Future community park included in new residential development

Future community park included in new residential developmentA new Leander residential subdivision may serve as the final puzzle piece necessary to create the city's largest community park.

Crystal Springs, a 260-lot subdivision near the southeast corner of Crystal Falls Parkway and Toll 183A, backs up to Lake Lakewood, a popular but relatively hidden fishing hole along the city's southeastern limits.

"I can't really think of another neighborhood like it," said John Avery Jr., manager for Trine Devco Development, which is responsible for the Crystal Springs project. "It's pretty unique."

The subdivision combines property from seven landowners to create more space between homes, with approximately two lots platted per acre—versus three to four lots per acre in other nearby neighborhoods, Avery said. Home prices will start at $250,000, he said, with average prices in the $300,000 range.

Avery said he expects construction to start by the end of the year, with the first Crystal Springs residents moving in by the end of 2014.

As part of the project, Trine Devco Development has agreed to reserve up to 40 acres of green space near the lake, providing the final land necessary for city officials to proceed with developing Leander's newest community park, Lakewood Park.

Other nearby subdivisions, Cold Springs and Hazlewood, already have dedicated 45 acres of land around the lake, while the southern side of Lake Lakewood is privately owned in Cedar Park city limits.

Stephen Bosak, Leander's parks and recreation director, said the project will create "a premier park" in Leander.

"This park will be bigger and serve a larger portion of the community," Bosak said.

While there is no timeline for establishing the park, the Crystal Springs subdivision is essential, he said, because that is where permanent public access to the lake will be. Currently there is an access point in the Cold Springs neighborhood off Grand Lake Parkway.

Once he has cobbled together all the land necessary for the park, Bosak said he intends to deed all the land to the Williamson County Parks Foundation, which will then hold the land as the city seeks out grants to help fund the project.

If successful, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department could match up to 50 percent of all money dedicated to creating the park.

At that point, the county parks foundation would return the land to Leander, he said, which in turn would use money accumulated from the area's property taxes to fund its portion.

Bosak said the city would then begin a master-planning process for the community park, a process that would take one year and cost approximately $30,000. The public would be encouraged to provide input on some of the park's amenities, he said.
By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.