Lakeway City Council clarifies, amends language in city code as part of new initiatives

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Following recommendations that came from a special zoning and planning commission meeting Feb. 13, Lakeway City Council voted to clarify several elements within its city code centered on the size of C-1 zoned buildings or, more specifically, office, retail and residential buildings. Council also clarified language in city code regarding short-term rentals and included language to ban any new construction of potentially harmful fencing.

Some of the changes made during the Feb. 19 City Council meeting are part of an overarching initiative seeking to clarify several elements within Lakeway’s city code, according to newly appointed Building and Development Services Director Charlotte Hodges.

Pertaining to structures zoned C-1, council voted to clarify an ordinance restricting retail and commercial uses from establishing structures larger than 100,000 square feet. The new ordinance language allows residential structures such as nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to be larger than 100,000 square feet.

Pertaining to short-term rentals, a special-use permit is required, and council voted to clarify language in the city code to say: “All uses or acts not expressly permitted or authorized by this chapter are prohibited in the city, including but not by way of limitation, the following: Operating, maintaining or using property as a short-term rental without a lawfully issued special use permit.”

A Lakeway city document states the language will allow for more consistent and clear enforcement of the city’s short-term rental regulations.

Council also tabled changes and clarifications proposed to city code regarding parking of recreational and waterborne vehicles on any public right of way or private lot.

The proposed language specified allowable time frames, calling for recreational vehicles to be parked up to 72 consecutive hours on a private lot but not more frequently than once every 60 days, and they can be parked for two hours on public right of way or private lot while being loaded and unloaded. Boats can be parked for up to two hours on a public right of way or private lot while being loaded or unloaded but are not given the same 72-hour allowance as RVs.

Several Lakeway residents spoke during the public comment portion of the agenda item, stating mostly that two hours is not enough time to load or unload recreational and waterborne vehicles. Residents also stated the new language was too confusing to understand how to be compliant with the code.

Council tabled the item until Lakeway City Council’s March meeting. In the meantime, Hodges said she and city staff will make further needed clarifications with Lakeway’s city prosecutor to present to council.

Finally, following a recommendation from the wildlife advisory committee, council voted to restrict any new construction of fences that may be harmful to residents and wildlife.

Among the amendments to the city code, language has been added stating: “All fences, including wood, wrought-iron, and ornamental fencing, shall be continuous flat-topped without spikes or sharp points.”

City staff also clarified language in the code stating when a permit is needed or required with regard to fencing, including any time a new fence or screening structure is required and if a repair is required that alters the location or design of the structure.

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Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.
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