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.


A new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine could help expand vaccination availability in Travis County, according to local health officials. (Courtesy Pexels)
Johnson & Johnson vaccine could mean additional supply, easier distribution rollout in Travis County

If approved, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be a valuable weapon against the ongoing pandemic, according to local health officials.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

A tree's branches fell on a car in North Austin in the midst of Winter Storm Uri in February. With downed tree limbs and burst water lines causing property damage across Austin, the city has directed additional funds into programs to help some homeowners with emergency home repairs. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Still in crisis mode, Austin City Council initiates recovery following winter storm

With 200 to 400 apartment and condo complexes in Austin still without water, City Council is aiming to direct aid and relieve some of the financial burden felt by residents following the devastating winter storms.

Pet owners are advised to keep their dogs out of Lake Travis. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATE: Lake Travis water samples show no signs of toxic algae; dog owners still urged to keep pets out of water

An initial test of water samples from Lake Travis showed no signs of cyanotoxin or blue-green algae, a bacteria that is poisonous when consumed by dogs.

Rollingwood City Council met Feb. 24 to discuss how Winter Storm Uri impacted the city's water system. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Rollingwood officials evaluate wastewater contractor following historic winter storm

“We were on the cusp of making a decision as to whether or not to cut off water service to our entire city or, alternatively, overflow our lift stations and flow raw sewage into direct channels into Lady Bird Lake,” Mayor Michael Dyson said during a Feb. 24 City Council meeting.

Jo's Coffee opened a North Austin location in January. (Courtesy Chad Wadsworth)
Jo's Coffee opens in Central Austin; new restaurant coming to Georgetown Square and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

Photo of a snowy residential street
'Bad data is worse than no data': Austin health officials unsure how storm affected coronavirus spread

Weekly testing and hospitalization averages will not be updated by Austin Public Health until Feb. 27.

Buff City Soap will open March 4. (Courtesy Buff City Soap)
Buff City Soap is set to open in West Lake Hills

A new shop selling soaps and skin care is coming soon to West Lake Hills.

The majority of Travis County Water District No. 10 customers are no longer under a boil-water notice. (Courtesy Pexels)
Boil-water advisory lifted for all Travis County Water District No. 10 customers except those on Toreador Drive

The advisory has been removed for all residents in the district except for those living on Toreador Drive in West Lake Hills, who remain under a boil notice due to a water leak that occurred Feb. 23.

Eanes ISD trustees continued 20201-22 budget planning during a Feb. 23 virtual board meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD trustees leaning toward 2% compensation increase for 2021-22 school year

While an official vote will not be made until May, a majority of Eanes ISD trustees are leaning toward approving a 2% compensation increase for staff in the 2021-22 school year.