Leander City Council approved a concept plan and land-use changes for the Horizon Lake Planned Unit Development and Transit Oriented Development (PUD/TOD) on March 5. The proposed subdivision is located southeast of US 183 and South Street in Leander.
Approved concept plans include 500 single-family homes between 1,500-3,700 square feet, said Peter Verdicchio, a principal of Austin-based land planning company SEC Planning, LLC, which is the project agent. Before the March 5 land-use change, 1,200-1,500 apartments could have been built on the area, Verdicchio said. The city has received one applicant to develop the neighborhood.
The approval also moves the commercial corridor to the northern border of the property beside South Street/RM 2243, instead of the western border along US 183, replacing the former commercial corridor with residential land. Additionally, the land that would hold homes and a future park will be zoned as residential neighborhood.
A planned park will have a fishing pier, walking trail, pavilion, picnic area, off-street parking and playground equipment, Verdicchio said. As the parkland is privately owned, he said, the developer applicant will donate the park to the city to make it publicly accessible. Verdicchio said the improvements will cost a total of $500,000.
Within the PUD and TOD, the Southwestern Foundation, which is represented by SEC Planning, LLC, will own the commercial land, and the developer will purchase the remaining land.
Verdicchio presented several concerns regarding Horizon Lake’s development, including density, environmental impacts, commercial land area, relationship with Capital Metro and traffic. A traffic impact assessment will be discussed further and planned in the next two weeks, Verdicchio said.
At the March 5 meeting, five residents spoke out against Horizon Lake with concerns about traffic, land and the environment.
Mayor Troy Hill said it can be tough to see areas like the future Horizon Park MUD turn into developments, but he said the area is currently zoned to be apartments. Hill said he no longer takes calls about apartment complexes trying to develop in Leander.
“Honestly, it is a breath of fresh air,” he said about the Horizon Lake plan.