Hill Country Alliance had its first organizational
at the home of Christy Muse, a Bee Creek area community
activist, on September 4, 2004. Christy initiated the meeting
and brought together representatives from the Guardians of Lick
Creek, Travis Settlement/Bee Creek, Lakeway First, Crosswind
HOA, the Hamilton Pool Road Scenic Corridor Coalition, Concerned
Citizens of Spicewood, the SEED Coalition, Texas Public Citizen
and the SOS Alliance. The organizing group, constituting an ad
for the organization to focus on.
principles, it was determined, should be broad enough to be acceptable
to a wide variety of people of varying political persuasions.
All were able to agree on these three basic ideas:
Protect and preserve the rural character of the Texas Hill Country
2. (Along the same lines as the above) Keep a check on urban
3. Protect the quality and supply of our
water and waterways.
addition, it was suggested that this Coalition act as a united
front in representing these principles when dealing with the
LCRA, the various counties that cover the Hill Country and the
Legislature. Other purposes for the organization that were discussed
included serving as a watchdog group and communications medium
to alert member organizations and their individual members of
as they arise, to lobby for legislation and regulations that
would advance our common goals and, possibly, to fundraise together
for funds to accomplish the above.
Phillips of the Guardians of Lick Creek pointed out that there
is a pressing need for community education about issues that
affect us all. Bill Bunch of the SOS Alliance made the case that
the best way to protect land is for people of means to buy it
and dedicate it for conservation purposes. He also pointed out
that "Envision Central Texas" is too vague to mean anything.
Richard Scroggins of Lick Creek reminded us of the alarming statement
made by Lazy
9 developer Bill Gunn, who said (in defense of the "sustainable"
quality of his development) "our model is Lakepointe." Ouch!
Pepper Morris, of Lick Creek, told us of a real model development,
built by a man named Bamberger. She said "Bamberger has shown
what developers can do. He took a crappy piece of land and made
it a showplace."
here's another alarming bit of info. John Hatchett (quoting engineer
Lauren Ross) said that just another 31 MUDs the size
of Lazy 9 would drain all the water from the Highland Lakes.
Carrell of the Concerned Citizens of Spicewood brought with him
a proposal for a Hill Country scenic drive to act as a tourist
attraction. He makes the point that tourism brings $100 million
per day into the state and that systems need to be put in place
to reward developers for doing good things and preventing messing
that income up. Check out his proposal and see what you think.
It is called the Lady
Bird Scenic Loop.
next task for the group is to reach out to other organizations
throughout the Hill Country such as property owners associations
and neighborhood activist groups. It is hoped that we can make
this Coalition a force to be reckoned with by bringing in as
the individuals they represent as possible. If we can show the
governmental and quasi-governmental agencies that we have a real
and powerful constituency, perhaps we can have a voice in shaping
the policies that will have enormous effects on our futures and
the future of our beloved Hill Country.
second Coalition meeting was held at the way too dark to take
a decent picture Cedars Restaurant, on Monday, September 20th.
Quite a few more people
than at the first meeting.
meetings have been held since then and the coalition now represents
organizations plus a number of unaffiliated individuals. Reports
about what goes on at HCC meetings will not be published here.
For Hill Country Coalition information, access the group's website: www.hillcountryalliance.org.
you are an interested individual or in a group not currently
involved, to become part of the Coalition, please send an email to
and early on
a frosty December 15th morning, several sturdy coalition
members stood outside the LCRA headquarters
to greet the arriving employees and board members with a
protest. Here's the picture from the Austin American Statesman.
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