Editor's note: A previous version of the article attributed the following quote to Travis Baird, but it was actually said by Travis Cooley: "We're missing a middle market in Georgetown... There are many people that work here that would love to live here but can't afford to."

The city of Georgetown is one step closer to having more density-focused housing after council gave initial approval to development plans for land next to the Teravista neighborhood on April 23.

Ahead of the vote, dozens of community members voiced opposition to the plan, citing a variety of safety, privacy and traffic concerns.

The gist

The planned unit development, named Lookout Ridge, will feature 330 total units, including both single-family homes and two-family duplexes.

The neighborhood will be located on 41 acres of undeveloped land north of the Teravista neighborhood and south of several parcels zoned for industrial development and business parks.

At the meeting, Assistant Planning Director Travis Baird said the higher density housing could provide a buffer between the industrial area and the single-family residential area.

"We're missing a middle market in Georgetown," said developer Travis Cooley of Cooley Capital during the meeting. "There are many people that work here that would love to live here but can't afford to."

To provide more affordable options, Cooley said the units will be below Georgetown's median home price of $435,000.

What residents are saying

During the public hearing, several residents from neighboring areas spoke in opposition to the development.

Many said the introduction of hundreds of households would cause overcrowding within local schools and increased traffic to the area.

Additionally, residents Ashley Browne and Liz Wick, whose properties directly border the development, said the plans did not provide adequate backyard privacy.

"It's not that we don't want this project. We recognize that there's going to be development next to us, and a townhouse community is not a bad thing to have next to us," said Wick, who is a member of the Teravista Homeowners Association. "The transition space, and the safety and the traffic were our concerns. And none of those things were addressed."

Cooley said he and members of the HOA have been in contact since October 2023. Since then, the plans have undergone 13 revisions to address residents' concerns, he said.

Wick said she felt residents were not given enough time and notice of the revisions to form a proper compromise.

What the city is saying

Several council members cited a new state law as part of their reason to move for approval of the plans.

Senate Bill 2038 went into effect last September, allowing properties within a city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction—the unincorporated area surrounding city limits—to remove themselves from the ETJ, thus avoiding city zoning laws.

Mayor Josh Schroeder said if developments in Georgetown's ETJ, such as the Lookout Ridge project, face enough rejection from the city, they can opt into the county's looser development rules.

"With the laws in the state of Texas, this is the best option you're going to get," Schroeder said to nearby residents. "The alternatives of what can go here are limitless and pretty really bad."

What's next?

While major changes to the site plans are unlikely, Baird said there will be minor changes and updates presented to council at future meetings.

Cooley said road construction for the development could begin as soon as late 2024.