BURNET COUNTY, Texas — Four months ago they voted to become a city. This month they found out the state is suing them. That's the reality for the City of Double Horn.
If you're wondering where Double Horn is, it's a few miles west of Spicewood on Highway 71 heading towards Marble Falls. It's a small subdivision, Double Horn Creek, that recently voted to become a city.
It might be a small city of a little more than 200 people, but what it wants is to stay a city.
After voting to incorporate Dec. 6, the subdivision-turned-city elected its officials on Feb. 12 of this year and, on March 14, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against them.
The lawsuit filed by the AG claims that the City failed to follow "statutory requirements for incorporation" citing Chapter 7 of the Local Government Code, which says "(1) that the community intending to incorporate constitute an unincorporated town or village, and (2) the proposed boundaries include only the territory to be used strictly for municipal purposes."
Because of that, the AG's office said the City Charter should be revoked.
"We showed them where the paperwork was, where the steps were as far as the Texas rules as they're written up in ordinances and the law books as they are now today," said Matthew McCabe, the president of the Spicewood Community Alliance.
McCabe said that he helped the City throughout the process, including selecting their boundaries, which include the Spicewood Crushed Stone quarry off the east side of the subdivision, which is mentioned multiple times in the lawsuit.
This all has McCabe worried.
"Is that going to set a precedent for how cities can self-rule and, if they knock out Double Horn, will they go after the next city," asked McCabe.
The director of communications for the AG's office released the following statement to KVUE:
“Our office doesn’t object to a town or village wanting to become a city, but it must be done according to Texas law. And in this case, the small homeowners association that voted to declare itself the city of Double Horn did so unlawfully by failing to comply with the statutory requirements for incorporation as a city. This is simply about defending the rule of law and preventing the abuse of power by a neighborhood.” – Marc Rylander, Director of Communications.
KVUE reporter Hank Cavagnaro talked to a few residents who weren't sure why the lawsuit was being filed and didn't want to go on camera.
The court Date for Double Horn is April 3 and the city attorney said they hope their case for why they are a rightful city is heard.