Live Oak Springs transportation variance conditionally approved in Southwest Travis County

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Despite objections raised by residents on Zyle Road and surrounding areas, Travis County Commissioners conditionally approved a transportation variance on Flatrock Springs Drive, a dead-end street within the proposed Live Oak Springs subdivision. The variance was granted on the condition that a bridge providing an alternate route in and out of the subdivision be approved.

Live Oak Springs is located on a 165-acre tract in Southwest Travis County within the city of Austin’s 2-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction. The residential subdivision will include 82 single-family lots, two greenbelt or open space lots, one critical environmental feature lot, five drainage lots and seven new public streets.

During Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting, residents spoke out about quality of life and safety concerns.

“We find it to be an incredible safety hazard,” said Jim Cubberly, a nearby resident. “It’s going to create a tremendous amount of stress. How are we going to ensure safety for the existing residents?”

This is not the first time residents have expressed concerns about the proposed variances–environmental and in regards to transportation. Community members testified at commissioner court meetings in April, June and July of 2017, citing safety hazards of increased traffic, water quality and character of the proposed neighborhood.

Since then, the project has been redesigned to provide an additional access road with a bridge to Derecho Drive. It is now proposed that the subdivision will take access to Morninghill Road from the south and Derecho Drive from the north. 

The Travis County Fire Marshal’s Office reviewed the proposed design with no objections, saying there are adequate turn-arounds for emergency vehicles, according to county documents.

“I have no intention of shortcutting this thing from a safety perspective,” Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty said. “If they can get the second way in and out of Derecho [Drive…] that is the best for everybody.”

WHAT’S NEXT: The transportation variance and preliminary plan will be scheduled for approval by City of Austin Zoning and Platting Commission. The preliminary plan will be scheduled for Travis County Commissioners Court deliberation at a later date.

Additionally, an environmental variance is being considered. The proposed bridge must be elevated above the floodplain and requires an environmental variance to develop in the Critical Water Quality Zone and Water Quality Transition Zone. The environmental variance was presented to the City of Austin Environmental Board on June 20, and will proceed to the City of Austin Zoning and Platting Board in August.

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Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Jackson Buchanan is the Senior Reporter for Southwest Austin. She covers local transportation, development, education, healthcare and Travis County Commissioners Court. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from The University of Texas and has been with Community Impact Newspaper since May 2018.
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