Lakeway's March timing for Main Street extension likely opposed by developers

Austin Attorney Andrew York addresses Lakeway City Council
Austin attorney Andrew York addresses Lakeway City Council. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin attorney Andrew York addresses Lakeway City Council. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)

Following a decision it made last month, the Lakeway City Council voted unanimously Dec. 21 to revise the agreement that governs development at the Oaks at Lakeway commercial center on RM 620. That agreement now requires that an extension of Main Street begin by March.

Council members voted on the ordinance updating the Oaks at Lakeway planned unit development, or PUD, but not before briefly hearing an objection from Austin attorney Andrew York representing Stratus Lakeway Center LLC, the principal developer of the Oaks project.

He said Stratus opposed the PUD revision because its initial agreement to build Main Street beyond Medical Drive was closely tied to Stratus also building low-density residential housing at the site. No such development has taken place since the PUD was created in 2014.

As a result, Stratus sees the requirement adopted by council as a violation of Texas municipal code, York said. The code requires the city to demonstrate to Stratus how the Oaks development makes the Main Street extension necessary, he said. Main Street currently runs from RM 620 to Medical Drive, and the city's planning documents envision Main Street providing commuters a connection to Lohmans Crossing.

“Basically, it puts the onus on the city to present a professional engineer’s opinion, laying out the case why it is proportional and allows the owner opportunity to object or appeal,” York told council.

The idea of proportionality is laid out in Texas Local Government Code, according to the Texas Public Law website. The law states a municipality can require a developer to pay for costs such as road construction, but those costs “may not exceed the amount required for infrastructure improvements that are roughly proportionate to the proposed development as approved by a professional engineer,” according to the public law website.

York said if Lakeway were to delay action on the ordinance, it would create an opportunity for Stratus to discuss the Main Street issue with the city.

Before council voted for the Oaks PUD revision, Lakeway Mayor Sandy Cox said previous attempts by Lakeway to discuss Main Street with Stratus have been unsuccessful.

“By the way, we would welcome a conversation with your clients,” she said. “We’ve tried several times.”

In other business, Lakeway Estates received approval from City Council for its final plat.

The 46-acre development, northwest of Serene Hills Elementary School off Serene Hills Drive, will have 23 residential lots and a private drive. Lots will be from 1 to nearly 3 acres, according to city documents. The development has gone through various iterations since the city of Lakeway annexed the area in 2007.

Also, the council voted unanimously to accept a fee of $128,000 from the developers of Serene Hills in lieu of the developer performing parkland improvements on a 8.35-acre parcel of land that City Council accepted Dec. 21 as city parkland.

The acreage in question is east of Serene Hills Drive, off Crestone Stream Drive, and the transaction for the parkland and the fee was associated with council’s approval of a final plat for a fifth phase of Serene Hills.
By Greg Perliski

Editor, Lake Travis/Westlake & Northwest Austin

Greg joined Community Impact as an editor in November 2020. In the communities he covers, Greg reports on local government, transportation, real estate development and business. He has written for newspapers, online publications and corporate communications teams. Greg earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.