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County to consider regs for influx of housing

July 6, 2013

Howard County commissioners are to consider revisions to their Flood Damage Prevention Order and proposed subdivision and manufactured home rental community regulations Monday, moving forward with efforts to protect county residents in the face of the oil boom.

Monday's meeting is to get under way at 10 a.m. in the commissioners courtroom, located on the third floor of the county courthouse.

Monday's discussion and potential action comes on the heels of a pair of public hearings on the matters, which the commissioners have taken up in the face of the recent Cline shale formation, which is drawing an incredible amount of growth from the oil and energy industry.

Charles R. Kimbrough, an attorney with Austin-based Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP, has served as the court's legal counsel and spokesperson for the pair of proposed changes, fielding questions from local officials and residents, alike.

While the public hearings have drawn a considerable amount of attention from county residents, most of it has been misdirected, according to county officials.

“I've heard about the project that is coming in, but I don't really know much about it,” County Judge Mark Barr said, referring to a proposed apartment building near the intersection of 24th Street and Edgemere, located northeast of the Kentwood community. “I don't blame the people for being concerned with it, I really don't. However, the county is extremely limited as to what (regulations) we can impose.

“We can't zone and we can't regulate how many dwellings can be on the property, because that is handled by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rules on septic systems. And those rules and regulations get very, very complex. And that's why we are holding these public hearings, because we've had so many people expressing concerns about what's going on in Howard County.”

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