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State of Texas Files Lawsuit Calling Burnet County’s Newest City Invalid

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The newest Texas city may have a short-lived existence. Double Horn, located in Burnet County, was voted by a majority of 181 eligible voters to become a city in December 2018. However, it’s presently in a lawsuit filed by the Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The suit claims the city is invalid. Not only that, but the documents filed in Burnet County claim that all of the current Double Horn city leaders need to be removed from their posts.

The move to incorporate came as a result of growing concerns from the Double Horn subdivision residents over a quarry development near their homes in the Texas Hill Country. 75 voters, out of 181 eligible to do so, voted in favor of incorporation. The idea of incorporation was sparked when the Spicewood Crushed Stone, LLC applied to place a rock crushing plant on Highway 71. Although signs appear on the quarry’s fence telling its workers not to drive trucks into the Double Horn subdivision, and the plant has already been approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, residents moved forward with the vote. Local media spoke to some of those individuals who cited health concerns and a general dislike for the development of a nearby quarry among the reasons for the vote to incorporate. The move to make the subdivision a city was meant to allow for added controls with respect to local ordinances in addition to the monitoring of the quarry activities.

State of Texas Files Lawsuit Calling Burnet County’s Newest City Invalid

Photo: Facebook/Double Horn Creek Community

“We’re a community of law-abiding citizens, and we believe we met the legal requirements,” Double Horn Mayor Cathy Sereno told DailyTrib.com. “That said, we still have to make a decision of what we’re going to do as we move forward.” The lawsuit filed by the State of Texas says that in order to comply with the state laws of incorporation, Double Horn must first have been an unincorporated village or town and, second, its proposed boundaries must only entail the property which would be used for municipal purposes and not the 281 acres owned by Spicewood Crushed Stone LLC. The lawsuit further states: “Moreover, land within the town must be susceptible of receiving some municipal services… There is no evidence that any changes will be made to reflect a municipal form of government other than the exercise of regulatory authority over (Spicewood Crushed Stone) with the goal of preventing SCS from using its property for a lawful purpose.”

State of Texas Files Lawsuit Calling Burnet County’s Newest City Invalid

Photo: Facebook/Texas Courthouse Journey of Stuart L Schroeder

In response to concerns expressed by residents over the Double Horn subdivision lawsuit, the Director of Communications for the Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spoke to kxan.com. “Our office doesn’t object to a town or village wanting to become a city,” he said, “but it must be done according to Texas law. And in this case, the small homeowners association that voted to declare itself the city of Double Horn did so unlawfully by failing to comply with the statutory requirements for incorporation as a city. This is simply about defending the rule of law and preventing the abuse of power by a neighborhood.” A hearing on the matter is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on April 3, 2019, at the Burnet County Courthouse.