Leander zoning commission recommends changes to future land-use plan near Savanna Ranch

Leander Planning and Zoning Commission further amended a Future Land Use Plan to further curtail the size of a planned industrial district near the intersection of Heritage Grove Road and Oak Grove Road.

Leander Planning and Zoning Commission further amended a Future Land Use Plan to further curtail the size of a planned industrial district near the intersection of Heritage Grove Road and Oak Grove Road.

After several residents spoke against having an industrial district near the Heritage Grove Road and Oak Grove Road intersection, the Leander Planning and Zoning Commission decided at its meeting Aug. 10 that while industrial development is necessary to the city, industrial area can be reduced to protect the neighborhood and environment.

In Leander's existing future land use plan, which recommends how properties should be used in the future, the area directly north of Heritage Grove between Oak Grove and the railroad are intended for industrial use.

In July, Leander City Council denied a request from the Building Abatement Demolition Co. Inc. for heavy industrial and heavy commercial zoning in the area after residents spoke against the proposal. The request was in line with the existing future land-use plan, according to city documents.

Due to the proximity of the potential industrial district and the Savanna Ranch neighborhood directly to the west, city staff proposed to create a 500-foot mixed-use corridor in between to provide transition.

The proposed version still drew ire from some residents in the nearby neighborhoods at the meeting. They discussed environmental and neighborhood safety concerns for an industrial district established in the future.

Grace Eaton, a local resident, said heavy industrial development could pollute water wells in the neighborhoods and could worsen the traffic. Resident Brian Robert added he worried trucks would drive through the neighborhoods and threaten the safety of residents.

Courtney Qessay, who said she recently moved to Leander, said she is excited about the growth of the city and is not opposed to commercial and mixed-use development near the neighborhood. However, she said she thinks the 500-foot “buffer zone” near industrial development as proposed would deter potential retail tenants.

“No one’s going to want to lease a space […] directly next to an industrial park,” Qessay said.

Assistant City Manager Tom Yantis said an amendment needs to be put in place in a timely fashion to prevent potential zoning requests for industrial use of the property.

Zoning Commissioner Marshall Hines echoed Yantis' point.

“The actual intent of tonight is to create a stop-gap solution that doesn’t put us in a position where we’ll have to show up for […] something where they are convincing people to [put] industrial in your backyard, so to speak,” Hines said.

Hines motioned to push the west boundary of the industrial district farther east and extend the mixed-use corridor included in the proposed design. He also recommended adding a buffer zone to the south edge of the planned industrial district, designating the land that houses a concrete plant as a future commercial corridor once the concrete plant is no longer there.

The commission unanimously recommended the amendment made at the meeting. The recommendation will go to Leander City Council for final approval.


    1. At the same meeting, the commission approved the final plat of approximately 19.21 acres of the planned Palmera Ridge subdivision near the future extension of Azul Lagoon Drive. The plat was approved in March 2017, but the project was delayed due to the coordination between city staff and the developer. The approved final plat plans to bring 47 single-family homes and one homeowners’ association parkland to the area, city documents show.

    2. The commission also directed city staff to bring back a future land-use plan amendment that would replace the proposed neighborhood center designation at the intersection of Journey Parkway and CR 175 with a mixed-use corridor. The southwest quadrant of the neighborhood center, which was located on the Simpson Tract, was removed from the plan at the last commission meeting after several residents spoke during the meeting in favor of the removal.

By Yue Yu
Yue "Stella" Yu covers Lake Travis, Westlake, Leander and Cedar Park. She is a journalism student at University of Missouri. Prior to this summer, she was a city government reporter at Columbia Missourian. Three things she loves the most: jazz, dogs and community journalism. Feel free to reach out at 573-529-5725 or email her at yyu@communityimpact.com


Project Connect, Capital Metro's public transportation expansion plan, would include three light-rail lines running through the city and underground train stations downtown. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Is now the right time to rethink transit in Austin? Local leaders respond to community questions about Project Connect

Austin City Council and the Capital Metro board of directors will decide June 10 on whether to adopt Project Connect—the plan to revamp public transportation in the area.

The flute section of the Rouse High School marching band from Leander performs in this 2017 file photo. (Courtesy Leander ISD)
Texas schools may begin hosting sports workouts, band practices June 8

The University Interscholastic League released guidelines for allowing sports workouts and marching bands to practice.

Williamson County Commissioners Court approved two grant programs for specialty courts during a special meeting May 26. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
Williamson County Court at Law 2 seeks grant funding for veterans and DWI/drug treatment specialty courts

The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved the grant applications during a special meeting May 26.

The Goodwater Trail around Lake Georgetown is one of two Texas trails with an International Mountain Bicycling Association Epic designation. This distinction means a trail is considered technically demanding, physically challenging and set within a landscape that is beautiful to behold. (Courtesy Paul Littlefield/Georgetown Cyclewerx)
Slaying ‘The Dragon': Goodwater Trail at Lake Georgetown draws adventure-seeking cyclists

The trail is one of only two in Texas with an International Mountain Bicycling Association Epic designation.

May 25 specifically saw 86 new coronavirus cases, the single largest one-day jump in the county during the pandemic. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)
172 new COVID-19 cases in Travis County, two new deaths over Memorial Day weekend

May 25 specifically saw 86 new coronavirus cases, the single largest one-day jump in the county during the pandemic.

Renderings show plans for a transit station as part of Capital Metro's Project Connect. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)
Changes to Project Connect plan add $60 million to local cost estimate

Capital Metro Board Chair Wade Cooper called the upcoming June 10 meeting to finalize the technical aspects of the plan "one of the most consequential votes this board has taken in its history."

Members of the Dawoodi Bohra community have sewn more than 100 masks for essential workers and have donated them to The Mask Brigade of Williamson County. (Courtesy Mubaraka Malbari)
Austin Islamic community Dawoodi Bohra provides financial assistance, face masks during pandemic

The Dawoodi Bohra community of Austin has worked to provide financial assistance and offered support to first responders and essential personnel during the health crisis.

LIST: What is open, closed in Texas and how businesses can operate

Texas openings are staggered with different opening dates and operating limits.

New Braunfels is the third-fastest-growing city in the U.S. from 2010-19, according to the latest census numbers. (Community Impact staff)
These 5 Central Texas cities are among the fastest-growing in the U.S.

Four of the five cities represent notable growth in Williamson County.

Three Leander businesses were awarded a total of $10,000 in city business grants May 21. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Leander awards $10,000 of COVID-19 business grants May 21

Three Leander businesses were awarded a total of $10,000 in city business grants May 21.