The Coryell County Commissioners Court approved plans at its March 14 meeting for a subdivision in the Oglesby area — Twin Caverns Ranch — that could add nearly 600 homes to what has been a small, rural part of the county.

For several months, current residents of that area had attended commissioners court meetings voicing their concerns about the dramatic changes that would result from such significant growth, including traffic, water availability and potential increased water runoff from newly developed areas.

County Judge Roger Miller asked Justin Mannix of the county road and bridge department to read off a checklist of all the requirements that a developer must meet, and Mannix did so, saying that each requirement has been met.

"They are going to use wells for drinking water, and the subdivision meets all TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) regulations," Mannix said. "They will install a 30,000-gallon water tank (in the subdivision) to help fight fires. We have also received a letter from Middle Trinity (Groundwater Conservation District) stating that their well study complies with (state) rules."

Commissioner Scott Weddle noted that county approval was a formality based on the developers meeting all requirements.

"Because they've met all the rules, their request will be approved regardless of what the court does," he said.

Weddle asked what bonds are required by the county for the developers.

"There is a performance bond to make sure roads are built to county standards, and there is also a two-year maintenance bond to make sure the roads stay in good shape," Mannix said. "There is an estimated $4,289,713 construction cost and that is also the amount of the bond."

The construction schedule estimates completion date of Feb. 28.

"When I was elected, I knew I'd be challenged by some of the decisions I'd have to make," Weddle said. "I took an oath to follow the Constitution, laws and rules, so I make a motion to approve the plan."

Commissioner Keith Taylor seconded the motion, and the measure was unanimously approved.