Bee Cave to hold October public hearing on The Backyard property assessments

Arranging financing of infrastructure improvements has pushed back The Backyard construction to early 2022. (Rendering courtesy JPD Backyard Finance)
Arranging financing of infrastructure improvements has pushed back The Backyard construction to early 2022. (Rendering courtesy JPD Backyard Finance)

Arranging financing of infrastructure improvements has pushed back The Backyard construction to early 2022. (Rendering courtesy JPD Backyard Finance)

The Bee Cave City Council voted Oct 13 to hold a public hearing later this month to decide whether future property owners within the 35-acre The Backyard multiuse development will pay special assessments on their land to pay back public development bonds.

Dollars generated by the assessments would fund $18.38 million in infrastructure construction, such as roads and utilities, needed to complete the project. If fully constructed, it would include a 3,700-seat amphitheater, a dance hall, hotel and shopping.

In related action, Bee Cave council members also voted to approve the marketing of the tax-exempt bonds to the investment community. Both actions are part of the Backyard Public Improvement District (PID) that the council voted to create in October 2020.

Arranging and approving the complex set of financing documents is a significant reason that The Backyard development has yet to begin, said Christi Van Rite, co-manager of JPD Backyard Finance LLC, which is developing the project. Earlier this year, she said her development team was looking forward to a late summer start, but the date to break ground is now moving to early 2022, she said.

“We are thinking probably Q1 of next year,” Van Rite said. “We wanted to make sure this is all in place. This is a significant resource for us.”

The Bee Cave City Council will hold the formal public hearing to create the property assessments Oct. 26 at Bee Cave City Hall.

While the city of Bee Cave would vote to apply the assessments, the general public is not affected by the assessments, and those assessments would only be paid by the property owners within the PID, according to city documents.

Planning underway to bring Special Olympics to Lake Travis area

In other business, Bee Cave City Council voted unanimously to dedicate $100,000 in hotel occupancy taxes toward the Special Olympics of Texas. The organization is planning to bring its state winter games to the Lake Travis area, said Chad Eason, Director of Competition & Games.

The event, planned for February 2022, would bring between 2,000 to 3,000 people to the area to watch three days of competitive games such as floorball, volleyball and powerlifting. The budget for the event is estimated at $187,000, according to the presentation made to council.

Star Hill Ranch on Hamilton Pool Road is tentatively scheduled to host the event, and the Sonesta Bee Cave hotel has blocked rooms for the event weekend that would begin Feb. 18, Easton told council during brief remarks.

Former Bee Cave council member Marie Lowman, who has a teenage daughter who is a Special Olympics athlete and attended the council meeting, said a similar request for hotel tax funds is expected to be made to the city of Lakeway.

City to pursue workforce housing proposals

During the Oct. 13 meeting, Bee Cave council members directed staff to seek proposals from private developers for building workforce housing on a parcel of city-owned land across from Tordera Drive off Bee Cave Parkway. The 22-acre piece of land is known as the Skaggs parcel, which the city of Bee Cave purchased in 2016.

The proposal would allow developers to assume some relaxed city standards, such as allowing up to 55% of the property to have impervious cover, according to direction provided to staff from council during the council meeting. A workforce housing project had been proposed to be built in neighboring Lakeway.

City action is needed because private developers have yet to step forward with a proposal to develop workforce housing, Bee Cave City Manager Clint Garza said.

“We’ve been waiting since I’ve been here for the private sector to come in,” Garza said. “If we can relax the rules in some ways and throw in our own property in the mix then perhaps the private developers will come and find a way to make it work”
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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