Local elections, Champion’s Tract and zebra mussels: 6 things to know in the Lake Travis/Westlake area this week, Feb. 19-23

The city of West Lake Hills property at 110 Westlake Drive, West Lake Hills, is located near the intersection of Bee Caves Road and next to multiple residential homes.

The city of West Lake Hills property at 110 Westlake Drive, West Lake Hills, is located near the intersection of Bee Caves Road and next to multiple residential homes.

Start your week by looking back at the most recent headlines from the Lake Travis-Westlake area.


1. Mayor Joe Bain is not seeking re-election in Lakeway
Lakeway Mayor Joe Bain announced Friday on his blog he would not be running again this May. Council Member Jean Hennagin filed to run for mayor Friday, joining Tiffany McMillan and Sandy Cox in the race. Learn more here. 





2. West Lake Hills City Council rejected offers for 110 Westlake Drive on Sunday
At Sunday’s West Lake Hills special town hall meeting to discuss proposals submitted for the city’s 110 Westlake Drive property, developers were given an opportunity to present their proposed projects for the first time, and residents voiced concerns about developing the property. The City Council moved to reject all offers it received for the property. However, the council also moved to organize a new request for proposals that will only allow proposals for residential uses, not commercial uses.

Read our recap of the meeting here.





3. The Champion’s Tract has been approved by Austin City Council
A 300-unit multifamily project will get built on the Champion’s Tract after Austin City Council narrowly approved a controversial zoning change, capping off a tense, two-year debate over the tract’s use. The council voted 6-5 to change the site’s land use from general office to multifamily, paving the way for a 300-unit development at the corner of City Park Road and RR 2222. Council members Alison Alter, Leslie Pool, Ora Houston, Kathie Tovo and Ann Kitchen voted against the rezoning. Learn more about the project here.





4. Lakeway and Lake Travis ISD broke ground on new facilities last week
While site work already began in January, the city of Lakeway’s top staff and elected officials officially broke ground on the city’s new police facility Feb. 16.

Lake Travis ISD on Feb. 13 also broke ground on its future third middle school.





5. West Lake Hills candidates are all running unopposed in May's election
As of the close of the candidate-filing period at 5 p.m. on Feb. 16, all three incumbent candidates in the upcoming West Lake Hills general election are running unopposed. Learn more here.





6. Invasive zebra mussels have been confirmed in Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake
After finding zebra mussels in Lake Travis last June, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced Thursday it has now discovered the invasive species in parts of Lake Austin and has found larvae in Lady Bird Lake as well. Learn more here.




MOST RECENT

student writing on paper
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As the delta variant drives transmission rates up, local hospital systems warn that ICUs are strained.

At Blue Gecko, a Texas Taco comes with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, cheese and bacon. (Courtesy Blue Gecko)
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Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area, including news on when Lou Neff Road will open in Central Austin.

Water retention ponds and flood control features can now be seen on the site of the 80-acre Village of Spanish Oaks development. (Courtesy CCNG Inc.)
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The Village at Spanish Oaks will feature a boutique inn as well as retail and office space.

The Oaks at Slaughter development will have several new businesses opening by the end of 2021. (Deeda Lovett/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Central Texas area, including news on four businesses coming to Hutto.

Public schools cannot require students, teachers, parents, and other staff members or visitors to wear masks after June 4, Gov. Greg Abbott declared in an executive order issued May 18. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
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Read the latest business and education news from the Central Texas area.

Sinaloan seafood restaurant El Coco Pirata is now open in Northwest Austin. (Community Impact Newspaper)
New Mexican seafood spot El Coco Pirata now open in Northwest Austin

El Coco Pirata serves classic Sinaloan seafood dishes.

School supplies will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax Aug. 6-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
What to know before the statewide tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8

Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.

The city of West Lake Hills could move forward with a capital improvements bond for the Nov. 2 election. (Courtesy Pexels)
November bond election supported by West Lake Hills City Council

The bond package could total $25 million and would tackle the city's critical infrastructure needs.

Public schools cannot require students, teachers, parents, and other staff members or visitors to wear masks after June 4, Gov. Greg Abbott declared in an executive order issued May 18. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Leander ISD 'highly recommends' masks for students, staff

Leander ISD updated its COVID-19 protocols this week to include green, yellow and red transmission levels. The district is at its yellow level as of July 28.

Photo of the Sobering Center
Travis County moves forward with plans for mental health diversion program at Sobering Center

The program would divert people experiencing mental health crises away from jail and towards supportive services following low-level offenses.