Bastrop City Council issues emergency 90-day moratorium on new developments

The Mayor of Bastrop says drainage has been the city's top-priority for almost two-years now.

On Tuesday night, the city council approved an emergency drainage ordinance.

Right now, Bastrop is under a 90-day moratorium on new development. 

"The emergency drainage ordinance requires that you have a pre-meeting with our development team, and if your development is going to have an impact on drainage then the second thing you have to get a registered professional engineer to sign off that your development is going to contain things and handle things from a storm water runoff so there's not an adverse impact to other folks in the watershed." Mayor Connie Schroeder with the City of Bastrop, says this temporary moratorium and emergency drainage ordinance will initiate changes to Bastrop’s land-use regulations.

This applies to new and future projects.

The City of Bastrop has also temporarily closed the door on a new housing development. "I know that moratorium is a scary word but we're doing all we can to make sure we're being public about that."

Mayor Schroeder says the city doesn't know what all development plans are out there but those covered by the moratorium and drainage ordinance includes everyone in the city limits and everyone in their extra-territorial jurisdiction.

She says it's very hard to find an area in Bastrop that hasn't had drainage issues in the past.

"So sometimes people think, all I want to do is build a fence, but what they don't get is if that fence is put up between two neighbors and now water that used to pass through your property to get to a curb and gutter and now it's blocked by a fence and flooded a neighbor then the neighbor comes to us and says how did you allow this to happen?” she says.

She says if someone wants to add on to their house in an area that's already developed, there may be consequences they may not know of. Which is why these two new emergency ordinances came to be.

The Mayor says Bastrop has had four FEMA events in three years and they're being as public about this change as possible.