Real estate developments dominate commissioner's meeting

J. MICHAEL ROSS JRoss@EmpireTribune.com
The Erath County Commissioners Court met Monday morning and in addition to routine county fiscal and procedural matters, heard presentations from several area business people regarding small-to-medium-sized real estate developments in the county.

Erath County commissioners met Monday in a lengthy session that was heavily devoted to real estate developments around the county.

First up was review of the preliminary plat plan for the proposed Lone Oaks Cabins and R.V. Park on County Road 255, owned by residents Harve Stewart, Jim Stewart and Jordan Hupp.

Commissioner Dee Stephens moved for approval of the preliminary plat saying, “It all looks good to me; I think they’re in good shape and ready to move forward on this.” That proposal passed unanimously.

Also up on the agenda was approval of the addition of 14 R.V. spaces at Lonesome Dove R.V. Park. Owner Lana Smith said, “There are currently 14 spaces so this will double our capacity. We’re about one-half mile outside the city limits on the left side on Lingleville Hwy.”

Again Stephens commended the owner’s efforts, saying, “She’s done a lot of good work on this and I move we approve the request,” which the commissioners did, again, unanimously.

Dr. Joe Cannon of Green’s Creek Veterinary Hospital on Hwy 377 between Stephenville and Dublin then made a preliminary request to divide roughly 23 acres that sit next to Hwy 377 near the clinic, into three seven-acre properties that would be sold as residential land.

“I want to be very cautious about what goes in there, so I will pay for and install a proper entrance and whatever else the county thinks I need to do with this. I will also make any deed restrictions so these will have to be done properly by anyone who buys one of the lots.”

Judge Tab Thompson said the county will need to check on permanent deed restrictions, and took no action. 

Last up was Carroll Gentzel, one of the principals of Walking Horse Estates Subdivision on Hwy. 108 just outside Stephenville.

He explained that the development of permanent homes, entered phase I of development several years ago, and now they are ready to proceed with phase II.

“This phase will include water and sewer so no wells will be drilled or septic tanks installed. We’re looking at 31 acres to be divided into 48 lots, roughly one-half acre each. These will be upscale homes of between 2,800 and 3,200 square feet,” Gentzel said.

No action was required by the court and Gentzel and his team will meet with county officials on a needs basis to provide additional engineering data and other materials as required by the county.

Other items on the agenda were:

• A discussion regarding a smart-phone, GPS road-maintenance logging system for road crews. This was tabled pending further information regarding county contract restrictions should this request be approved later.

• A discussion about a county tax abatement with Granbury company EquiBrand should the company decide to build a facility on property it owns in Erath Coute at some future date. Judge Thompson indicated that on preliminary assessment it appears the company would qualify for a tax abatement should they decided to build a manufacturing plant here. Chief Financial Officer of Equibrand said, “I want to make it clear, we haven’t decided anything on this. It would be premature to say we’re going to build something here. We just wanted to see if there were incentives from the county for doing so because we already own some land here.”

• The replacement of one of Erath County’s Sheriff’s Department vehicles was approved.

• A request from Commissioner Herbert Brown to begin the search process for the purchase of a mini-excavator through auction or Buyboard was authorized, but no monies were allocated.