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Grapevine Development Hinges On Groundwater Usage

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – A proposed restaurant and retail development in Grapevine is set to get a moment of truth Tuesday night to see if some contaminated groundwater will keep it from further developing the property.

One of those stores might be the city’s first In-N-Out Burger.

There are plenty of restaurants at the intersection of State Highway 114 and William D. Tate Blvd. But they’re above ground; it’s what lies seven to 15 feet underground that has these developers jumping through extra hoops.

“The soil samples came back fine but the groundwater showed some residual historical contamination; we believe it’s from an old gas station and possibly an old dry cleaner that were in the area back in the ’80s,” said Cindy Bishop, attorney for co-developer John T. Evans Company of Dallas.

Some of their chemicals may have contaminated the shallow groundwater underneath with as many as four petroleum products, including vinyl chloride.

But developers say they don’t intend to touch that water.

“We can either clean it up to drinking water standards, but no one’s drinking the water anyway, so it seems like a waste of effort, or we could get this Municipal Setting Designation which would prohibit the use of ground water for drinking water,” Bishop said. “Since the property’s hooked up to city water anyway, it’s really a non-issue.”

Bishop adds developers must get separate Municipal Setting Designations from the city, and then the state. There are already nearly a dozen eateries a stone’s throw from the site and it appears no opposition has formed.

Bishop says about 10 people showed up to get questions answered at a public meeting held Monday night. Next comes a public hearing at the City Council meeting Tuesday night, where Bishop hopes the council will grant its MSD.

City staffers didn’t want to comment before then.

Bishop claims she’s sent out notification letters to property owners, including to residents within a five mile radius who own wells for irrigation.

She says those wells are much deeper –– 200 feet, not 15 –– and draw water from a lower aquifer.

“So, we sent out about a thousand letters and I was listed as the contact, so I got several phone calls but there weren’t any that opposed the MSD,” she said.

If all goes without a hitch, Bishop’s clients could get clearance on both MSDs within months.

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