Two Moratoriums: one extended and one enacted
City Council has extended and enacted development related moratoriums in Granbury. The moratorium on new permitting and building on the City’s east side and extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) has been extended through October 4, 2022. Also, the central and western areas of the City and ETJ are now covered by a moratorium until at least February 1, 2022.
The moratoriums are needed because the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has not yet approved the City’s permit for a new wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) for the City’s east side. TCEQ requires the City to begin planning to expand or construct new facilities when 75 percent of current capacity is achieved in three consecutive months. That happened in 2016, the same time planning for a new plant began. The City submitted a permit for the new WWTP in June 2020 and the permit and construction plans were administratively approved by the TCEQ. Since property owners near the proposed plant are against it, the TCEQ granted a contested case hearing and asked a State Office of Administrative Hearings judge to review the case and make a recommendation to them. Current plans call for (approximate costs) a $20 million reconstruction of the existing WWTP and $13 million construction of an additional plant. If an additional WWTP is not constructed, the City will be in violation of TCEQ rules due to not having adequate wastewater capacity. Periodically the current system will be overloaded, potentially resulting in contamination of nearby bodies of water.
An estimated $100 million dollars in pending economic development has been delayed since the east side moratorium was first established in December 2020. The new, additional central and western moratorium is estimated to add approximately $150 million to that total.
The existing and newly expanded moratoriums are affecting only projects which need wastewater treatment, such as new residential and commercial development. Business expansion projects that do not need additional wastewater treatment capacity are not affected.