Saying it was the best option for the city to have its input, the Lakeway City Council unanimously approved a development agreement July 19 that will guide construction of homes on a parcel of land near the intersection of Clubhouse Drive and Long Wood Avenue.

Shortly before voting in favor of the agreement that, if fully realized, would see 16 homes built on 6.36 acres in what is the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, Lakeway Mayor Tom Kilgore said seeing a cluster of homes on the property is not his first choice but that development of the property is now unavoidable due to its high value.

“I wish our city fathers had annexed this in 2006, and I wish they had made it a park, but they didn’t,” Kilgore said. “I think that is just where we are in Lakeway right now. This is probably the best of the bad options.”

Speaking for a group of residents who live near the proposed development, Jeff Locklear said there were several concerns with the proposal from developer Wayne Morgan and 314 Clubhouse Drive LLC, but high among them is the safety of residents walking along Clubhouse and Long Wood, particularly during the construction phase of the homes planned for the site.

Locklear said he and his neighbors will continue to monitor the project as Morgan works permit approvals through the city’s zoning and planning commission. Locklear also wants the city to address existing access to the property from Clubhouse.

“Our next step is to ensure that the council cut off the dirt road to Clubhouse by our house, and also make sure we go to every [commission] meeting and make sure our voices are heard and we have a say there as well.”

Morgan said he has been working on the project he has named the Enclave at Yaupon for 15 months. He said beyond working with the city on the proper approvals, there will be many steps before actual construction of the houses can begin. Site preparation alone is expected to take several months, he said.

“That’s a long process because the property has incredible slope,” Morgan said after the vote. “It’s about 15-18 feet from the flat side. That’s a bunch.”

The process for preparing the slope of property for home construction is known as "cut and fill," according to city documents. In the agreement approved by the city, the cut and fill cannot exceed 12 feet, which council members noted during the meeting is not an uncommon requirement for the city. The agreement also allows for a variance from a typical city requirement. Homes in the community can be set back from the street by 15 feet instead of 25 feet, according to city documents.

Other items of concern mentioned by Locklear included the removal of trees from the property, the size of planned water retention ponds and how the retention ponds drain into surrounding property. Also mentioned was how a proposed street and cul de sac to service the homes would impact a nearby resident living on adjacent property on Bella Montagna Circle.

Before voting to approve the agreement, Council Member Laurie Higginbotham said that items raised by the area residents would be considered as Lakeway staff reviews more detailed building plans.

“A lot of the concerns I am hearing from residents are safety and things that we can still address,” she said. “These are not things that are just going to go by the wayside or we are going to forget about after tonight.”

Morgan’s proposal first came before council at a June public hearing. After a month of conversation with city staff, Morgan revised his plan that now calls for 16 rather than 17 homes and calls for residential zoning that would require a larger minimum lot size and more minimum square footage for each of the homes. Another proposed change is requiring side-entrance garages for the homes rather than garages opening to the street.