New Bee Cave police facility tabled for now, annexed land protected from developers

Bee Cave City Council on the dias.

Bee Cave City Council on the dias.

Here are 3 takeaways from the Oct. 24 Bee Cave City Council meeting:

1. Bee Cave City Council rezoned more than 732 acres of City of Austin-owned land in its extraterritorial jurisdiction from the default zoning agricultural to public to ensure future protections from development. One 504-acre parcel, Bee Cave annexed in May lies east of Hamilton Pool Road and is considered by Austin to be a water quality protected area.

The area is surrounded low density residential (including the Homestead to the north and east and Spring Creek Estates), additional City of Austin Water Quality Land (previously annexed by Bee Cave), and Shield Ranch to the south.

The second Austin-owned parcel, 232 acres is part of the Balcones Canyonland. The area is surrounded other City of Austin-owned Balcones Canyonland to the north and south, Lake Pointe subdivision to the east, and the Madrone Apartments to the west.

2. Council delayed the police chief’s Request for Qualifications for immediately hire an architectural firm for a Police Department site and facility assessment. Questions arose on the value of building a new police station on a new site versus expanding the current one on Hwy. 71 near The Shops at the Galleria, possibly including local court functions for up to the next 10 years. Council favored dividing the request into separate needs and site assessments.

For comparison, the city in 2013 hired a firm to analyze the 30,000-square-foot city hall space for a possible library expansion or other scenarios although nothing has been done as a result. The police needs assessment project could be similar in scope, said City Manager Travis Askey.

Bee Cave police has 7,800 square feet today for its 19 officers in the old village council building with no holding cells or dispatch center, council heard.

“[The reconfiguring the Bee Cave RFQ] is the wise choice. We’re heading in the right direction. Before you start sinking millions of dollars into a new building you have to know where you’re going, Chief Gary Miller said.”

No future date was set for the police needs and site assessments to return before council.

3. Council approved the preliminary plat for Signal Hill Estates off Hamilton Pool Road, a 61-lot rural residential development on 94 acres. Setbacks on some of the acre-sized lots would have to follow the water quality buffer zone around environmentally-sensitive areas. The setbacks would be marked with stone blocks to differentiate where development cannot take place, city documents showed.


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