Save Hamilton Pool Road protest held in opposition to development

A protest was held outside of Bee Cave City Hall Nov. 10 in opposition to a development on Hamilton Pool Road. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
A protest was held outside of Bee Cave City Hall Nov. 10 in opposition to a development on Hamilton Pool Road. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)

A protest was held outside of Bee Cave City Hall Nov. 10 in opposition to a development on Hamilton Pool Road. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)

Editors note: This story was adjusted to correct some inaccuracies including the fact that the Provence development is not within Bee Cave’s extra territorial jurisdiction The litigant group against the WTCPUA was furthered clarified.

Hamilton Pool Road residents rallied outside Bee Cave City Hall, prior to a Nov. 10 City Council meeting, in staunch opposition to a potential expansion of the Hamilton Pool Road waterline an action they said could result in the escalation of intrusive development in their semi-rural community.

Due to a series of legal steps playing out in real time, those opposed to what they see as unnecessary development west of Hwy. 71 are trying to stop the process before it goes further through a strategy that involves holding officials to account on a resolution passed seven years prior.

Specifically, the West Travis County Public Utility Agency, one of three active publicly-owned water and wastewater agencies in Texas, may deliberate Nov. 19 on litigation involving four separate litigants, two of which represent the developers of Provence, a subdivision southwest of the Hwy. 71 intersection, according to the WTCPUA agenda.

City Manager Clint Garza told Community Impact Newspaper that details of that settlement agreement have not been released to the public, but those in opposition said the settlement agreement under review encompasses the possible extension of 1,137 water taps, or LUEs— the living unit equivalent which is used to measure water service.

Records show the WTCPUA previously denied this extension of service in 2017.

A press release from an activist group called Save Hamilton Pool Road states that among other detrimental impacts, the installation of those water taps would require a massive upgrade to the waterline and open up the rural scenic corridor to a proliferation of dense development, traffic congestion and pollution of the Barton Creek watershed.

Those contesting the waterline upgrade and tap expansion said that the developers of the 400-acre master planned community would be the main beneficiary of water taps under debate, which is why they have focused their attention on that development and the impending settlement agreement.

Provence is located just outside of Bee Cave’s city limits at 16314 Hamilton Pool Road and is currently under construction by Masonwood Developerment LLP.

Phase 1 of Provence will encompass 673 homes within 350 acres and should be fully built out by 2030, Masonwood marketing manager Samantha Meredith previously told Community Impact Newspaper.

After the Nov. 10 rally, residents moved inside City Hall chambers to address Bee Cave City Council during the public comment session of its monthly meeting.

During that meeting, those in opposition indicated the additional water taps could enable Provence to increase the development to more than 1,600 homes and called upon council to advocate against the action.

However, Bee Cave officials maintained the decisions made among the five-member WTCPUA board are outside of the city’s direct control.

While council cannot dictate the decisions of the agency, it does appoint two members to serve on its board. Currently, those members are local developer Jack Creveling and City Manager Clint Garza.

Though many residents have said the city manager’s appointment creates a conflict of interest, Garza disagrees.

“I don’t feel conflicted,” he said. “When I represent the city, I’m representing the City Council and the city in full, and when I represent the PUA, I represent the PUA and the ratepayers in full.”

During public comment of the Nov. 10 council meeting, those opposing the decision drew attention to a July 2013 resolution passed by City Council which stated the city’s objection to Provence’s plans. Mayor Kara King is the only current member of the council that served in 2013.

Among those who pointed out the city’s previous objection to the infrastructure expansion at Provence was Rick Scadden, who is also president of the newly formed Southwestern Travis County Groundwater Conservation District.

For her part, King said she still supports the spirit of the 2013 resolution and told residents city council has never rescinded the action. Bolstering King’s point, City Attorney Megan Santee said resolutions are not legally binding documents and simply state a policy decision.

In line with King and Santee, Garza said the city has not taken any official position on Provence or the service extension since the 2013 resolution. Ultimately, he said, the decision remains with the PUA.

The WTCPUA will hold its monthly board meeting Nov. 19 within city hall. Those meetings are open to the public and can be streamed virtually.

By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


Local health leaders are urging caution ahead of Thanksgiving. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Ahead of Thanksgiving, Travis County health officials urge caution

Austin Public Health leaders say gatherings with people outside one's household held indoors and without masks pose the greatest risk.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

P. Terry’s Burger Stand is expected to open its long-awaited Pflugerville location this January. (Courtesy P. Terry's Burger Stand)
P. Terry's to open in Pflugerville in January and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.

Austin voters approved a $7.1 billion public transit expansion Nov. 3 that will add bus and rail in Austin. (Design by Miranda Baker/Community Impact Newspaper)
After historic public transportation vote, here is what's next for Project Connect in Austin

Shovels won't be hitting the ground on the light rail and downtown tunnel for years, but work is getting started now after Austinites approved the $7.1 billion plan Nov. 3.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

Hamilton Pool Road residents protest outside of Bee Cave City Council on Nov. 10. (Courtesy Nancy Hernandez)
West Travis County Public Utility Agency delays settlement decision on development off Hamilton Pool Road

A lawsuit between the West Travis County Public Utility Agency and the developers of a Provence, a subdivision off Hamilton Pool Road, will remain unresolved following a decision made during a Nov. 19 board meeting.

Festival attendees will have access to augmented reality artworks throughout the galleria. (Courtesy Bee Cave Arts Foundation)
Inaugural interactive light festival coming soon to Bee Cave and more Central Texas updates

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Schools now have the power to temporarily suspend on-campus instruction if “a significant number of the instructional staff at the campus is impacted due to a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak." (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency authorizes schools to close doors for 14 days due to coronavirus-related staffing concerns

Campuses can now instate a hybrid or fully remote instruction model for up to 14 days if adequate instructional staffing is not possible due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases among employees.

Fluff Meringues & More will be featured at The Wayback Cafe & Cottages. (Courtesy Fluff Meringues & More)
Fluff Meringues & More opens pop-up at The Wayback and more Lake Travis-Westlake-area business news

Here is the most recent business news from the Lake Travis-Westlake area.

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions ended its grand opening event with a fireworks display Nov. 14. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions celebrates grand opening in Round Rock and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular stories from the past week from the Austin area.

Festival attendees will have access to augmented reality artworks throughout the galleria. (Courtesy Bee Cave Arts Foundation)
New interactive light festival generates buzz in Bee Cave

Nonprofit arts organization, the Bee Cave Arts Foundation is gearing up for its first annual light festival, Buzzfest, which will take place at the Hill Country Galleria.

Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox urged continued use of masks and social distancing until a vaccine is available. (Screenshot courtesy city of Lakeway)
No new COVID-19 recommendations for Lakeway, but mayor urges continued caution

Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox urges continued use of masks and social distancing until vaccine is available.