Intervention not allowed in judicial review of aquifer permit

Save Our Springs Alliance, Inc. v. City of Kyle; Jack Goodman; Craig Smith; Mary Stone; Gary Franklin; and Bob Larson, each in their Official Capacity as Directors of the Barton Springs-Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and the Barton Springs-Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, 03-13-00271-CV (Tex. App.- Austin, April 10, 2014)

This is an intervention case where Save Our Springs Alliance, Inc. (the “Alliance”), which is a non-profit with a purpose of preserving natural resources, attempted to intervene in a judicial review case where the City of Kyle (“City”) appealed a Barton Springs-Edwards Aquifer Conservation District administrative ruling regarding a permit. This is the second appeal relating to the permit.

In this suit, the City appealed the District’s decision on its permit application allowing less water to be withdrawn than requested in the application. A suit for judicial review is a proceeding instituted to challenge the decision of an administrative agency using the substantial-evidence standard.  The Austin Court of Appeals held that based on the procedural history at the administrative level, the Alliance could not have brought suit under its own name and its only inclusion as an intervenor would be to support the position of the District. As a result, under In Guaranty Federal Savings Bank v. Horseshoe Operating Company, 793 S.W.2d 652 (Tex. 1990) the Alliance was not a proper intervenor and the district court did not error by striking their plea in intervention.

If you would like to read this opinion, click here. Panel: Chief Justice Jones, Justice Pemberton and Justice Field. Opinion by Chief Justice J. Woodfin Jones. The attorneys listed for the Alliance are William G. Bunch and Adam Abrams. The attorneys listed for the City are Michael A. Gershon and Kristen Olsen Fancher. The attorney listed for Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservative District and its affiliates is William D. Dugatt III.