Here are 10 of the top stories that affected the Dripping Springs community throughout 2023. This list is noncomprehensive and does not include Dripping Springs ISD news.

Dripping Springs passes FY 2023-24 budget, tax rate

The city of Dripping Springs approved a total budget of $44.7 million and a tax rate at $0.1718 per $100 valuation for 2023-24 on Sept. 25. The consolidated general fund is a total of about $15 million and includes funding for improvements to parks, Founders Day, the 2024 eclipse and the city. The budget went into effect Oct. 1.

Fitzhugh neighbors urge county to re-evaluate traffic plan for 2,000-car venue

Members of the Stop Fitzhugh Concert Coalition sent a letter to Hays County Commissioners, urging officials to re-evaluate a Traffic Impact Analysis submitted by the developer of a potential 5,000-seat concert venue off Fitzhugh Road this summer. In addition, residents were able to ask questions and provide comments at a community forum called by Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra in September. A second public hearing on a wastewater permit filed by the developer, the only permit filed so far, will be held Jan. 29 at Dripping Springs Ranch Park.

UT to open research station in Dripping Springs

Dripping Springs will be the next location of a research and conservation site from The University of Texas. The Hill Country Field Station, recently announced by the university, will be located at Mirasol Springs, a development on the Pedernales River from Steve Winn, founder of RealPage and CEO of Mirasol Capital, companies focused on the real estate industry. Construction on the station is expected to begin within the year with the goal of opening in the first half of 2026.

New state law to allow ETJ residents to leave city's jurisdiction

A new state law that went into effect in September could largely impact the ability of cities to expand and regulate the land neighboring their city limits. Senate Bill 2038, which passed in May during the 88th legislative session, will allow residents of an extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, to leave the city’s authority through a petition or election. The law also revokes previous state law that allowed a city’s ETJ to naturally expand as the city annexed new territories.

New plan aims to protect Hill Country's natural resources

The Hill Country Land, Water, Sky and Natural Infrastructure Plan, released by the Texas Hill Country Conservation Network, or THCCN, is a plan to protect natural infrastructure that brings environmental, social, economic and health benefits to the region. The plan is a vision that was built by the ideas of over 2,800 residents of the Hill Country surveyed by THCCN, a coalition with the goal to conserve and protect the region.

2nd Dripping Springs-area H-E-B opens at former Nutty Brown site

H-E-B opened its second store in the Dripping Springs area July 5 at 12021 W. Hwy. 290, Austin. The store is located at the former site of the Nutty Brown Cafe and Amphitheatre, and is designed in honor of the historic amphitheater with memorabilia showcased in-store, including guitars signed by Texas artists and red brick from the Nutty Brown food oven.

Dripping Springs Community Library facing capacity issues, eyeing new facility

The Dripping Springs Community Library is running out of space at its current facility and plans to start making the move into a larger, more modern building. In 2024, the DSCL plans to launch a potential fundraising campaign the community can donate to for the new facility.

300-acre park in Dripping Springs moving forward; public input to begin

The Rathgeber Natural Resource Park, which will be located adjacent to the Headwaters Subdivision, is a future park that the city of Dripping Springs is currently in the planning stages for. The park was a 300-acre land donation to the city from Austin developer and philanthropist Dick Rathgeber and the Rathgeber Investment Company. It is currently not open to the public.

City to absorb Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau

Dripping Springs City Council voted to approve an agreement to transfer operations of the visitors bureau to the city during a meeting June 6. All assets of the Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau, including property and records, will be transferred to the city.

'Historic' Winter Storm Mara recovery drags on

Winter Storm Mara, which began Jan. 30, caused power outages, debris from fallen tree limbs and loss of water pressure. Roads closed due to utility line obstructions and icy conditions. City parks and trails experienced temporary closures. Dripping Springs public works staff worked to ensure that roads were passable while Dripping Springs Ranch Park was available for residents to dispose of trees, branches and limbs from the storm. The city issued a declaration of disaster, and both city offices and schools were closed until Feb. 3.