Lost Creek Limited District to begin charging fee for access at its entrance to Barton Creek greenbelt

The Lost Creek Limited District met virtually May 13. (Screenshot courtesy Lost Creek Limited District)
The Lost Creek Limited District met virtually May 13. (Screenshot courtesy Lost Creek Limited District)

The Lost Creek Limited District met virtually May 13. (Screenshot courtesy Lost Creek Limited District)

During its May 13 meeting, the Lost Creek Limited District board of directors voted unanimously to begin charging nonresidents to access the greenbelt from the Barton Creek low water crossing entrance point.

The board stated the fees, $10 per adult over 12 years of age and $5 per dog, will help defray taxpayer costs for "security and maintenance related to increased use of the Lost Creek Greenbelt."

Information from the limited district states the fee pilot program will begin May 29 and last until Aug. 2, at which point it will be re-evaluated.

During discussion of the fee program, board members said the greenbelt has been overrun with security issues caused by a small percentage of greenbelt attendees. The board also discussed a high volume of trash accumulation, excessive parking up and down Lost Creek Boulvard, dog attacks, nudity, drug use and general drunkenness within the greenbelt as problems Lost Creek residents are dealing with.

"Those are the issues. They are bad," said Megan Marrs, Lost Creek Limited District vice president.


Though the board members see this as a necessary action to help diminish problems with certain visitors to the greenbelt, they also indicated cognizance of the optics of a fee program for nonresidents.

"I want to make sure that we are being fair in the community and particularly, at this time, when people are limited in their opportunities to spend free time that we're not trying to take away one of the things that they can do," Board Member Andy Bitner said.

The board also pointed out during the May 13 meeting the Lost Creek entrance is one of seven other entrances to the Barton Creek greenbelt.

"We have to think about the entire neighborhood," said Leah Stewart, Lost Creek Limited District president, who added that the Lost Creek greenbelt entrance differs from the greenbelt's seven other entrances. "In our case, the water is right there—right next to the country club; right next to the bike path for our children; right next to a number of houses—and so, I think our interest in security is a little different than some of those other entrances."

The plan to implement the pilot policy for fee implementation was initially set at four hours on Friday and eight hours on Saturday and Sunday, but the board landed on a more general phrase encompassing "peak times" that may be subject to change.

During discussion of the fee program, several board members invoked the ongoing River Place fee system as at least partially informing the Lost Creek decision. That program has proven controversial since it was discovered that at least some of the nature trail within the River Place Limited District was underwritten by a grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which resulted in that department pursuing an investigation into the legality of the fees.

The Lost Creek board also voted May 13 to contract with the same company that manages fee implementation for River Place.

The next steps involve the board expanding security and hiring ticket takers to implement the program, notifying Lost Creek residents, placing appropriate signage at the greenbelt and solidifying a messaging campaign to notify the public, among other actions.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


MOST RECENT

The first COVID-19 vaccines are on their way to Austin. (Courtesy Baylor College of Medicine)
Thousands of Austin-area healthcare workers will receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December

The Austin area is set to receive 13,650 doses of the vaccine by mid-December for healthcare workers in Travis, Hays and Williamson counties.

Foodie's Corner and Weikel's Bakery are now open in Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Foodie's Corner, Weikel's Bakery open in Leander and more Austin-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin Public Health leaders offer insight on COVID-19 vaccine distribution schedule

Local physicians could administer does fo the Pfizer vaccine to high-priority individuals as soon as Dec. 17, one official said.

Local Austin act the Peterson Brothers perform at the historic Continental Club in 2019. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Council experiment could send $15 million in hotel taxes to 'iconic' music venues, restaurants

The move represents the latest attempt by the city to save live music venues and restaurants that are struggling through the pandemic.

Adorn Boutique owner Kim Chalet, right, and Lakeway location employee Kari Pakarinen work at the shop. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Adorn Boutique celebrates 10 years in business and more business news from the Lake Travis-Westlake region

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

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First allotment of COVID-19 vaccinations expected to arrive in Texas in mid-December

About 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allotted to the state of Texas and will arrive the week of Dec. 14.

Frontyard Brewing opened Nov. 14 in Spicewood. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
New brewery opens in Spicewood and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community updates from Central Texas.

Traffic moves along the upper decks of I-35 near downtown Austin on Dec. 1. The Texas Department of Transportation is seeking public feedback on a $4.9 billion project to improve the 8-mile stretch of I-35 through downtown. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
TxDOT is spending billions to fix I-35 through downtown Austin, but some community members say the state is wrong in its approach

A report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute released Dec. 1 said the 8-mile stretch of I-35 from Hwy. 290 to SH 71 is the most congested roadway in the state.

Graphic of a coronavirus unit
COVID-19 rates after Thanksgiving have yet to climb, but experts say spike could still be coming

As Austin awaits a vaccine whose first doses could arrive by the end of 2020, health officials say the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings on the spread of the virus could take time to show up.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

Foster Angels of Central Texas is hosting a toy drive for Central Texas teens living in foster care. (Courtesy Foster Angels of Central Texas)
10 Lake Travis-Westlake nonprofits to support this Giving Tuesday

As the holiday season approaches, Dec. 1 marks Giving Tuesday, an official day of global generosity.