Community members concerned about a concert venue proposed for Fitzhugh Road are preparing for an opportunity to voice opinions to officials from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, as well as the developer.

The overview

Sen. Donna Campbell made the request to the TCEQ on behalf of concerned residents, including the Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue coalition. Residents have been aware of the proposed venue for over a year.

The public meeting will be held at Dripping Springs Ranch Park, 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs, on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.

A closer look

This is the second public meeting in regard to a wastewater permit filed by California-based company Blizexas that would serve a concert venue with up to 5,000 seats, according to the permit.

The permit, which is still pending approval and is the only one filed so far, would provide the development with its own municipal wastewater service. The concert venue would serve up to 5,000 people per day up to three times a week for up to six hours, according to the permit.

The project’s engineer, Erin Banks, estimates the venue would use 12,000 gallons of water per day averaged over a week, based on another event venue built by the company in California. The water use would come from a well installed on the site, Banks said.

The wastewater permit, if approved, would not allow for "a discharge of pollutants into water," according to TCEQ documents.

Mike Clifford, technical director for the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, said the amount of impervious cover, or features that block rainfall such as the parking lot, may cause runoff. This amount of impervious cover combined with small fields about half of an acre in size within the venue’s lot to irrigate treated sewage could result in runoff that is both stormwater and wastewater.

Additionally, the treated wastewater permit as proposed would not remove nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen from the wastewater that can pollute waterways when runoff occurs, Clifford said.

“A developer that can get that type of a permit that’s so loose does not need to spend very much on wastewater treatment,” Clifford said. “Whereas, a development like Headwaters that does that removal—that extra environmental protection—that's a much more expensive wastewater treatment plant. So, you can see what this developer has done is basically trying to make this thing as cheap as possible.”

Diving in deeper

Water is not the only concern for those in opposition to the project.

In July, Fitzhugh Neighbors, a grassroots organization part of the coalition, wrote a letter to 20 elected officials urging a re-evaluation of a traffic impact analysis, or TIA, submitted by the developer to Hays County officials in February 2022. In response, Hays County Precinct 4 Commissioner Walt Smith requested a third-party review of the TIA.

The letter emphasized the TIA fails to “account for significant public safety concerns.”

The proposed venue would be located off Fitzhugh Road near the intersection of Crumley Ranch and Trautwein Road. Fitzhugh Road is a two-lane road without shoulders with multiple low-water crossings. It intersects with RM 12, Hwy. 290 and Hamilton Pool Road.

Businesses, such as Jester King Brewery and Fitzhugh Brewing, in addition to community members' homes, sit off Fitzhugh Road.

“When a development that also has these impervious cover problems and wastewater problems happens to want to be on one of the most dangerous roads in Hays County, it creates a very egregious proposed development,” Clifford said.

The TIA concluded a need for several improvements to the road, including adding police or traffic personnel at the intersections of Crumley Ranch and Trautwein Road with Fitzhugh Road during events; new turning lanes at the intersection of the road with RM 12; and lastly, additional warning signs.

The TIA also conducted a site distance study, which determines how far a driver can see when stopped and looking down an intersection. The study looked at four driveways from the venue onto Fitzhugh.

It found three driveways met the Hays County minimum sight distance regulation, which is 350 feet for a road that has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour. A fourth driveway measured at 250 feet did not meet the regulation, which would be rectified with additional signage, according to the TIA.

Dripping Springs local Steve Warntjes has lived off Fitzhugh Road since 2015 and told Community Impact in July he’s concerned about safety on the road if the venue is built.

“I'm not against music,” Warntjes said. “What I am against is concerns about public safety and whether or not we're going to be able to handle this volume of traffic in a reasonable manner.”

Other concerns community members will likely express Jan. 29 include noise and light pollution.

Shield Ranch Barton Creek, 6,400 acres of sustainably managed land, sits nearby the site of the proposed venue. Marshall Bowen, a member of the Shield Ranch family and attorney with Butler Snow LLP, told Community Impact in February the renderings of the venue are “shocking” because of how it would transform the area.

“We have to be mindful of the decisions we're making now that are going to have impacts for generations of folks who will live in Austin, and the real impacts on our infrastructure, our water quality and our way of life," Bowen said.

In case you missed it

At a community forum called by Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra to discuss the proposed venue Oct. 2, Smith told the community the county is limited in its ability to regulate the development.

“Under state law, and especially the changes that happened in [the 88th legislative session], if a project meets regulatory standards then we have to place what's called a mandate for approval,” Smith said Oct. 2. “If we get certain materials submitted in a timely fashion, once we get the final submission, if they meet the standards, we have to approve those projects within 30 days under state law.”

Going forward

The wastewater permit has not been approved or denied by the TCEQ as of press time. Any community member can attend the public meeting Jan. 29.

“We plan to develop a world-class and well-run venue near Dripping Springs that is respectful of our neighbors, the land and the Hill Country’s unique character,” said Bill LeClerc, director of real estate developments and investments at Lexor Investments, in a previous statement to Community Impact. Lexor Investments is the parent company of Blizexas.

The renderings of the venue can be found here. For more information on the coalition, visit For more information on Fitzhugh Neighbors, visit For more information on permits submitted by Blizexas, visit