A single-family development plan on Camp Craft Road could give new life to one of West Lake Hills' oldest historic sites after sitting undisturbed for decades.

At a May 8 Board of Adjustment meeting, the City Council heard from Ryan Pitylak, the owner of the 2.65 acre tract where Camp Craft—the road's namesake—operated in the early 20th century.

Pitylak said he purchased the property in 2022 with plans to create a single-family dwelling by using the existing structure of the main camp building.

Some context

In 2016, Community Impact reported the historic site, located at 402 Camp Craft Road, was purchased by the private school Acton Academy South.

The Montessori-style school had plans to turn the main house and two buildings into a schoolhouse for first- to seventh-grade students.

However, due to traffic concerns from neighboring residents, the city declined to rezone the property to a commercial use, said Jennifer Bills, the director of building and development services.

In 2020, the school sold the property to a single-family developer, who then, finding it too difficult to develop, sold it to Pitylak, Bills said.

"When a single family wanted to buy this property we said 'hallelujah!,'” Mayor Linda Anthony said at the meeting. "We really want to see the property restored and revitalized; it will be additive to the community.”

What's next?

Pitylak's construction permits have expired after more than a year of making no progress on the property due to financial struggles.

“It’s an amazing property that has been on the decline for the last couple of years. ... We wanted to do something to honor that, but it's definitely turned out to be bigger that we anticipated," Pitylak said.

Pitylak said he is ready to begin construction on the site later this year, and the council agreed to renew his permits, conditional on his progress.