Developer looks to bring homes, clifftop restaurant and park to Lake Austin

Lake Austin

Lake Austin

Image description
Camelback graphics
Located on top of a cliff by Lake Austin and the Pennybacker Bridge, the Camelback Tract, purchased by developer Jonathan Coon last year, is now envisioned to encompass homes, a boat dock, a clifftop restaurant and parkland in the future.

Coon proposed amendments to the existing planned unit development, or PUD, plan of the tract. Approved in 1987 by the city of Austin, the plan designated 64 lots for single-family homes, some of which sit along the cliff, he said. The project would pull the residential area away from the cliff and concentrate the homes, Coon said.

“We think it makes more sense to … concentrate this footprint and then take what is a relatively large flat spot up here at the top of this hill and put … amenities that everybody share,” Coon said.

Many neighborhoods nearby endorsed the project. Some neighbors from the opposite side of the lake, however, raised several concerns.

Project design


Coon said a park open to the public with at least 25 free parking spaces would be built along the cliff. A 1,500-foot-long trail within the park would connect to near the overlook next to the bridge, he said. The design could mitigate illegal parking along Loop 360 near the Pennybacker Bridge, he said.

A boat dock and a private clubhouse would be located at the north side of the river bend west of Pennybacker Bridge, according to city documents.

Using drones to monitor boats cruising on the lake for eight hours, Coon said said almost all boaters making turns at the bend chose to avoid the outside of the curve to take a shorter route, and the dock would be relatively safe from collision. He also proposed to build an elevator connected to the cliff edge or other mechanized routes to provide access to the dock.

Coon said he is also negotiating for the purchase of Champions Tract 3, a 45-acre tract located northeast of Camelback. He said he plans to turn the tract into a senior living area. The currently approved site plan for Champions Tract 3 would bring 281 homes to the area, according to city documents. Coon said instead his plan would produce less traffic.

Coon said he would add three turn lanes respectively on West Courtyard Drive, North Capital of Texas Hwy. and City Park Road and extend the left-turn lane on RM 2222 to accommodate traffic. He would also extend Bridge Point Parkway to City Park Road.

The project would be privately funded, Coon said, and he will not seek funding from the city.

Community feedback


The project received endorsement letters from the Austin Neighborhoods Council and six neighborhood associations as of July 26. "It is a delight when a developer chooses to work closely with neighborhoods to create a project that works for neighbors," ANC President Jeff Jack said in a letter.

However, an objection letter from Bunny Run neighborhood residents Bill and Christie Nalle was submitted April 13 to Austin City Council Member Allison Alter from District 10, detailing several concerns.

Bill Nalle told Community Impact Newspaper the boat dock could be dangerous for intoxicated boaters at night.

“[What Coon said] is absolutely true for daytime, but what it fails to consider is we are in a 90-degree turn of the river,” Nalle said. “The river turns to the left, the drunks fail to note the river turns to the left and they run into the boat dock.”

Nalle also spoke against the design of a clubhouse for potential noise pollution. Additionally, he said the Camelback development would add traffic to the West Courtyard Drive and Loop 360 intersection.

Lyra Bemis, president of the Bunny Run Neighborhood Association, said the association has yet to announce its official position but holds a major concern over multiple exemptions from city codes that Coon proposed, along with concerns of light, water and noise pollution; protection of heritage trees; and boating safety.

Addressing Nalle’s concerns, Coon said boaters would have already run into the shores multiple times if they could not notice the turn, and the clubhouse would not feature bright lights or loud music.

Alter said in an email the city is still waiting on staff analysis of the project, particularly in terms of outstanding environmental questions. Wendy Rhoades, case manager of the project, said after the staff review is complete, the development would go before Austin’s Environmental Commission, Zoning and Platting Commission and then City Council for a final decision.

Editor's note: A quote from a letter from the Austin Neighborhoods Council was added to the original posting.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Yue Yu

Yue "Stella" Yu covers Lake Travis, Westlake, Leander and Cedar Park. She is a journalism student at University of Missouri. Prior to this summer, she was a city government reporter at Columbia Missourian. Three things she loves the most: jazz, dogs and community journalism. Feel free to reach out at 573-529-5725 or email her at yyu@communityimpact.com


MOST RECENT

Brad Lancaster, Lake Travis ISD's superintendent, addresses the Lake Travis Chamber about the state of the school district Sept. 21, 2017. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lake Travis ISD collecting community input in its search for a new superintendent

Students, teachers, administrators and local business owners had the chance to provide input on the hiring of a new superintendent at Lake Travis ISD during a series of focus groups Feb. 27.

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, announced Feb. 27 that his is exploring a run for Kirk Watson’s state Senate seat. (Courtesy Eddie Rodriguez)
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez exploring run for Kirk Watson’s state Senate seat

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, announced his resignation from the District 14 seat Feb. 18 and will leave office April 30 for a position at the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs.

RBFCU will celebrate its opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 28. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union opens in the Four Points area

RBFCU opened inside the Four Points Park shopping center in February.

Cori Roberts, a member of the three-person Camp RATT council and resident of the state-sanctioned homeless encampment in Southeast Austin, has been homeless since she was a teenager. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
State to lease sanctioned homeless encampment in SE Austin to chamber-led coalition; plans for 150-bed shelter underway

Representatives of the ATX Helps coalition said they hoped to get the shelter up and running "as soon as possible."

The Travis Central Appraisal District will not increase home appraisal values this year. (Courtesy Fotolia)
After offer, Travis Central Appraisal District and Austin Board of Realtors at market data impasse

After the Austin Board of Realtors offered what it called a possible solution to an ongoing dispute over market data access Feb. 27, the Travis Central Appraisal District said it would not change its decision to use last year’s home appraisal values again this year.

The subdivision located on Laurel Valley Road will contain seven single-family residential lots. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Progress continues on Ledgeway East subdivision in West Lake Hills

The 13-acre plat located on 300 Laurel Valley Road will be subdivided into seven single-family residential lots with the smallest being 1.11 acres and the largest being 4.71 acres

Mayor Linda Anthony and Council Members Brian Plunkett and Darin Walker were running unopposed for the May 2 ballot. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
West Lake Hills cancels May 2 election

Mayor Linda Anthony and Council Members Brian Plunkett and Darin Walker will continue to serve as city officials.

Central Health off East Cesar Chavez Street.
Central Health establishes new executive medical board as first step to begin employing physicians

Following a change in state law that allows Central Health to employ and appoint physicians, the agency took its first step to hiring its own medical professionals.

Compass relocated its office to Rollingwood Center III on Bee Caves Road in mid-February. (Courtesy Compass)
Real estate technology company Compass relocates office to Rollingwood

Compass helps clients prepare their homes for the market by providing various services, including house stagings, cleaning and cosmetic improvements.

Courtesy Cultivate Behavioral Health
Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education opens clinic near Four Points

The clinic provides Applied Behavior Analysis therapy for Austin-area children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

The Mobility Authority board received updates on major western Travis County road projects during a Feb. 26 meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Mobility Authority updates major road projects in western Travis County

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is moving forward with several projects geared toward relieving traffic along some of the busiest corridors in western Travis County.

The board of trustees recognized the district's Best Buddies program during a Feb. 25 meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Westlake High School Best Buddies chapter recognized by Eanes ISD board

Westlake High School became an official chapter of the Best Buddies organization last year.

Back to top