Birds, traffic, water: Battle over proposed Spicewood

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Inhabitants are preventing a development planned in Spicewood, citing problems about endangered birds in the location, website traffic challenges and drinking water usage. Travis County commissioners narrowly approved the developer’s preliminary plan with circumstances that will involve the team to come back just before the court docket with a traffic impression investigation in hand before actual do the job starts.

The extra than 1,000-acre former ranch in the vicinity of Lake Travis is slated to come to be household housing and a golf system, in accordance to that original plan. It is heading to be identified as “Travis Club,” formerly acknowledged as “Vizcaya.”

A spokesperson for the entrepreneurs and builders was in court docket Tuesday asking commissioners to approve the preliminary system for the home which he said was in fact presently authorized by commissioners the moment in advance of, almost just as is, back in 2008. In 2009, that spokesperson said, one of the economic partners associated in the offer submitted for individual bankruptcy and the enhancement of that assets fundamentally paused. It will be extra than 270 single family members plenty, 220 villas and a golfing course.

“It’s a extensive journey to be below, but we’re below nowadays inquiring your to reaffirm the preliminary underneath basically the very same procedures that it was permitted less than in 2008,” a spokesperson for the developer claimed.

It wasn’t until very last slide that county workers knowledgeable the developers that acceptance of the preliminary strategy experienced in fact expired, the spokesperson stated. They are now navigating county red tape that had earlier been cleared.

“It hit us like a ton of bricks,” he claimed. “They experienced hoped to be underneath construction now.”

Meanwhile, residents in the spot are involved about targeted traffic, water use, design security and maybe most vocally, the Golden-Cheeked Warblers in the space.

In accordance to a launch, Blair Wildlife Consulting was asked to do a analyze of the exceptional birds in the vicinity of and on that assets. It identified far more than 40 of the birds on that plot.

“Maybe there was no destructive intent, but there was clearing on the house in the course of the Warbler nesting time period. I assume that is an difficulty that requirements to be tackled. What I’m listening to is that there were being no repercussions for that,” a consultant for Kent Radford and his household stated. Radford lives in that spot. “There desires to be further mitigation expected.”

“Mature Ash Junipers are a habitat for the Golden-Cheeked Warbler which has been cited in the location,” a resident of a close by community also noted in her community remark. She also spoke about site visitors issues and the dangers of construction website traffic in the spot.

That’s exactly where Commissioner Ann Howard has concerns as nicely. A visitors affect investigation has not been total for the assets despite the preliminary program being ahead of commissioners again. There is a backlog in that approach on the city’s aspect, the courtroom disclosed. It could acquire between 6 and 9 months for that TIA to be comprehensive.

“I just feel it delays any action that could consequence in increased transportation safety actions becoming set in put, when we know that nothing at all about the progress in conditions of the number of units, the configuration is possible to change by means of the TIA approach,” Commissioner Brigid Shea countered.

The court docket voted on the preliminary system 2 times. The 1st time, commissioners unsuccessful to approve it, with Howard and Travis County Judge Andy Brown voting towards the movement. Commissioner Jeff Travillion opted out of the vote. Three ‘yes’ votes is the magic number.

Commissioners then opted to approve areas of the strategy with a problem that forces the developer to arrive back again in advance of court docket prior to developing its initial plot. When they do return, they’ll need that TIA. Shea voted from it, but it in the end handed.

“I don’t feel delaying all of this by six-to-nine months especially addresses that challenge,” Shea said. She did ask the developers to take another appear at environmental greatest practices, but stated if the enhancement is going to occur, she thinks the hold off is unneeded.