The Hays County Commissioners Court voted 3-2 to deny the Hays Commons Preliminary Plan and send the plan back to development services for further review May 2.

Commissioners Walt Smith and Lon Shell voted not to deny.

The Commissioners Court previously postponed action on the subdivision April 25, and Hays City Council voted down the municipal utility district and the preliminary plat in November.

Hays Commons is a proposed subdivision located at FM 1626 and Carpenter Lane in Manchaca and Hays County Commissioners Court Precinct 4. The development would be built by Austin-based homebuilding company Milestone Community Builders and consist of approximately 20 single-family residential lots, two multifamily/condominium lots consisting of 258 units, three parkland/open space lots, three utility lots and one commercial lot.

Mary Kennedy, the court's general counsel, recommended the court receive and accept staff’s conditional approval of the preliminary plan application and going forward have staff administratively handle preliminary plans.

“The developers should want a preliminary plan process,” Kennedy said. “The reason they should want that is because it does offer an opportunity to lock in our rules for two years after they’ve submitted those plans to us, but at the same time, to portray that as a requirement after [Local Government Code Chapter] 232 changed is probably overstepping a bit.”

Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe said it was difficult for her to approve the item because of the remaining issues that still need to be addressed.

“It’s hard for me to approve this because there are so many, what I would call big issues, that have not been approved,” Ingalsbe said.