WEST LAKE HILLS, Texas -- Some West Lake Hills construction projects could be put on hold because the mayor says some streets aren't safe to build on.
Mayor Dave Claunch says some fire hydrants in the city can't effectively fight a fire, and now anyone looking to build must get theirs tested first.
Last month a fire destroyed a home on Spiller drive. When firefighters hooked up their master hose, they realized the hydrant on the street wouldn't support it.
In that situation, the hose wouldn't have saved the house but would have been necessary if the fire started to spread.
"I worry about it every day," said West Lake Hills property owner Mike Courtney.
Courtney's property, like many in West Lake Hills, is surrounded by trees and dry grass. Even with a fire hydrant across the street, he worries.
"Does it work? I have no idea. I certainly wouldn't want this house burning, and find out it doesn't, because the hoses won't fit. That would be a little too much. I couldn't bear that," Courtney said.
"The fire last month was really a wake up call to a lot of people," Mayor Claunch claimed.
It's one reason he encouraged the city to put a moratorium on any future building permits.
"This moratorium is a minor inconvenience to a few property owners who have to get the fire hydrant closest to their property tested. And they have to demonstrate there's enough water there to justify allowing them to build a house in that area," he explained.
He hopes the initiative will put pressure on Water District 10 to upgrade the infrastructure.
"Safety has to be the overriding issues. You don't just look at them; they're not just little doggie posts. I mean, they're there for a reason, which is your safety and everyone else's. If your neighbor's house burns, it might burn yours," said Courtney.
Neighbors like Courtney say if a moratorium can stop a house fire from becoming a wildfire, it's worth it.
The moratorium went into place September 9. So far, only two people requesting a permit have been turned away because they hadn't gotten their hydrant tested.