Historic family ranch in Austin may lose land: Austin TX News-8, 1/22/07

By Catie Beck

Some keep family history under lock and key. But the Grumbles family wants the gateway to their past as wide open to future generations as the spaces on their ranch.

"It's the only way I know that they can touch the past," ranch owner Richard Grumbles said.

It's this sentiment that has the family fighting to keep their ranch. The Lake Travis Independent School District sent a letter to the Grumbles telling them that they are considering plans to develop their ranch in to a future school site for the district.

They plan to do this through eminent domain, the government's right to acquire land for the public good.

The ranch sits on more than 300 acres. The Grumbles already received one offer to buy the property for more than $11 million. But they say it's not about the money. It's about the history of their ancestors.

"They could have sold it at any time, but they didn't because of their love of the land," Carolyn Grumbles said.

Lake Travis ISD said it’s focused on the future of its students and often finds itself in fierce competition with developers for available land. The Grumbles say that is why their land became a target.

"There is lots of land around us that could be bought by the school district, we just happened to be the easiest pickings," Richard said.

On Monday night, the school board will meet and discuss land issues like the Grumbles’. The family plans to attend the meeting and voice their concerns to the board.

Austin TX News-8: http://www.news8austin.com