Residents raise stakes on fight against possible quarry

Protests were also held the weekend of Sept. 15, and signs opposing the quarry have been posted along area roads.

Protests were also held the weekend of Sept. 15, and signs opposing the quarry have been posted along area roads.

Image description
Image description
Image description
Protests were also held the weekend of Sept. 15, and signs opposing the quarry have been posted along area roads.
Residents from Spicewood and surrounding communities are combating a proposed quarry.

Spicewood Crushed Stone LLC, the plant proposed by New York-based Dalrymple Construction Companies, would be located across from the existing Vulcan Materials Co. quarry and between two residential neighborhoods: Double Horn Creek and Spicewood Trails.

Dalrymple Construction Companies has so far not responded to numerous calls and emails from Community Impact Newspaper, but opposition to its arrival in Spicewood has been abundant.

“We are going to do everything we can to dissuade this company from moving in and destroying people’s lives,” Grant Dean, executive director of the Texas Environmental Protection Coalition, said. “We’re gathering everyone together to all have one voice —our rallies include TEPC members from New Braunfels, Burnet, Kerrville and other areas that have also been affected by quarries.”

Resident concerns include diminished air quality, noise, large trucks on local roads, vast amounts of water consumption, a lower water table and toxic dust.

Protesters gathered two weekends in September at the entrance to Doublehorn Estates, 103 Vista View Trail at the corner of West Hwy. 71.

“We’re asking everyone to send letters [to Dalrymple],” Dean said. “They come in and destroy health and property values; greed fuels every move they make for profits they know are there.”

Dean said he is asking homeowners adjacent to the proposed quarry to have their lungs X-rayed now.

“In five years we’ll get them X-rayed again and it will show the damage the particulate matter emissions have caused,” he said. “We’re also going to set up monitor wells to show water contamination.”

Dean and several other residents interviewed by Community Impact Newspaper at the Sept. 8 protest said incorporating Spicewood into a city might give the region more control over the businesses that move in. Spicewood Community Alliance formed a few years ago and works to provide a unified voice in the unincorporated rural area that passes through three counties, according to alliance President Matthew McCabe.

“We desire to show and make developers aware that the area called Spicewood, Texas is now tightly webbed, more connected and very aware,” he said.

The alliance held a public meeting Sept. 23 to help educate residents, subdivisions and businesses on the quarry.

“We have been meeting with the directly-impacted communities and subdivisions to discuss what we have learned from our involvement with Asphalt Inc. tar plant, the Marble Falls quarry and new developments with land purchases by Asphalt Inc. in the Central Texas Hill Country area,” McCabe said.

Glenn Leisey helped form the Spicewood Environmental Protection Alliance in late August and said the group’s ultimate goal is to change the law to make it more difficult for quarries to be built near established communities.

According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, stone crushers and all associated facilities and sources must be located no less than 300 feet from the nearest property line. All aggregate production operations must register with TCEQ, which can be done online and carries a maximum registration cost of $950.

Leisey said the business the quarries bring to the state is needed, but in a way that will not harm people. Dean agreed and said as a general contractor he uses quarry-produced products on a daily basis, but that the permitting process needs to be heavily regulated.

Resident Cathy Sereno said it is unbelievable that a quarry can be legally established between two neighborhoods and border backyards.

“We are working to gather a thousand signatures on a petition to send to [Gov.] Greg Abbott,” Sereno said. “If we don’t look at this overall process and [the fact] that there is very little regulation, it will keep happening. The Texas Hill Country will become the Texas hole country.”

TCEQ will host a public informational meeting with a Dalrymple representative Oct. 11, 7.p.m. at the Lakeside Pavilion, 307 Buena Vista Drive, Marble Falls.
By Sally Grace Holtgrieve
Sally Grace Holtgrieve solidified her passion for news during her time as Editor-in-Chief of Christopher Newport University's student newspaper, The Captain's Log. She started her professional career at The Virginia Gazette and moved to Texas in 2015 to cover government and politics at The Temple Daily Telegram. She started working at Community Impact Newspaper in February 2018 as the Lake Travis-Westlake reporter and moved into the role of Georgetown editor in June 2019, and in addition, editor of Leander-Cedar Park in August 2020.


Leah and Mark Mirra stand in front of their upcoming location of Lake Travis Pizza in the River Place neighborhood. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
New York natives serve traditional pies in Texas

Restaurant set to open second location for dine-in service.

Photoo of Travis County sign
Austin City Council, Travis County Commissioners Court will hold rare joint session to address 'dire' COVID-19 status

County Judge Andy Brown called the meeting "an opportunity to coordinate responses."

Voters line up during the Dec. 15 runoff election. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legality of ranked-choice voting prompts disagreement between supporters, Austin city attorneys

If a Jan. 11 petition is validated, Austin voters could decide whether to support the implementation a ranked-choice voting system. But is it unconstitutional?

Community Impact Newspaper gathered a list of 30 restaurants that opened in the Lake Travis-Westlake area in 2020 or are coming soon in 2021. (Community Impact staff)
Check out 30 restaurants that arrived in the Lake Travis-Westlake area in 2020

Community Impact Newspaper gathered a list of 30 restaurants that opened in the Lake Travis-Westlake area in 2020 or are coming soon in 2021.

Site preparation is underway for a new Covert dealership west of Bee Cave. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Work begins on Covert Bee Cave car dealership

Site preparation is underway for a new Covert dealership west of Bee Cave.

A group of Austin-area school districts is advocating for early distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for school staff members. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin-area school districts advocate for teachers to receive COVID-19 vaccines

Educators in the designated population for early distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in 32 states. Texas was not one of them, according to a Jan. 14 letter signed by 17 Central Texas school districts.

XSpace co-founder Byron Smith sits with former professional baseball player Roger Clemens, a unit owner at XSpace. (Courtesy XSpace Group)
Multiuse condominium complex breaks ground on RM 620

Development kicked off in early January for a new multiuse condominium complex outside of Austin with a nontraditional approach to self-storage.

H-E-B is preparing to accept coronavirus vaccine appointments through an online portal. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
H-E-B launches vaccine portal; Whipped Bakery opens in Leander and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Central Texas area.

Greyson is a student at Primrose School of West Lake Hills. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
Central Texas child care provider Primrose aims for a sense of normalcy during trying times

Amid the ongoing disruption, Christy Black, owner of Primrose Schools of Bee Cave, Lakeway, Mueller and West Lake Hills, is working to remain a vital resource in the Greater Austin area.

Pizzeria i Fratelli is coming soon to West Lake Hills in the shopping center shared with Texas Honey Ham and Blenders & Bowls. (Courtesy i Fratelli)
West Lake Hills to see the addition of new pizzeria, i Fratelli Pizza

A new pizzeria, i Fratelli Pizza, meaning “the brothers” in Italian, is set to open a location in West Lake Hills at 3736 Bee Caves Road, Ste. 3, West Lake Hills.

Photo of Judge Andy Brown at a press conference
Travis County health leaders say Regional COVID-19 Therapeutic Infusion Center will help unburden hospitals

In its first week, the center offered 120 coronavirus patients an antiviral antibody treatment.