Rezoning of church land sent back to Bee Cave staff, charter election called for May 1

Bee Cave City Council Feb. 9 questioned the 60-foot height of a proposed church tower at its recent public meeting. (Community Impact Newspaper staff photo)
Bee Cave City Council Feb. 9 questioned the 60-foot height of a proposed church tower at its recent public meeting. (Community Impact Newspaper staff photo)

Bee Cave City Council Feb. 9 questioned the 60-foot height of a proposed church tower at its recent public meeting. (Community Impact Newspaper staff photo)

Bee Cave City Council on Tuesday declined to update zoning for a parcel of land intended to be the future site of an Episcopal church, citing concerns regarding a potential 60-foot tower to be built on the site.

The 23-acre piece of property is at Hwy. 71 just east of Vail Divide near the Falconhead West subdivision. It would be home to the Church of the Cross Episcopal, whose congregation currently meets at Star Hill Ranch on Hamilton Pool Road, according to the church’s website.

At issue was not the church and associated buildings, but the potential appearance of the tower and its effect on the surrounding neighborhood.

Several council members were concerned about the visibility of the tower by homeowners living along the western and northern boundary of the property on Pyrenees Pass.

Construction of a tower did not seem vital to the operation of the church, said Bee Cave Mayor Kara King.

“I’m not seeing the purpose,” King said. “I would rather see a steeple than a tower, and those are two different things, but I am not here to design a building.”

In fact, much of the site’s details—including building designs—have not yet been completed as construction is still several years away. Some council members asked if they could see renderings of the tower so that they could better visualize the structure.

The church is seeking to zone the property as a public planned development district, or PDD, to allow for the operation of a preschool and construction of a play field.

Council did not oppose those planned features of the property, which could be built in phases, according to city documents.

However, council did ask staff to reevaluate the size of the tower and bring the proposal back to council for consideration at a future meeting.

In other business, the council voted to call a special election May 1 to revise the Bee Cave city charter and to accept the resignation of Andrew Clark from the Bee Cave Development Corporation. The corporation promotes economic development within Bee Cave, according to the city’s website.

Council appointed local business owner and Bee Cave resident Tony Lockridge to replace Clark. Lockridge and his wife, Ann Marie, own Ringlets and Sass Salon located on Hwy. 71 in Bee Cave, according to city documents and the salon's website.

Council also extended an ordinance that allows businesses to apply for the use of temporary signs that advertise special services and operations made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.


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