Take a look at Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue Coalition’s efforts over the last year.
From where we started to where we are going, we are a coalition comprised of concerned Central Texans steadfastly opposed to the proposed construction of the Fitzhugh Concert Venue. Our fight is not over, and we need your continued support now more than ever.
In the summer of 2021, as plans crystallized around the proposed 5,000 seat concert venue on property adjacent to Shield Ranch, the owners of the Ranch and members of the community who would be affected by the development began to take action. As Shield Ranch owners and staff held conversations and meetings with their neighbors, it became clear that there was widespread opposition to the proposed venue. We took action and launched the Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue Coalition to respond to the potential development.
More than 100 community members in attendance at our coalition kickoff heard from Bob Ayres, president and owner of Shield Ranch, and Blake Murden, chief executive officer of Shield Ranch.
Hays County Commissioner Walt Smith and Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District Chief Operating Officer Charlie Flatten were also in attendance. Together they shared data, research and concerns about the new proposed concert venue on Fitzhugh Road, as well as what concerned citizens can do to voice their concerns.
On Tuesday, Nov. 29, over 200 attendees shared their concerns at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) public meeting. Blizexas LLC presented a request to authorize the disposal of treated domestic wastewater at a daily average flow not to exceed 12,000 gallons per day via a subsurface drip irrigation system. According to the proposed permit, the wastewater treatment facility and disposal site will be located approximately 0.25 mile east of the intersection of Crumley Ranch Road and Fitzhugh Road in Hays County.
A development group from California has plans to build a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater venue in the Hill Country southwest of Austin — but neighbors near the proposed project have pushed back, claiming it will adversely impact the environment and quality of life in this rural stretch of Hays County.
“The proposed concert venue will seriously harm our environment, especially with the possibility of wastewater runoff into Barton Creek, one of the last truly pristine streams in the entire state. SBCA is proud to partner with the Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue coalition to inform local residents about the dangers of this misguided development.” – Brian Zabcik, advocacy director at Save Barton Creek Association
Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue is also proud to receive support from Save Our Springs Alliance, Shield Ranch, Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, Travis Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Thundering Paws and Fitzhugh Neighbors.
In February 2023, The developers from California released this potential venue schematic. The schematic was included in their Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone Plan application. As you can see, the planned venue is massive and more resembles a baseball stadium. Approximately 22.02 acres of impervious cover is planned (66.45% of the total project site).
Six months after launching the coalition, we received support from over 2,100 neighbors who signed up to help spread the news against the proposed concert venue planned for development adjacent to Fitzhugh Road.
In light of National EMS Week, neighbors raised concerns about emergency vehicle response times and traffic safety on Fitzhugh Road. Carrie Napiorkowski, resident and member of Fitzhugh Neighbors, explained that several accidents happen in the area on a daily basis because of the dark, winding road. Adding thousands of concert-goers, many of whom will have likely been drinking alcohol, exponentially increases the potential for catastrophe.
Neighbors who want to know how they are impacted by the proposed concert venue are able to use an interactive neighborhood dashboard to see how they might be impacted by traffic, noise, and light pollution. Neighbors may enter their address or use the select button to click on a location to see how they might be affected.
On Monday, July 17, members of the Stop Fitzhugh Concert Venue coalition delivered letters to 20 elected officials, including U.S. Congressman Chip Roy and members of the Hays County Commissioners Court, highlighting traffic concerns of a proposed 5,000-seat concert venue southwest of Austin off Fitzhugh Road. The letter brings awareness to a number of deficiencies and omissions in the Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) submitted by the developer, including how it failed to study a vast majority of the estimated traffic, inadequacies with traffic improvement plans and failed to comply with county regulations regarding driver sight lines.
While Blizexas initially applied for a water quality permit from the TCEQ in February 2022, the developer failed to provide a Spanish language notice which is required by the TCEQ if a school district near the operating facility offers a bilingual education program. TCEQ determined this failure to be a deficiency in Blizexas’s application and required correction.
The Spanish notice was provided to the TCEQ in August 2023. The TCEQ Executive Director has completed the technical review of the application and prepared a draft permit. If approved, this permit would establish the conditions under which the facility must operate.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced it will host a public meeting about a potential music venue development following a request from Sen. Donna Campbell. The meeting will provide an opportunity for community members to ask questions, voice concerns and formally comment on the proposed permit. If approved, the permit would authorize the disposal of treated wastewater and establish the conditions under which Fitzhugh Concert Venue must operate. The public meeting date has not been announced but is expected to take place in early 2024.
A developer wants to bring a 5,000-seat concert venue to a rural, two-lane road in Dripping Springs, about an hour and a half northeast of San Antonio — but neighbors are singing a different tune.
Commissioner Walt Smith has sent out a letter in response to our concerns about public safety and increased traffic on Fitzhugh Road, outlined in Blizexas’ Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) study. Commissioner Smith addressed the deficiencies we have identified in Blizexas’ TIA permit and provided updated information on the Hays County Commissioners Court’s authority in the approval process.
On Monday, Oct. 2, Judge Ruben Becerra hosted a public community forum allowing neighbors to voice their concerns about the proposed concert venue. Commissioner Walt Smith, Commissioner Ann Howard, County Chief Alex Villalobos, Fire Marshal Mark Wobus, Director of Development Services Marcus Pacheco and Hays County General Counsel Tucker Furlow were also in attendance. Community members Terri Van Ackeren, Mike Clifford (technical director for Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance), Richard Sorenson and others shared their concerns with the elected officials and public attendees.