Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Presenter: Ted Hollingsworth

Action
Modification of Access Easement – Bexar County
Approximately 3 Acres at Government Canyon State Natural Area
January 23, 2014

I. Executive Summary: Staff will present a proposal to combine and update an easement and license that provides access to an inholding within the Government Canyon State Natural Area in Bexar County.

II. Discussion: In April, 2013, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, TPWD, with the assistance of several partners, purchased the 461-acre MaBe Ranch on the north side of Government Canyon State Natural Area (SNA).  The configuration resulted in three inholdings, one of which is 49 acres comprised of a 32-acre tract and an adjacent 17-acre tract, each owned by separate landowners.  Access to the 32-acre tract is provided via an easement across TPWD property that terminates within approximately five hundred feet of the inholding boundary, and a perpetual license that provides access the remainder of the distance.  It was the intent of the landowner and the previous owner of the MaBe Ranch that the license would become an easement once subdivision roads were platted and constructed across the MaBe Ranch, which never occurred.  In addition, the driveway as constructed leaves the easement as platted and trespasses onto adjacent private property.

Park staff and the landowner have agreed to identify the best route for the driveway, from a park impact and operations standpoint, and to institutionalize that location by preparing and recording a single easement across TPWD property.  This new 40 feet wide easement will replace both the existing 60 feet wide easement and the perpetual license.

III. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Commission adopts the Resolution attached as Exhibit A.”

Attachments – 4

  1. Exhibit A – Resolution
  2. Exhibit B – Location Map
  3. Exhibit C – Vicinity Map
  4. Exhibit D – Site Map

Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit A

A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Regarding Modification of an Access Easement Affecting Approximately 3 Acres in Bexar County at the Government Canyon State Natural Area

Resolution

Whereas, Government Canyon State Natural Area (SNA) covers approximately 8,623 acres in Bexar County managed for fish and wildlife habitat and carefully managed public outdoor recreation; and,

Whereas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) added the 461-acre MaBe Canyon Ranch property to Government Canyon SNA for its outstanding natural resource and aesthetic values; and,

Whereas, acquisition of the MaBe Canyon Ranch resulted in three (3) inholdings, and staff have worked with the owners of those inholdings to minimize conflicts and potential impacts to SNA operations; and,

Whereas, one of the existing inholdings is served by a combination of access easement and license, which do not exactly coincide with the location of the existing driveway; and,

Whereas, TPWD staff and the owner of the inholding desire to keep the existing driveway in its current location with the exception of a single location where it leaves the current easement; and,

Whereas, TPWD staff and the owner of the inholding desire to record a single 40 feet wide access easement that supersedes the existing 60 feet wide access easement and license and corresponds to the desired location of the driveway; and,

Whereas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) finds that as required by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, notices of today’s hearing of this matter were published at least once a week for three consecutive weeks in newspapers of general circulation which are published at least six days a week in the communities nearest to the state park in which such newspapers are published (San Antonio Express News in Bexar County), with the last day of publication being not less than one week or more than two weeks before the date of today’s hearing and that such notices; and,

Whereas, staff of TPWD has worked with the owner of the inholding to plan a route and construction methodologies that minimize temporary and permanent impacts to the natural and cultural resources of the SNA and SNA operations; and,

Whereas, TPWD staff believe that combining the existing access agreements into a single easement will simplify boundary and land use issues in the future, and minimize erosion and other detrimental effects of a private driveway, and therefore revision of the access easement is not inconsistent with the mission of TPWD; and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, that (1) there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the revision of the access easement (Easement);  (2) the program or project that requires the use or taking of land (Easement) includes all reasonable planning to minimize harm to the land (Easement); and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Section 13.009 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code that modification of the Easement subject to conditions that will minimize the overall impacts of the Easement on the SNA is in the best interest of TPWD; and,

Now, therefore, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the Executive Director to take all necessary steps to modify the Easement, and to grant a revised Easement at Government Canyon SNA for the purposes and subject to the conditions described herein and in the motion approved in this Resolution.

Adopted and approved this 23rd day of January, 2014.

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Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Chairman

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Ralph H. Duggins, Vice-Chairman

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T. Dan Friedkin, Member, Chairman-Emeritus

____________________________________
Roberto De Hoyos, Member

____________________________________
Bill Jones, Member

___________________________________
James H. Lee, Member

___________________________________
Margaret Martin, Member

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S. Reed Morian, Member

___________________________________
Dick Scott, Member


Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit B

Location Map for Government Canyon State Natural Area in Bexar County

Location Map for Government Canyon State Natural Area in Bexar County


Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit C

Vicinity Map for Government Canyon State Natural Area in Northwest Bexar County

Vicinity Map for Government Canyon State Natural Area in Northwest Bexar County


Commission Agenda Item No. 7
Exhibit D

Site Map Showing Approximate Location of Access Agreements and Driveway

Site Map Showing Approximate Location of Access Agreements and Driveway


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