Bee Cave Council approves Creeks Edge development plan

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Bee Cave Council approved plans with variances for the development of a gated subdivision called Creeks Edge that would allow for the construction of 30 new homes on one-acre lots. The site on Caudill Lane off Hamilton Pool Road is unique since it is only partly in Bee Cave city limits and is shared with the city of Austin’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ).

The variances to Bee Cave city code relate to the width of streets and the developer’s request to eliminate sidewalks. Since a major portion of the proposed streets including the gated access road would be located in Austin’s ETJ, council agreed with recommendations supporting the plans from Bee Cave’s planning and zoning committee.

“It would be troublesome for the developer to follow two different standards for the same street,” wrote city staff in background documents, acknowledging the city of Austin and Travis County had not objected to the narrower pavement width since it meets their standards for privately-maintained residential local streets. It is also the width of the existing lead-up road, Caudill Lane, city staff said.

The proposal recommends streets that are 22 feet wide with a 1 1/2 foot ribbon curb on each side. That total width meets with county standards fire vehicles need for access, city documents show. Bee Cave city code mandates asphalt widths to be 24 feet.

Council Member Monty Parker expressed concern with the width of the development’s streets, indicating it could set a precedent for the city.

“I don’t like slipping to the minimum [street width],” Parker said. “I know it’s a small neighborhood. [But] every time we issue a variance like this, it opens the door for someone else [to make an argument].”

City staff indicated portions of the Spanish Oaks subdivision have narrow, privately-maintained streets.

The sidewalk and street exceptions for Creeks Edge were first approved as part of a preliminary site plan Bee Cave Council passed in 2009. That approval came in tandem with identical preliminary approvals from the city of Austin and Travis County.

No sidewalks

In lieu of sidewalks, developer Destiny Hills Development Inc., is proposing a crushed granite hike and bike trail that would end up alongside Little Barton Creek which borders the northern end of the low density community, records show. City of Austin planners also prefer the crushed granite trail concept since it keeps the level of imperious cover (such as concrete) to a minimum, allowing natural drainage into the Barton Springs Recharge Zone, Bee Cave staff told council.

A final exception council approved allowed a reduction in setback from critical environmental features from 85 feet to 50 feet in some lots. The solution involved putting up a wrought iron fence at that setback depth to prevent any development into those critical areas.

Nine of the home sites are in the city of Bee Cave jurisdiction, with another six in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). Fifteen other homes are in the city of Austin’s ETJ, city documents show. Water will be provided by the West Travis County Public Utility Agency with wastewater provided by on-site, city-permitted septic, documents show. Both cities adhere to state environmental standards for septic systems, city staff said.

The single access to the Creeks Edge development would be from Hamilton Pool Road where it meets Caudill Lane. Documents show a low traffic impact is anticipated.

Before granting construction permits, the city of Bee Cave will require a record of final approvals from the City of Austin and Travis County. And before a final inspection is granted, the developer must record water quality and trail maintenance plans with Travis County.

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Rob is a seasoned journalist, having enjoyed a successful career in radio and television news before joining the world of print and Community Impact in September 2017 as editor of the Lake Travis - Westlake edition. In his spare time, Rob enjoys tasting local craft beer and can be found climbing area rock walls. He lives in Cedar Park with his wife and daughters.

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