A proposed car dealership in the west Oak Hill area has nearby residents and homeowners associations up in arms over the effect it could have on the atmosphere, traffic flow and future development of the area.
Stantec Consulting Services submitted an application to the city of Austin in August to develop the Leif Johnson Ford Car Dealership at 9220 W. Hwy. 71, Austin.
According to the site plan, the main structure would be comprised of a three-level office building including a showroom, sales offices, service shop and lobby. A one-story pre-owned vehicle sales building and a five-story parking garage are also included in the site plan, as well as a parking lot.
The entire development will stretch along W. Hwy. 71 from Old Bee Cave Road to Midwood Parkway, directly across the street from the Hill Country Estates neighborhood.
Kim Butler, Hill Country Estates HOA president, said the neighborhood is “justifiably angry” with the new development.
“This development is kicking the stars away,” Butler said. “There are people who treasure going out and seeing the Texas stars and with this development, you won’t be able to see the stars for miles.”
Butler said residents are also concerned about how the dealership could increase traffic. He said the area is already backed up from congestion at the Y in Oak Hill, or the intersection at Hwy. 290 and Hwy. 71. Residents also fear the area will be used for test drives, adding to congestion and safety concerns.
“There’s already a lot of traffic on Hwy. 290 at Circle Drive and onto Thomas Springs Road from people trying to cut across and avoid the traffic at the Y,” Butler said. “We also see a lot of [congestion]problems on Anchusa Trail, which connects Thomas Springs Road to Midwood Parkway in our neighborhood. People try to cut through there to get back on Hwy. 71.”
Butler said residents were also angered because they believe the development contradicts the Oak Hill neighborhood plan and zoning district. The neighborhood’s future land use map designates the area as mixed use/office.
Development Services Division Manager for the city of Austin Chris Johnson said the proposed development’s address is zoned GRNP, which is community commercial neighborhood plan. This type of zoning allows for most commercial uses, Johnson said, including auto sales retailers and service stations.
The developer was contacted but was unavailable for comment as of press time.