Local elections, Champion’s Tract and zebra mussels: 6 things to know in the Lake Travis/Westlake area this week, Feb. 19-23

The city of West Lake Hills property at 110 Westlake Drive, West Lake Hills, is located near the intersection of Bee Caves Road and next to multiple residential homes.

The city of West Lake Hills property at 110 Westlake Drive, West Lake Hills, is located near the intersection of Bee Caves Road and next to multiple residential homes.

Start your week by looking back at the most recent headlines from the Lake Travis-Westlake area.

1. Mayor Joe Bain is not seeking re-election in Lakeway
Lakeway Mayor Joe Bain announced Friday on his blog he would not be running again this May. Council Member Jean Hennagin filed to run for mayor Friday, joining Tiffany McMillan and Sandy Cox in the race. Learn more here. 

2. West Lake Hills City Council rejected offers for 110 Westlake Drive on Sunday
At Sunday’s West Lake Hills special town hall meeting to discuss proposals submitted for the city’s 110 Westlake Drive property, developers were given an opportunity to present their proposed projects for the first time, and residents voiced concerns about developing the property. The City Council moved to reject all offers it received for the property. However, the council also moved to organize a new request for proposals that will only allow proposals for residential uses, not commercial uses.

Read our recap of the meeting here.

3. The Champion’s Tract has been approved by Austin City Council
A 300-unit multifamily project will get built on the Champion’s Tract after Austin City Council narrowly approved a controversial zoning change, capping off a tense, two-year debate over the tract’s use. The council voted 6-5 to change the site’s land use from general office to multifamily, paving the way for a 300-unit development at the corner of City Park Road and RR 2222. Council members Alison Alter, Leslie Pool, Ora Houston, Kathie Tovo and Ann Kitchen voted against the rezoning. Learn more about the project here.

4. Lakeway and Lake Travis ISD broke ground on new facilities last week
While site work already began in January, the city of Lakeway’s top staff and elected officials officially broke ground on the city’s new police facility Feb. 16.

Lake Travis ISD on Feb. 13 also broke ground on its future third middle school.

5. West Lake Hills candidates are all running unopposed in May's election
As of the close of the candidate-filing period at 5 p.m. on Feb. 16, all three incumbent candidates in the upcoming West Lake Hills general election are running unopposed. Learn more here.

6. Invasive zebra mussels have been confirmed in Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake
After finding zebra mussels in Lake Travis last June, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced Thursday it has now discovered the invasive species in parts of Lake Austin and has found larvae in Lady Bird Lake as well. Learn more here.


Students at O. Henry Middle School in Austin head in for their first day of school Aug. 17. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD's COVID-19 rate lower than nearby districts after first month of school

Austin ISD recorded more cases in the first month of this school year than in all of the 2020-2021 school year. Still, Austin ISD saw a lower percentage of cases in students than surrounding school districts.

School in the Hills has two locations in the Lake Travis-Westlake area. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Guide: Private schools in the Lake Travis-Westlake area

Learn about tuition and extracurriculars offered at area private schools.

Screen shot of Dr. Desmar Walkes speaking
Austin ICUs remain crowded with COVID-19 patients, delaying some critical care

Within the past week, there was a waiting list of patients to be transferred into Austin-area ICUs, Austin Public Health leaders said.

The city of Austin this summer cleared four unregulated homeless encampments and shifted dozens of residents into shelters. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house thousands of Austin's homeless people taking shape, but outlook for local success, project funding still unclear

The strategy's first housing benchmark fell short in June, and updates on how the estimated $515 million needed for housing and services will be spent are overdue.

DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

BoxLunch opened Aug. 27 in Barton Creek Square at 2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., Austin. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
New dining, clothing retailers now open or coming soon to the Lake Travis-Westlake area

Along with new retailers, area residents now have new health care providers from which to choose.

The widening project is on track to finish this fall and the bypass project by early next year. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
TxDOT projects near RM 2222 and RM 620 intersection approaching completion after delay

The southbound bypass lane connecting the two roads is on track to be complete later this fall, weather permitting. The northbound bypass lane opened over the summer.

A volunteer unloads food from a truck during the Central Texas Food Bank's April 4 event to feed families in need at Nelson Field in Austin. (Courtesy Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank delivering boxes of food directly to homes through 2021

Some families will be eligible to have boxes with food for 25 meals delivered by Amazon.

Owners Billy-Joe and Suzanne Hunt opened The Gramercy in October 2020. (Photos by Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Gramercy: Lakeway restaurant brings style of the big-city lounge to the Hill Country

Diners can choose from a variety of classic cocktails and entrees.

The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission considered a finalized draft of an updated map for Austin's 10 City Council districts Sept. 15. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATED: Draft map of Austin's redrawn City Council boundaries ready for community review

Volunteer city redistricting commissioners have unanimously passed an initial outline to update all 10 City Council districts set to go into effect next year.