Lakeway City Council unanimously approved Jan. 19 the annexation and zoning of 11.03 acres in the Lakeway Highlands subdivision, clearing the way for the property to be developed at some point as a city park.

Council members approved the measures after hearing from some residents living in the neighboring Crosswind community in Spicewood.

Residents asked Lakeway City Council to delay action on the parcel of land, which lies east of Crosswind Drive and west of the Tomichi Trail in an area adjacent to the Rough Hollow Elementary School. Crosswind residents said time is needed to study the park’s potential impact on water quality in nearby Little Rough Hollow Cove. Residents also asked the land be zoned as a greenbelt rather than parkland.

Before voting, council members said a park with amenities such as sports fields is needed, and city staff could ensure park plans consider environmental impacts.

“There have been people buying homes there since 2006 that expected that park to be built,” Lakeway Council Member Louis Mastrangelo said. “I also have faith in our building and development team that they will make sure that these [park plans] meet the water quality requirements and that this park will be built to the standards we expect.”

Exact details of the park’s features and topography have yet to be decided but are included as part of Lakeway’s larger master park plan. A draft of the park plan is under evaluation by city staff and council members.

Council reviewed a draft of its master park plan at the meeting. The draft includes a proposal for park amenities at the Lakeway Highlands site that council annexed. The draft plan names the area annexed as Butler Park, and among the proposed amenities are sports fields, basketball courts, natural areas and playground equipment catered to people with disabilities.

Crosswind is a community of about 85 homeowners whose lots are situated in an unincorporated area of Spicewood. The community has a lakefront park along Little Rough Hollow Cove.

Crosswind resident Christy Muse told council members during the public hearing portion of the council meeting that keeping the land in a more natural state would be better for the water quality in Lake Travis.

"We ask that you consider zoning this tract as greenbelt," Muse said. "It will be much better for the water quality in the lake; more sports fields are not necessary; and it will be a much gentler and neighborhood friendly transition between Crosswind and Lakeway."

In other business, council members heard a report on the deer population within Lakeway from Kolbe Ranches & Wildlife. The report stated a survey of deer undertaken last November and December showed the population has changed very little in the past four years and is more likely to decline in number than grow.