Bee Cave City Council tables decision on Central Park roadways

At issue at the May 25 Bee Cave council meeting is a proposed connection to Central Park off RM 620. Currently, a long driveway in that area has a dead-end at the park. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
At issue at the May 25 Bee Cave council meeting is a proposed connection to Central Park off RM 620. Currently, a long driveway in that area has a dead-end at the park. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)

At issue at the May 25 Bee Cave council meeting is a proposed connection to Central Park off RM 620. Currently, a long driveway in that area has a dead-end at the park. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)

After a lengthy public hearing and council discussion that ran for an hour and a half, Bee Cave City Council voted unanimously to table a decision until June on proposed roadways for the city’s Central Park.

City staff will return to council after making adjustments to their proposal based on council feedback received at the May 25 meeting.

Deciding whether to phase in a system of roads and build out more than 300 parking spots at an estimated cost of more than $3 million is the first of many decisions to come for the city’s master plan that will guide the long-term development of Bee Cave’s 60-acre Central Park, which lies just west of RM 620 and Bee Cave Parkway.

A draft master plan presented May 25 to council shows additional future access points to the park, including at Hwy. 71 and RM 620. The idea from city staff is that these access points and accompanying roads running across the park would create greater connectivity to different amenities that would be built in the park over many years. Currently, there is only one entrance to Central Park, and that entrance is at Bee Cave Parkway just west of RM 620.

While Council Member Andrea Willott opened the discussion by saying she was opposed to building any additional roads through the park, most council member discussion that followed centered around a proposed entrance off RM 620 near the current Discount Tire store, which sits along a long drive that leads west to a dead-end at Central Park.

An entrance and road at this spot might encourage northbound motorists on RM 620 to avoid rush hour traffic on the state highway by making a left and cutting through the park, Mayor Kara King said during the meeting.

King said she wanted to find a compromise between her initial opposition to the city staff recommendations for additional park roadways.

“[RM] 620 concerns me the most,” King said during the meeting. “That area of 620 is very congested. Would somebody cut through that area to get to Bee Cave Parkway? Possibly, yes.”

Council Member Jon Cobb said he agreed with the mayor that protecting the park from traffic was a concern, but he said the proposed construction of a major thoroughfare, currently known as Willie Way, on adjoining property to the west as part of The Backyard multiuse development would siphon traffic away from park roads.

“There is no way I would agree to this in any shape or form without Willie Way being there because if Willie Way isn’t there, people would cut through [the park],” Cobb said.

When discussing the southwestern edge of the park, King also said she is opposed, at least in the near term, to a proposal from staff to build a roadway that would connect motorists in Central Park to The Backyard.

“We are not saying ‘not ever.’ We are saying not now,” she said.

Council Member Courtney Hohl said after speaking with staff, she supported increasing the number of roads within the park.

“Just from a usability standpoint and having small kids,” she said. “I feel this plan is going to bring so much to our community from different uses. What I see now are walkers and kids playing sports and the playscape, and that’s pretty much it. There’s so much usable space there that is not being used.”

One other item to likely change in the park designs staff has been working on with consultant MWM Design Group is a proposed traffic circle on the western edge of the park that would be used to slow motorists down as they drive through the park. As proposed, that traffic circle would rival the size of Columbus Circle in New York City, according to consultant David Cazares. Council members said such a circle would take up too much space.

During the meeting and prior to voting to delay a decision on the road plan, council heard from several residents of the nearby The Homestead neighborhood. Residents said while they would support additional parking along the edges of the park, they were against additional roads being built in Central Park because of safety concerns for children in the park and concern about motorists using the roads as shortcuts to avoid traffic on RM 620 and Hwy. 71.

Resident Carrell Killebrew said he takes his grandchildren to Central Park and does not want to ever see traffic flow through the park.

“They have a ton of energy and quite frankly they will go from one end of the park to the other end of the park, to the other end of the park,” he said. “I’m not worried about whether people can get around the park.”
By Greg Perliski
Greg edits Community Impact Newspaper's Lakeway/Lake Travis and Northwest Austin editions. During the course of his diverse career, he has written for newspapers, online publications and corporate communications teams. He earned a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin. You can reach him at [email protected]


The Central Health PUD site is currently being cleared to pave the way for future development. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Central Health's downtown innovation district planned unit development project approved, campus cleared for potential redevelopment

The 14-acre site located between I-35 and Waterloo Park could be redeveloped as a walkable, mixed-use commercial hub.

Eanes ISD trustees adopted a new mission statement during a June 22 board meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD adopts new mission statement

More than 250 community members contributed feedback to the mission statement prior to its approval.

Almost 40 Eanes ISD community members signed up to speak during a June 22 board meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD community members at odds over future of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives

During an open forum session that spanned nearly an hour, community members spoke out in support and opposition of the district's diversity, equity and inclusion work.

West Austin's Lions Municipal Golf Course was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016 due to its significance in the civil rights movement as the first Southern golf course to desegregate. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austinites share their hopes for Muny golf course's future

The Lions Municipal Golf Course is part of a University of Texas-owned property that may be rezoned by the city of Austin over the coming months.

Waterloo Park will open to the public Aug. 14 with a daylong festival, and its Moody Amphitheater is set to host its first ticketed concert Aug. 20. (Courtesy Waterloo Greenway Conservancy)
PHOTOS: Waterloo Park will open Aug. 14 with full-day festival, host Gary Clark Jr. for first ticketed concert Aug. 20

The 11-acre park on Waller Creek features an amphitheater, trails, gardens, play spaces, and a food truck area.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special legislative session will begin July 8. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott announces special legislative session to start July 8

Agenda items will be announced before the session begins, according to a release from the governor's office.

The Lakeway City Council on June 21 considered several housing development proposals within or adjacent to the city limits. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Proposal to build homes near Lakeway's Clubhouse Drive on hold

Residents pushed back on an idea to build 17 homes in Lakeway's extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Bee Cave Orthodontics celebrated five years in business. (Courtesy Bee Cave Orthodontics)
Bee Cave Orthodontics celebrates anniversary, Poke House opens in West Lake Hills and more business news

Here is the most recent business news from the Lake Travis-Westlake area.

Lakeway City Council reported the presence of surveillance cameras in Rough Hollow during the June 21 council meeting. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Rough Hollow surveillance cameras to be removed from Lakeway city streets

Council members report agreement to install equipment not approved by official city action

The Lions Municipal Golf Course is part of one of four University of Texas-owned properties that could move through Austin's rezoning process over the coming months. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Public feedback process now open for rezoning of 4 UT-owned properties, including West Austin's Muny golf course

An initial public engagement session covering the Brackenridge tracts, where Muny is located, will be held June 21.

Buzzfest took place Dec. 17-19 and was open and free to the public. (Courtesy CODAworx)
Bee Cave light installation event nominated for international design award

Buzzfest, a light instlattion festival held in December, has been nominated for an international design award. Public voting to select a winner will be open until June 30.