Glostershire, a future community to be built in the Sealy area off FM 1458 and Mixville Road, is currently in the process of seeking a preliminary plat approval through the Austin County Commissioners Court.
Its future development might be a trendsetter for further development in a county with its eye toward eventual growth.
The development is a proposed 23-home gated community that is also constructing an airfield. At a Dec. 14 meeting, everything seemed kosher until layout for individual wells and septic systems for each lot reached the table.
At the moment, Charles Kalkomey, a representative of Jones and Carter, Inc., an engineering firm, and Dayne Rice, a representative of Wilson Engineering Company, PLLC in Sealy, told commissioners plans have the homes sitting on approximately 0.7 acres with the wells positioned in the front and septic systems at the back. Aerobic septic systems spray waste matter onto the property using spray heads from out of the ground. Chlorine in the system disinfects the effluent before it is sprayed in the yard.
Pct. 1 Commissioner Reese Turner said those systems are disgusting.
“I’m never going to support aerobic systems. I don’t care what’s been done in the past. I look at Katy, I see what’s coming,” Turner said of Houston and Katy expansion toward the county.
Soil conditions determine the type of septic system used, Pct. 4 Commissioner Doug King said. The homeowner or landowner is stuck with a decision that is out of their hands, King said.
“I agree with Reese. I don’t like the spray but there is no other alternative,” Reichardt said.
There are alternatives but they cost more, Turner said. Those alternatives are used in Precinct 1, he said.
If someone wants to build a house and put a $1 million airplane and hanger on it, the county can ask him to use other disposal methods rather than spraying human waste into the air, Turner said.
What happens down the line with future development in the area, Turner asked. Who wants to live where there is toilet water sprayed in the air, he said.
“We may still be pretty agriculture, but that’s going to change just like it did for Katy. And I think it’s time every decision we make reflect our recognition as to what’s coming,” Turner said.
Commissioners approved an agenda item allowing a one-time variance for the Glostershire project to construct an entryway off FM 1458 so as to insert a private gated road and the reduction of an access strip from 70 feet to 50 feet on one of the lots. An additional item approving a preliminary plat was denied after Kalkomey and Rice said some sections might have to be adjusted which could change the shape of the community. Commissioners require a more exact layout before they could approve a preliminary plat.
In other business: The purchase of 14 polling pads for the county was tabled until Marcus Peña, county tax assessor and election official, presents his plans for disseminating them across the county.
The court approved a licensing and customer rebate agreement through two separate items with Bound Tree Medical, a company that provides emergency medical equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals, to purchase an internet based inventory and asset management program for county EMS.
EMS director Ron Dille said the system would induce savings for his department by tracking inventory. He said it increases accountability and identifies trends.
There are 74 county employees that are able to receive annual longevity pay for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The payout totals about $45,000, and eligible employees will receive it next week.
Turner received unanimous approval from the court to continue on the Austin County Appraisal District Board of Directors.