West Lake Hills Mayor Linda Anthony declared a local state of disaster April 11, after the roadway for a public right of way located near Wildcat Hollow in West Lake Hills was exposed during an illegal excavation.

The overview

On or around April 4, residents near the Wildcat Hollow development made unauthorized and unpermitted cuts and excavations to the road in a public right of way near the development, according to the disaster declaration issued by the city of West Lake Hills.

“The property owner adjacent to that section of roadway did some excavation and caused the edge of the roadway to be exposed,” City Manager Trey Fletcher said. “It's already a narrow road; out of public safety and interest, the road is, until we know better and can further assess it and put it back together, a little bit compromised.”

While the exposed roadway only affects about 50 yards of road, the city will still have to pay for the damages, and “procedurally” a disaster declaration is the best way to handle that, Fletcher said.

“If the city is needing to expend funds to remedy the situation, then a natural disaster or emergency funds can be expended and [the city] can take whatever actions are necessary to alleviate the issue or threat to public safety and put us in the best light to recover expenditures,” he said.

In an email to Community Impact, Fletcher said the scope and the cost of the repair required is still to be determined.

Quote of note

“I would say this is a very public way to deal with a very pragmatic issue that we're just working to resolve,” Fletcher said.


Fletcher also said the timeline to fix the roadway is still unknown, but they are working “in earnest to have shorter disruptions.”

A detour has been set up in front of the residents’ property and right of way to make it a one-way road at this time, he said.

Digging deeper

Texas Government code defines disaster as the “occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from any natural or man-made cause, including fire, flood, earthquake, wind, storm, wave action, oil spill or other water contamination, volcanic activity, epidemic, air contamination, blight, drought, infestation, explosion, riot, hostile military or paramilitary action, extreme heat, cybersecurity event, other public calamity requiring emergency action or energy emergency.”