West Travis County Public Utility Agency approves settlement agreement on Provence development

Residents held a protest outside of Bee Cave City Hall on Nov. 10. (Courtesy Nancy Hernandez)
Residents held a protest outside of Bee Cave City Hall on Nov. 10. (Courtesy Nancy Hernandez)

Residents held a protest outside of Bee Cave City Hall on Nov. 10. (Courtesy Nancy Hernandez)

Following months of delays and opposition from nearby residents, The West Travis County Public Utility Agency finalized a settlement agreement with the developers of Provence, a subdivision off Hamilton Pool Road, during a Dec. 17 board of directors meeting.

Members returned from a privately held executive session to approve the agreement through a 4-1 vote with President Scott Roberts abstaining. There was no public discussion regarding the agency’s decision.

The litigation involves four separate litigants, two of which represent the developers of Provence, Masonwood Development LLP, and two of which involve John and Sandra Hatchett, the landowners of the site at 16314 Hamilton Pool Road.

While the details of that litigation have not been made public, those in opposition to Provence said the settlement encompasses the extension of 1,137 water taps or LUEs—the living-unit equivalent that is used to measure water service. Notably, the WTCPUA denied this request in 2017.

Phase 1 of Provence—which is approved for 700 LUEs—is under construction and will encompass 673 homes within 350 acres, according to Marketing Manager Samantha Meredith. Provence has requested the additional LUEs In order to move forward with future phases included in the master plan of the development.

Residents in protest, including the community group Hamilton Pool Road Matters, said the water service extension would pose environmental and traffic risks to their relatively rural community and encourage more developments of this nature. Several residents also argued the extension would require a future upgrade to the Hamilton Pool water line.

“Increasing the capacity of the Hamilton Pool Road water line would be a major undertaking. There’d be substantial engineering challenges,” resident Gene Lowenthal told the WTCPUA on behalf of HPR Matters.

Though many residents spoke against the additional water taps, several individuals expressed support for the settlement, including Jim Radar who said he has been a homebuilder in Austin for 22 years.

Growth is heading to the Hamilton Pool region west of Hwy. 71, and Radar said the movement to dislodge developments will make it impossible for the area’s future generations to afford to live in the communities they grew up in.

“We need affordable housing in the Lake Travis [ISD] school district,” Radar said, adding that Provence is the least expensive new housing option in the area.
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.