‘It’s still a great community’: Booming growth in Dripping Springs creates both excitement and challenges

City leaders and business owners in Dripping Springs are balancing exponential growth while trying to maintain the small-town charm that has existed for decades.

Dripping Springs, Texas – Just 24 miles from the “Wild West,” a small town is seeing big changes.

Co-owner Becky Atkins said, “The small-town community appeal is kind of endearing with the growth and expansion that’s happening here.” Summer revival wine company.

particle for direct object The city of dripping springs It has history in every corner Mercer St. There are also signs of growth across the city.

Ian and Becky Atkins They returned to their home state to make wine in Fredericksburg and sell it in Dripping Springs.

“We’re winemakers from Portland, Oregon, originally from Texas,” said Becky Atkins.

Their tasting room, Summer Revival Wine Company, just off Mercer Street, is one of the newest businesses in town. They just opened about eight weeks ago. Atkins hopes to add to what makes Dripping Springs so special and inspire others to do the same. That’s why their tasting room carries a variety of food and merchandise from other local businesses in the area.

At first, Becky and Ian thought they would primarily cater to tourists, but they quickly realized that this was not a top priority for their new town.

“There “It was really a bigger need than we knew in this community, like more of a place where you felt like you could come and stay and like meet people or meet people in your community,” Becky Atkins said.

Like many people, the Atkinses moved their family here. This is why more homes continue to go up and prices continue to rise.

“It went from being able to see the hillside to seeing houses being built around you,” Becky Atkins said. “And these are all things that we knew were going to happen. So it wasn’t a surprise.”

particle for direct object Austin Real Estate Board released a report for May that showed the median home price in Dripping Springs was $954,000. This is 27% more than last May. If you’re looking for something under $500.00, you’ll have to look hard, as it only makes up 3.6% of homes.

Dripping Springs Mayor Bill Foulds said all these new homes are going up because the population is growing. This is especially true when you look at the entire extraterritorial jurisdiction. Although the town of Dripping Springs is only 9.5 square miles in area, its ETJ is 110 square miles.

“There are over 40,000 people in our ETJ,” Foulds said. Our city limits in the new census will probably be about 5,600.

Growth can be great, but there are some growing pains, he said.

It has exploded exponentially in the last 20 years, says Foulds. “But in the last few years, it’s really taken off and the building won’t stop and the roads are becoming almost unbearable.”

He said: “Traffic is the biggest problem, and the expansion of US 290 highway is needed, but this itself creates problems.”

RELATED: Dripping Springs Remains Building Suspended Amid Booming Growth

When you make 290, they want to expand it. “And there are so many businesses right down the road that you might lose business, and that’s never a good thing. So, it’s a good line, but we need to modify the 290.

It used to be much easier

“There There were no traffic lights between here and Austin at all 25 years ago, Foulds recalls.

This growth has also led to problems related to sewage needs. The city has been under a development moratorium on some new buildings for more than eight months while they figure out adequate sewer infrastructure, complicated by lawsuits over the issue. But even with the freeze, the city is awash with permits for new construction.

“They are still processing permits as quickly as possible,” shared Foulds. “They’re about two weeks behind schedule.”

Although the city has its growing pains and has seen many changes, Foulds said he is proud to call it home.

“It’s a great community,” Foulds said. I moved here with my family 25 years ago. We moved here for the schools and for the country.

Based on the numbers, it seems that many people come to the city for schools. In accordance with Dripping Springs ISDThe number of primary school students in this region has increased by 16% in just one year.

Dripping Springs resident and longtime business owner Terry Garnett said when he was in school, all grades were in one building and his graduating class was hundreds of kids smaller than it is now.

“My graduating class was 52,” Garnett smiled.

Garnett was the owner Propane Terry Garnet on Mercer Street for 40 years, but he’s known the building even longer. His grandfather and great-grandfather built the building, and his family has run businesses in the building ever since.

“It was originally a gas station, a blacksmith shop, and it passed through the family over the years,” shared Garnett.

Although Garnett now lives in Westlake, he still works in Dripping Springs and has his roots here. He even served as mayor in the 1990s and saw the change first hand.

Related: Drip Springs officials announce urban planning initiative to address growth

“I would say the majority, it’s pretty much the last five to seven years, you know it’s been a boom,” Garnett said. And now it’s getting faster and faster and faster. “I mean, it’s exploding.”

He said he enjoys growing as long as it’s high quality and controlled, which he feels it has been. He said the growth has created more retail options for locals, but he’s glad Mercer Street is being protected from commercialization as a historic district.

The businesses that occupy these buildings have changed, and so have the number of people who call Dripping Springs home.

We don’t know what’s going to happen, except that it looks like it’s going to grow quickly. “That’s why we’re talking today, right.” Garnet laughed.

So as this small town gets bigger, new and long-time residents aim to keep the charm big, too.

“This limestone runs in our veins,” Garnett said. “I mean, we’ve been here forever and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.”

I really hope that Dripping Springs can stay a little smaller and that we don’t just become another set of strip malls on the way out of Austin, and that we can keep some of these independent buildings and small town charm. Ian Atkins said that made it unique in the first place.

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