City Heritage Development Approved

By: 
John Pacheco

 

The Heritage project was green lit by the Dripping Springs City Council opening the door for at least 700 homes in the heart of the town.

City Council approved the annexation development agreement between the City of Dripping Springs and the developers of Heritage Subdivision at its October 17 meeting by a vote of five to zero.

The developer was listed as “SLF IV- Dripping Springs JV, L.P. and Bob White Investments, LP for Heritage Subdivision,” on the city’s agenda; and StratfordLand in the presentation material provided at the meeting (http://stratfordland.com).

After approving the agreement, a series of three votes followed that effectively moved the project forward. They were:

• The voluntary annexation of the 189 acres in the development effectively closes the ETJ (extraterritorial jurisdiction) “donut hole” in the center of the city, north of Mercer Street stretching from near Ranch Road 12 to the high school. The annexation was approved unanimously.

• The passing of zoning and ordinance “enacting Planned Development District (PDD) #5 commonly known as ‘Heritage Subdivision.’” The vote was approved without dissent.

• The approval of the Public Improvement District Financing Agreement (PFA) and Service and Assessment Plan for Heritage Subdivision. This is an agreement between the developer and the city on how the project is going to be financed. The vote was five to zero in favor.

The PFA is a unique feature that will allow the creation of PID (public improvement district), and issuance of bonds. Although issued in the city’s name, the bonds are not debt by the city, but rather secured by an assessment on the property within the municipality issuing the bonds, in this case, the Heritage Subdivision. Home owners with the Heritage Subdivision will have a levy against their real property, that will likely be billed with their property taxes for the life of the bonds (expected at 30 years). This debt is not a balance sheet or developer guaranteed security and is non-recourse to the municipality issuing the bonds. This is the first time the city has involved itself with such an agreement.

Heritage will offer about 700 residential units, in a combination of single-family detached homes on 60’ and 50’ lots, “village condos, courtyard homes, attached townhomes, and multifamily units.” Pricing is expected to begin at the mid-$200,000s and expected to be in aggregate, more affordable than other developments.

It will also provide a roadway extension from Roger Hanks Parkway to Ranch Road 12, cornering at Tiger Stadium. This roadway extension is one component of a larger plan to improve connectivity, alleviate traffic in Dripping Springs, and provide alternatives to the busy intersection of Highway 290 and Ranch Road 12.

“I want to thank our staff. I know it’s been a long process. I feel like we have a great project for the community and I think it was worth the effort. It’s a great product that will be put in the center of our community. I think we have a good developer that has brought us this project, and it’s been worth every minute. The [city] staff has done a great job of looking out for Dripping Springs which is their job,” Mayor Todd Purcell said at the meeting.

Mim James, Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission also praised the Heritage agreement. “I think we’ve had outstanding legal counsel, and turned around very difficult documents quickly. Our financial advisor has been outstanding, and the city has engaged some really top-notch consultants. We wouldn’t be here without them,” James said.

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