Hamilton Pool Road residents frustrated over development, lack of representation
Frustration and misunderstanding dominated the public comment period of Bee Cave City Council’s Oct. 27 remote meeting—when 13 citizens commented regarding a new residential development along Hamilton Pool Road and the public utility agency that will service it. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff Photo)
The majority of comments expressed frustration with the West Travis County Public Utility Agency. The publicly owned water and wastewater utility, which services western Travis County and northern Hays County, approves new water lines and permits.
Most commenters also said they were worried that the rural charm that drew them to western Travis County could be compromised by Provence, a 450-acre, master-planned community located at 16314 Hamilton Pool Road, Austin, about 3 miles southwest of the SH 71 intersection.
According to its website, Provence is currently selling build-to-suit homes on 209 available lots starting at $390,000 in the first two sections of the community. In 2021, 67 additional home sites will be offered for sale.
When built-out, Provence is scheduled to have more than 650 homes, according to the development’s website.
Most of the commenters do not live in Bee Cave’s city limits nor in its extraterritorial jurisdiction. Mayor Kara King said that Bee Cave has no control over properties outside its city limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction.
However, Bee Cave does appoint two of the five members on the WTCPUA Board. City Manager Clint Garza and Jack Creveling serve on the board, which meets monthly on the third Thursday at 1 p.m.
The five-member board is rounded out by two appointees from Hays County and one from the Lake Pointe Municipal Utility District. Although they are paying customers, Travis County residents along Hamilton Pool Road are not represented on the board, commenters said.
“We have no representation on the PUA board,” said Peter Golde, a resident of the Belvedere subdivision, which is less than 2 miles west of the Provence development.
Some said they feared continued development along the two-lane Hamilton Pool Road would create traffic hazards and diminish the rural quality of life of the area.
Paula Priour, a Hamilton Pool Road resident, claimed that developers want to “pack the rural arteries with densely clustered homes on postage stamp lots."
Garza said the Texas Department of Transportation plans to install a center-turn lane and improved shoulders along Hamilton Pool Road. Construction is scheduled to start in July 2021, according to Garza.
Others said they feared that the 20% impervious cover limit might be waived within Provence and adversely affect water quality. However, Dan Ryan, an engineer for the Provence development, said construction has been in complete compliance.
“All the approvals, all the construction has been in order,” Ryan said during the public comment period.
King said misinformation about Provence and the city’s involvement had been circulated on social media. She said the WTCPUA will be on the city’s agenda for the Nov. 10 meeting.
King encouraged those who spoken at the Oct. 27 meeting to watch that meeting as well.
“I hope all these people will tune in to the Nov. 10 meeting, King said. “We’ll have a very robust conversation.”