Lakeway Zoning and Planning Commission paves way for sweeping clarifications in city code during special meeting

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The city of Lakeway Zoning and Planning Commission on Feb. 13 quickly moved through a special meeting, kicking several amendments up to City Council ranging from the parking of recreational and waterborne vehicles to clarifying within city code language on short-term rentals and the allowable size of assisted- and independent-living centers.

Waterborne and recreational vehicles

The commission voted to recommend City Council approve changes and clarifications to city code regarding parking of recreational and waterborne vehicles on any public right of way or private lot.

The language specifies allowable time frames, allowing 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.

City Manager Steve Jones said during the Feb. 13 meeting there are no substantive changes in city code, only clarifications, with the exception of the allowance of boats to be loaded or unloaded within a two-hour window.

Commission member Carolyn Nichols said the intent of the ordinance is mainly to keep neighborhoods looking nice.

“I think that’s what we have to keep in mind, ‘What is the intent?’” Nichols said. “So, I think this [clarification]would be helpful.”

Short-term rentals

The commission voted unanimously to recommend City Council approve an amendment clarifying language in city code on short-term rentals.

Building and Development Services Director Charlotte Hodges said a special-use permit is required for short-term rentals, but for enforcement situations the language needs to be clarified 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.”

Hodges said specifications within city code clarifying enforcement of special-use permits for short-term rentals is not clearly outlined in the city code at the beginning of the short-term rental ordinance.

Office and retail structures

The commission voted to recommend City Council clarify intent of restrictive language in the city code on structures designated C-1, or retail and office buildings. Language currently held within city code limits the size of big-box and retail stores and states a commercial building can be no larger than 100,000 square feet.

Hodges said the clarifying language is an attempt to allow for more than 100,000 square feet for residential uses, such as retirement centers and assisted-living communities.

Jones said independent- and assisted-living communities are allowed within the C-1 designation for special use, and that is why it is not restricted to a residential designation. He added assisted-living and retirement communities are often bigger than 100,000 square feet.

Hodges also clarified if a large store such as H-E-B requested a size increase, that would have to be approved by way of variance and not a special-use permit, and he said that was a major distinction as to why businesses would not be able to take advantage of this clarification.

Hodges said all three recommendations are slated for Lakeway City Council to vote on during its Feb. 19 meeting.

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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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