The developers of a 12.23-acre subdivision received the green light April 28 from West Lake Hills City Council for a variance request regarding a private roadway.
The residential subdivision known as Wild Cat Estates is proposed to encompass seven lots, some of which will be used for natural conservation, at 0 Wild Cat Hollow Drive, West Lake Hills.
The developer, Foursquare Builders LCC, requested a variance from council to construct a private street approximately 20 feet wide rather than the public street required by the city’s code.
Anjali Naini, the city’s director of building and development, said the city requires subdivisions greater than 10 acres to provide a new internal roadway that would be open to the public.
However, in light of special circumstances and concerns from neighbors. West Lake Hills building and development staff feel compliance with the code would create an unnecessary hardship, according to Naini, who recommended approving the variance request.
The property is already accessed by a private roadway—Foursquare intends to extend the narrow private access in lieu of a wider public road, the city’s staff report states.
“The neighbors that are on the private road have all sent their support in it being private,” David Altounian, a representative of Foursquare, told council.
Two neighbors adjacent to the property expressed their support of the variance request through emails to city staff.
"The wider public street would be very disruptive and change the landscape incredibly and require extensive tree removals, which I would be very much against,” resident Roy Stocker wrote.
However, the city also received three emails against the construction of a private roadway, all of which reside uphill from the site on Skyline Drive.
One of those residents is Chris Gunter, who also spoke during the April 28 council meeting. Gunter said his main area of concern related to fire safety regulations.
“We want the fire department to be able to have meaningful access to every lot in the subdivision,” Gunter said.
According to the developers, the subdivision will meet all fire codes including 100-foot turning radius, fire hydrants and 20-foot access easements, among other requirements.
These requirements and others will be reviewed when Foursquare submits an official subdivision application to the city, according to City Administrator Travis Asky, who said the variance at hand solely pertains to the roadway.
Upon discussion, the developers also said they were willing to communicate with Michael Lacey, Travis County Emergency Services District No. 7 fire marshal, regarding his recommendations.