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Bastrop temporarily closes door on new development

The Bastrop City Council on Tuesday night issued an emergency 90-day moratorium on new development as officials examine whether the city’s development codes are effective enough in preventing adverse effects on drainage. The council also approved an emergency ordinance to evaluate the potential impact of development on stormwater flow throughout the city.

During the moratorium, the city will not accept, review or approve commercial or residential development permits. Bastrop City Attorney Alan Bojorquez said there are exceptions to the ordinance for projects that are underway or that have received the required permits to get started.

The moratorium on new development in the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction comes after city officials held a special workshop in February to study Bastrop’s drainage patterns compared to new Federal Emergency Management Agency data and updated floodplain maps. Officials said the city’s rules and regulations should ensure development projects respect Bastrop’s ecological challenges and guarantee they will not adversely affect stormwater drainage.

During the moratorium, city staff and development consultants with Austin-based Simple City Design will examine Bastrop’s development rules and regulations, compare them to new data and determine if updates are needed.

“This is a unique piece of Earth situated here on the Colorado (River) the way it is — the sands, the silts, the location of the river, the hills — all this makes for unique challenges and, as your city attorney, I’m not at all convinced that our codes and our standards are at the point they need to be to address the challenges we have in front of us right now and the challenges to come,” Bojorquez told the City Council on Tuesday night.

Read the full article at Statesman.com