The Lakeway City Council on June 21 considered several housing development proposals within or adjacent to the city limits, moving two forward in the long process toward construction and tabling a third that received strenuous pushback from nearby residents at its public hearing.

Of concern at the June 21 public hearing was a proposal to develop 6.36 acres of land between Long Wood Avenue and Clara Van Drive that lies outside the city limits of Lakeway but within its extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ.

Surrounding residents, particularly from nearby Clubhouse Drive, filled the council chamber and lobby to capacity to listen and participate in a public hearing in which all registered speakers except for the developer spoke out against the proposal as designed, and several speakers asked for a postponement of a decision on the development agreement.

“What is so special about this development?,” said Dustin Crane, who lives on Clubhouse Drive. “Why do we have to decide today? Why can’t we table this for another time?”

While many steps are required before construction would begin, before the council at the June 21 meeting was a proposed development agreement that if adopted would lead to annexation of the property as a means to building 17 single-family houses by 314 Clubhouse Drive LLC. The company is under the direction of Wayne Morgan, who plans to call the site the Enclave at Yaupon.

For most nearby residents, the number of homes proposed and the amount of traffic their construction would create on adjacent roads was the largest difficulty. Also discussed was how to tie the neighborhood of new homes into the surrounding streets – Clara Van, Clubhouse Drive or Long Wood Avenue. The current proposal is to build a drive to connect with Long Wood Avenue.

In response, City Council members told those in attendance that a development agreement was the best way to control how the houses would appear and how any new driveways and roadway would connect into the existing neighborhood.

Because the land is in the city’s ETJ, the developer has the option to work directly with Travis County officials on his proposal, thus limiting the city’s ability to ask for specific types of building material on the homes, Council Member Gretchen Vance said.

“Under the state of Texas, we are a property rights state,” Vance said. “The question to you is do you want the city to control the building materials? ... If we annex it, then the city has some control.”

Council Member Sanjeev Kumar said the development agreement is a way to negotiate with the developer.

“The bottom line is this: Somebody is going to build something there,” Kumar said. “We need to figure out what we can negotiate by doing it through an agreement.”

Kumar made his comment in part to respond to resident Deana Locklear, who lives on Clubhouse Drive.

During the public hearing, she said when Kumar visited local residents about the subject he acted “smugly.”

“Shame on you,” she said while looking at Kumar sitting on the dais.

At that point, Kilgore gaveled the meeting to order.

Following the public hearing and a council discussion, members voted 5-2 to table voting on the development agreement and will bring the issue up again at its July 19 meeting.

Other developments move forward

In other business, the Lakeway City Council unanimously approved a development agreement with Legacy DCS for 43.88 acres that lie at the end of Flint Rock Road west of Serene Hills Drive. The development agreement includes a provision for reserving right of way for the city to use in the future to extend Flint Rock Road to Bee Creek Road.

Residents who spoke at the public hearing on the matter said they were concerned about the amount of traffic that such a connection would create, and city staff said while the connection is in the city’s long-term thoroughfare plan, construction such a Flint Rock Road connection would not be accelerated in the city’s road plans because of the approval of the development, scheduled to be named East Side Landing.

Also, council approved zoning 5.46 acres at 570 Rupen Drive for residential housing.

The approval of development agreements and zoning is one of many steps required by the city before actual construction can begin. In the case where council has approved zoning, final site designs, or plats, must be reviewed first by the Lakeway Zoning and Planning Commission before then reaching the City Council for additional review.