Masonwood proposal on hold

Bee Cave residents protest Hamilton Pool Road density

The West Travis County Public Utility Agency's five board members listened to the pleas of area residents asking to deny a service request by developer Jim Meredith for Masonwood West's proposed 700 homes during the Nov. 13 meeting. The community, also known as the Hatchett Tract, is slated to be constructed along Hamilton Pool Road.

The WTCPUA is responsible for providing water and wastewater service to western Travis County and northwest Hays County, including Bee Cave and Lake Pointe.

Commissioner Mike Murphy said the actual capacity of the line the agency was planning to construct for the community was only 300–350 Living Unit Equivalents, or LUEs.

According to the Texas Administrative Code, an LUE represents the number of existing or projected residential users in an area to be served by a proposed project.

Murphy said the added cost of expanding a service line to accommodate more LUEs than intended should be paid for by the developer whose buyers will benefit from the expansion and not the current ratepayers. In about 10 years, other residents are anticipated to use this added line—at which time the agency can then begin subsidizing the cost of the expansion, he said.

The Hatchett Tract represents a very large demand on the fringe of the public utility agency's water system, said Peter Golde, a resident of Belvedere development on Hamilton Pool Road.

Originally, the Masonwood West developer requested 1,837 LUEs for the 950-acre tract, General Manager Don Rauschuber said.

The total cost to serve the new reduced tally of 700 LUEs is $7.4 million, with the developer requesting the WTCPUA pay $5.3 million, Murphy said.

"We're only talking about 325 customers over our current capacity [of 350] and we want to spend $7 million for only 325 customers?" Murphy said. "Some sort of system needs to be worked [for] when we start using a portion of the capacity of the oversized line, but we shouldn't have to pay for this upfront."

Meredith said the plan was preliminary and the lot sizes may change, altering his request.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to postpone a decision on granting service to the Masonwood development to December to allow staff to work with the developer on the request.


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