feet of water annually from the Simsboro aquifer in Lee County. Forestar could be permitted for up to 28,500 acre-feet per year under the settlement.
Public comments are supposed to be in writing no later than tomorrow (Monday) at 5 pm -- and that's just too soon! No oral comments will be taken at the meeting.
At this time, we have no position on the settlement because it's complicated (read Environmental Stewardship's email blast here for some of the details).
Tomorrow we will at least send a respectful request to the Lost Pines Board to delay action on Wednesday and to open public comment until after the holidays, because:
1. The notice with documents were released at 4 pm on Wednesday, December 2, with no advance notice a settlement was in the works. Although we appreciate advance notice and opportunity to comment, we are unable to participate in a meaningful way during the holidays in a rushed and complex settlement. There appears to be no legitimate reason for the Board either to act hurriedly or cut off public comment unreasonably.
2. We believe from feedback so far from officials and local governing bodies (municipalities and county governments) is that they are unaware of what this settlement means, and they too need time to review it.
What can you do?
1. Click here to send your own email to the Lost Pines GCD Board to respectfully request more time for the public to review the settlement offer, taking us past the holidays. (If that link doesn't work, copy this email address and address it to the Board of the Lost Pines GCD: email@example.com.)
2. Show up on Wednesday at 6 pm at Bastrop City Hall, 1311 Chestnut – your presence will “voice” your concern about this rushed action. Here's the agenda.
Remember that the Simsboro underlies Milam, Lee, Burleson and Bastrop counties and this water is being targeted to serve unbridled growth along the I-35 Corridor. Therefore, like Vista Ridge, Forestar’s permit demand has brought us together, so y'all come!
If you have the desire and time to review the documents about this settlement, they are posted at the top of this page on the Lost Pines GCD website.
Feel free to reach us for more information, and we hope to see you on Wednesday night.