Lake Travis - Westlake Edition | May 2022

LAKE TRAVIS WESTLAKE EDITION

VOLUME 13, ISSUE 4  MAY 12JUNE 15, 2022

ONLINE AT

Cities look to keep trac owing as development continues

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The average number of vehicles traveling daily on Hwy. 71 is expected to continue increasing over the next 20 years. 2025 2045

Hamilton Pool Road & Hwy. 71 intersection Serene Hills Drive & Hwy. 71 intersection

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Hwy. 71 east of RM 620

Vehicles wait at the light on westbound Hwy. 71 at Bee Cave Parkway during rush hour trac April 27. (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)

Hwy. 71 west of RM 620 Hwy. 71 west of Hamilton Pool Road

BY JENNIFER SCHAEFER

any stopping it.” With the continuing growth, devel- opers and cities are looking to each other to ensure minimal growing pains. “The city was very sophisticated in the handling of [our project],” said Tim Bolinger, co-developer of the Vil- lage at Spanish Oaks. “It is complex, and they were understanding. If the city doesn’t give the framework, this stu starts ghting and clogging.” Under construction The largest of the upcoming devel- opments is The Village at Spanish Oaks. The 80-acre mixed-use devel- opment is currently in its site and infrastructure phase preparation, according to its developer. The rst phase will include 24 freestanding residences. Also planned is a Main Street dis- trict that will be a pedestrian-oriented area with restaurants and shops on

Driving west along Hwy. 71 in west- ern Travis County, acres of land for sale or lease still sit undeveloped. A few smaller businesses can be seen, but once past the Hill Coun- try Galleria, there are few stopping points. Within the next few years, however, the landscape of Hwy. 71 will almost certainly be changed with several new developments under con- struction or in the pipeline along Hwy. 71 near RM 620 that will bring more businesses and residents to the area. Some of these projects include new roadways aimed at improving trac ow, and other road projects are in the works to alleviate congestion. “I think the growth corridor that traces the Colorado River to the west is obvious, right?” said Jack Creveling, the vice president of development for CCNG Inc., developer of the Village at Spanish Oaks. “It’s beautiful, there are great schools. There’s just barely

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the bottom oors with residences above. The Main Street area also is being eyed as a site for a future Bee Cave City Hall. Bee Cave City Manager Clint Garza said a site has been reserved for a city hall. He said provided everything goes through with the sale of the facility at the Hill Country Galleria, a new city hall is needed and will be built. He said the location ts important criteria for the growing sta, such as it being in the center of town. “We want easy access, and there is plenty of connectivity going into Spanish Oaks,” Garza said. CONTINUED ON 30

BUSINESS FEATURE

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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15712 Colinas Cv, Bee Cave, TX 78738 Kristen Jacobs | 512-657-9311

6502 Augusta National Dr, Austin, TX 78746 Kevin Haines | 512-294-9002

5905 Cape Coral Dr, Austin, TX 78746 Kim Fodor | 512-809-3844

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414 Tempranillo Way, Lakeway, TX 78738 Sherry Ellenbogen | 512-294-4488

3860 Pawnee Pass, Austin, TX 78738 Alan Adams | 512-466-8044

613 Golden Bear Dr, Austin, TX 78738 Betsy Smith | 512-348-5888

16308 Paddlefish Way, Austin, TX 78738 Katie Wilsey | 858-761-8799

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LAKE TRAVIS - WESTLAKE EDITION • MAY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMTAYLOR: In July 2013, I moved to Austin from my hometown of Lubbock. That month, I received the best housewarming gift: my rst copy of Community Impact Newspaper . Over the next several years, in every area of Austin I lived, there was a new version of the paper in my mailbox with all of same useful, hyperlocal content I had come to rely on to stay informed about my community. I joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017, and I’ve never looked back. It is my honor and privilege to serve your communities as general manager of Community Impact Newspaper ’s Lake Travis-Westlake edition. This issue’s lead story focuses on two of the area’s main concerns: development and trac. You’ll nd trac analysis data and a map highlighting trac congestion at intersections along Hwy. 71 along with ongoing and planned developments, such as The Backyard and Summer Moon Coee. Feel free to reach out to me with questions, comments, story ideas or to simply connect. I look forward to hearing from you. Taylor Caranfa Stover, GENERALMANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

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MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Taylor Caranfa Stover EDITOR Jennifer Schaefer REPORTER Grace Dickens ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Jacqueline Harris METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denny SENIOR ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace CORPORATE LEADERSHIP GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES &MARKETING DIRECTOR Tess Coverman CONTACT US 16225 Impact Way, Ste. 1, Pugerville, TX 78660 • 5129896808 PRESS RELEASES ltwnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions

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CORRECTION: Volume 13, Issue 3 A sample ballot on Page 21 incorrectly identied Laurie Higginbotham as the incumbent for Place 3 on the Lake Travis ISD board of trustees. On the same page, there was a misspelling of LTISD board of trustees Place 4 candidate Kit Crumbley and Place 5 candidate Porter Herring. The West Lake Hills mayoral race with incumbent Linda Anthony and Je Taylor also was omitted from this page.

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LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • MAY 2022

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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5 Chicago-style pizza is coming soon to the Lakeway area in September with Lefty’s Pizza Kitchen , at 18101 Hwy. 71, Ste. A, Austin. This will be the restau- rant’s rst Austin-area location. The restaurant will serve deep-dish and thin pizzas alongside beef sandwiches, wings, beer, wine and more. https://leftyspizzakitchen.com 6 Residents of Lakeway soon will see a QuikTrip 24-hour gas station take shape at 1301 N. RM 620 at the north- east corner of RM 620 and Debba Drive. City Council unanimously approved the motion to grant a special-use permit for the convenience store for 99 years. Rep- resentatives said they plan to oer a base pay rate of $19.50 an hour with manag- ers making about $90,000 per year. An opening date has not yet been set. www.quiktrip.com RELOCATIONS 7 The Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery moved to 6420 Bee Caves Road, Austin on March 14. Doctors Edward D. Buckingham and Erin Smith specialize in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Procedures performed range from rhino- plasty and lip lifts to Botox and birthmark removal. The oce previously was at 2765 Bee Cave Road in Austin. 512-661-0747. buckinghamfacialplastics.com. 8 Singing Bowl Lady opened April 17 at 325 S. RM 620, Ste. 201, Lakeway. The business oers a meditative experience using the power of sound through quartz and metal singing bowls in group and private sessions. Owner Sandee Conroy is an experienced practitioner of sound meditation and has produced two medi-

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NOWOPEN 1 Local family entertainment center Epic Fun reopened April 9 under new ownership of Anna and Mark Ulbrich. The business closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Epic Fun features arcades, a bar and a restaurant, and it hosts parties and events at 7101 W. Hwy. 71, Ste. D, Austin. 512-957-9099. www.epicfun.com 2 Nonprot Independent Identity opened April 18 at 1705 S. Capital of Tex- as Hwy., Ste. 201, Austin, to serve adults with autism and intellectual and devel- opmental disabilities with challenging behaviors such as aggression, self-injury and property destruction. The full-time day program uses the principles of applied

behavior analysis to teach skills to clients over age 18 and focuses on individualized goals in social, independent living, leisure and vocational skills. 512-810-9149. https://independentidentity.org 3 Vincent’s on the Lake reopened April 1 at 5973 Hiline Road, Hudson Bend, in Emerald Point Marina. The restaurant opened at Hurst Harbor in 1984 and closed after a re in 1993. In addition to serving seafood, Tex-Mex and American dishes, the waterfront restaurant also has a full bar and live music. 512-777-3132. www.facebook.com/vincentsonthelake Custom interior crystal wall installation business The Crystal Wall opened in April. The business brings the outside indoors with organic walls of genuine gemstone crystals for homes and oces.

The Crystal Wall oers a wide variety of natural crystal slices, each with a pol-

ished face. 833-612-4100. https://thecrystalwall.com COMING SOON

4 Baldinucci Pizza Romana is expected to open toward the end of June in West Lake Hills at 3300 Bee Caves Road, Ste. 110, Austin. The restaurant oers au- thentic Roman and New York-style pizzas by the pie and the slice. Using a variety of fresh toppings, meat, vegetarian and vegan pizza options are available along with several options for panini, involtini and salads. The South Austin location at 3400 Comsouth Drive, Austin, is open for delivery and pickup. 512-746-2720. www.baldinucci.pizza

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY GRACE DICKENS & JENNIFER SCHAEFER

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Singing Bowl Lady

QuikTrip

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Lo Salvaje’s crispy nachos ($5) are topped with wild boar chorizo, cheddar and escabeche.

COURTESY LO SALVAJE

WORTH THE TRIP NOWOPEN

and eating wild game. Stephanie Stackhouse is the chef at Lo Salvaje; she previously worked with Griths at Dai Due. www.losalvajetruck.com

nounced in a press release April 19. Known as Amazon One, the palm recognition technology allows shoppers to link their credit or debit card information to their unique palm signature. Customers can enroll in the program at any participating location. Technology will launch in coming weeks at other Austin-area Whole Food Market stores, including the Whole Foods at the Hill Country Galleria at 12601 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. 512-206-2730. www.wholefoodsmarket.com SCHOOL NOTES Two Lake Travis High School students were recognized as National Medal- ists under the 2022 Scholastic Art and Quail, wild boar, duck and antelope are staples on the menu of new food truck Lo Salvaje . The truck is at the Desert Door Distillery at 211 Darden Hill Road, Driftwood. Lo Salvaje opened to the public April 19. The food truck sells wild boar nachos, a fried quail sandwich, tacos with duck tinga or wild boar guisada and more. Lo Salvaje was imagined by chef Jesse Griths of Dai Due and Josh Crumpton of Spoke Hollow Outtters; the two are longtime friends who share a love of hunting

Whole Foods Market

Little Land Play Gym

COURTESY AMAZON

GRACE DICKENSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

tation CDs, “The Art of Balance” and “The Portal.” Conroy also holds Sound & Salt therapy sessions in the Austin Salt Cave in Lakeway. She previously operated a studio in Northwest Austin at 4210 Spicewood Springs Road, Austin. 908-399-4355. https://singingbowllady.com ANNIVERSARIES 9 Organic nursery The Natural Gar- dener celebrated 40 years in Austin on April 12 at 8648 Old Bee Caves Road, Austin. The 8-acre establishment features a retail center for plants and gardening supplies as well as buttery and herb gardens. The center also oers gardening classes. 512-288-6113. www.tngaustin.com NEWOWNERSHIP 10 Austin-based Endeavor Physical Therapy was acquired by H2 Health on March 1. Endeavor will keep its name and brand and will continue to provide

one-on-one outpatient physical therapy and hand therapy. Endeavor has a dozen facilities across Central Texas, including at 3944 S. RM 620 Bldg 8, Ste. 203, Bee Cave. 512-215-0663. www.endeavorrehab.com IN THE NEWS H-E-B entered a partnership with the Tex- as Parks and Wildlife Foundation in April to donate a portion of all sales proceeds from its Field & Future by H-E-B line of sustainable products to support the TPWF’s conservation eorts. The Field & Future line launched in 2021 as an envi- ronmentally minded brand of household, personal care and baby products. The brand is made with recyclable content, biodegradable formulas and plant-based ingredients. heb.com/collections/eld- and-future 11 Customers at the Shops of Arbor Trails Whole Foods Market in Southwest Austin can now pay for their groceries with a scan of their hand, Amazon an-

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Writing Awards presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Senior Madison Jensen received a Silver Key for her artwork titled “Promise,” and senior Chloe Storm earned a Silver Key for her portfolio titled “A Twin’s Promise.” Only the top 1% of 230,000 submissions were recognized at the national level. CLOSINGS 12 Little Land Play Gym at 3620 S. RM 620, Bee Cave, permanently closed Feb. 7. The business oered indoor play areas to children in classes and through memberships as well as pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapy in one- on-one and small-group sessions.

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LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • MAY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

May & June events

COMPILED BY GRACE DICKENS

Natural wine and beer makers will gather at the Wild World Texas festival in May. (Courtesy Wild World Festival)

MAY 2729

GRAB A LASSO DRIPPING SPRINGS FAIR & RODEO

MAY 29

PROPAGATE A PLANT NEW ORIGIN SHOP

The Dripping Springs Fair & Rodeo will feature rodeo events including barrel racing, bull riding, mutton busting, bronco riding and more. There will be a bar serving drinks on Saturday and Sunday. Jake Hooker and the Outsiders will play from 9-11 p.m. on Saturday. Free-$15. Various times. 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs. 512-894-2390. Eventbrite: 2022 Dripping Springs Fair & Rodeo (Courtesy Dripping Springs Ranch Park)

New Origin Shop will host a beginner workshop on plant propagation. For those interested in indoor plants, this event will allow guests to create their own small plant arrangement while learning the steps of propagation. All materials are included in registration cost and masks are mandatory for all attendees. $55. 1-2 p.m. 12921 Hill Country Blvd. Ste. D2-110, Bee Cave. 512-276-2066. www.neworigin.shop (Courtesy Giant Noise)

WORTH THE TRIP May 14 and 15

WildWorld Texas: ANaturalWine&

Farmhouse Beer Festival Wild World will hold a festival for natural wine and farmhouse beer in May. The two-day event features extensive tasting of over 200 natural wines, farmhouse beers and foods fermented with wild yeast and bacteria produced by dozens of winemakers, brewers, and cider- and mead-makers. The event will also have a panel and classroom discussions with industry guests from the local community and around the world. The ticket price includes the cost for both days of the festival, and attendees must be over 21 to attend. 1-6 p.m. (Sat.), noon- 6:30 p.m. (Sun.). $95

26 EAT AMULTICOURSEMEAL Hotel Granduca invites guests to explore the California collection of Trinitas Cellars from Napa Valley at Visconti Ristorante for its “A Taste of Napa” dinner in May. The dining experience includes a multicourse meal of Italian-inspired dishes paired with tastes from Napa Valley’s Trinitas Cellars. The event will also have live music. 5:30 p.m. $95. Visconti Ristorante & Bar, 320 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., Bldg. B, Austin. 512-306-6400. www.granducaaustin.com 26 CHECKOUT ANART PARTY The third event of The Art Gathering concert series will be held at the end of May. The Texas House Party at Music Hill Ranch will feature Texas artist Christopher Oglesby as he showcases several art collections alongside live music by Hannah Jackson and Kenny Maines. The event will also have cocktails, a wine bar and light bites to eat, as well as a rae for multiple surprise giveaways. 6-10 p.m. $50. 16219 Flint Rock Road, Austin. 281- 881-5740. Eventbrite: The Art Gathering at Music Hill 28 LUAU THE NIGHT AWAY An Aloha Pool Party will be held at Lakeway Swim Center in May. The event will include games, dances, swimming and more. Children can learn an authentic Hula dance with an instructor from Hawaiian Kona Isle and dine on Chick-Fil-A during an evening of fun in the sun. 5-8 p.m. Drop in rates apply, $7-8. 3103 Lakeway Blvd., Austin. 512-261-3000. www.lakeway-tx.gov 30 SWIMWITHMERMAIDS The Lakeway Swim Center invites families to don their tails and come swim with the Lake Travis mermaids. Attendees can take a photo with Princess Ariel, get glitter tattoos with On The Spot Body Art and enjoy games and door prizes. 1-3 p.m. Drop in rates apply, $7-8. 3103 Lakeway Blvd., Austin. 512-261-3000. www.lakeway-tx.gov

MAY 14 CHOWDOWN FOR A CAUSE Nonprot foundation Lulu Nurse will host its inaugural Cajun Crawsh Boil at the Iron Wolf Ranch & Distillery in Spicewood. The event will have all-you- can-eat crawsh while supplies last, liquor and live music. Proceeds will benet nurses in nancial need. The event is for all ages. Kids age 12 and under eat free. Lulu Nurse was established in 2020 to honor longtime nurse Cindy Bland, who died of colon cancer at age 38. Noon-6 p.m. $50 a person. 101 CR 409, Spicewood. Eventbrite: Lulu Nurse Cajun Crawsh Boil 16 LOOK FOR A SUMMER JOB The city of Bee Cave will host its inaugural job fair from noon to 4:30 p.m. Jobs featured will be suitable for students age 16 and older, with seasonal and summer employment opportunities available. Employers will be on-site, and there will be giveaways. Local leaders and business owners will take part in a panel to inspire part-time work. Noon- 4:30 p.m. Free. Lake Travis High School gymnasium. 3324 S. RM 620, Austin. To volunteer or register a business, email dkelley@beecavetexas.gov. 23 GET AHOLE INONE Elite Fundraising Solutions and Krank Golf are holding the third annual Lake Travis Fireghters Association Golf Tournament in May. The event will feature several competitions, including a $3,500 hole-in-one and closest-to-the- pin contest and a chance to win a $650 11 Krank driver. There will also be virtual gift bags and a Hit The Green Challenge, giving golfers the chance to win up to $30,000. The event will benet the Lake Travis CAV Lounge and Lake Travis Fireghters Benevolent Foundation. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $180 (individual)-$700 (team of four). Live Oak Golf Course, 510 Lakeway Drive, Austin. 512-261-7200. Facebook: 3rd Annual Lake Travis Fireghters Association Golf Tournament

JUNE 03 ENJOY A SUMMER SCREENING The Lakeway Parks and Recreation Department will host a music and movie summer series on the rst Friday in June, July and August. In June, the event will feature music by Stoney Gable and a screening of “The Parent Trap” in Lakeway City Park. Yard games, movies and band entertainment are free. The city encourages attendees to bring blankets and folding chairs for the lawn. Alcohol and pets are prohibited. 6 p.m. Free. 502 Hurst Creek Road, Lakeway. 512-314-7530. www.lakeway-tx.gov 03 THROUGH 05 FISH TOWIN The Lakeway Parks and Recreation Department will host a virtual shing derby. Participants will go shing, take a photo of their catch and submit photos for the chance to win prizes. More details on where to sh, shing licenses and photo submission requirements can be found on the city’s website. Entries must be submitted by midnight on June 6. Free. 512-314-7530. www.lakeway-tx.gov 04 SUPPORT CENTRAL TEXAS ARTISTS Contracommon’s Second Annual Summer Arts Festival will be at the Hill Country Galleria in June. There will be space for over 40 artist vendors, live music and a children’s art garden full of free art activities. Information about the artist and performance lineup will be announced in mid-May. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Hill Country Galleria Central Plaza Lawn, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. www.contracommon.org/events 12 BUILDA BOAT The Lakeway Parks and Recreation Department invites the community to work in teams of two to build a boat and paddles using cardboard and duct tape as part of its Cardboard Boat Regatta event. 6 p.m. Free. 3103 Lakeway Blvd., Austin. 512-261-3000. www.lakeway-tx.gov

Jester King Brewery Farm, 13187 Fitzhugh Road, Austin www.wildworldfestival.com

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21 REGISTER A FLOAT The registration deadline for the city of Lakeway’s 4th of July Parade is in June. The theme for the parade is “She’s A Grand Old Flag” and entries are encouraged to follow the theme. Details on oat specications can be found on the city’s website. In addition to participating in the parade, the city is looking for volunteers to help direct crowds. Free. Lakeway Activity Center, 105 Cross Creek, Lakeway. 512-314-7532. www.lakeway-tx. gov/718/july-4th-celebration

Find more or submit Lake Travis-Westlake events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

9

LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • MAY 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Barton Skyway ramp project to begin in January

TxDOT to improve stretch of Hwy. 71 beginning in June

BY SUMAIYA MALIK

LAKE AUSTIN BLVD.

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is work- ing to improve southbound MoPac at Barton Skyway to ease congestion issues. Construction is expected to begin in January and will take about a year. The nontolled project will cost $10 million and is funded by the Mobility Authority. The plan will need a nal approval from the board of directors. After approval, the agency can seek construction bids for the project. Communications Director Jori Liu said the agency has been working on the project for a long time. The improvements include adding pavement for auxiliary and merge lanes on southbound MoPac from Barton Skyway to Loop 360, an acceleration lane for the southbound Barton Skyway entrance ramp and three

BY SUMAIYA MALIK

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to start work this summer on numerous projects to widen and improve highways in Travis and Hays counties, including Hwy. 71 between the Pedernales River and the Travis County line. The Texas Transpor- tation Commission, the governing board for the TxDOT, approved con- tracts for funding totaling $21.3 million, and work is expected to take about a year. Funding will come from private companies or TxDOT. As part of this, Hunter Industries will construct a center turn lane and shoulders on the 3.4-mile stretch. Construction will begin by June and nish

PALEFACE RANCH RD.

5TH ST.

71

MOPAC

360

PEDERNALES RIVER

2322

BARTON SKYWAY

N

SPYGLASS DR.

in fall 2022 or early 2023. The project will cost $12.8 million. Projects on FM 1626, RM 150 and CR 190 were also approved and are scheduled to nish in summer 2023. The work on FM 1626, RM 150 and the CR 190 bridge are being improved because of increased trac, said Christopher Bishop, TxDOT public information ocer.

N

dedicated through-trac lanes at Loop 360. These improvements will allow trac to enter MoPac more easily fromWinsted Lane, Eneld Road, Bee Caves Road and Barton Skyway. During peak hours, trac merging onto southbound MoPac at Barton Skyway and Bee Caves entrance ramps gets backed up to

the Winsted and Eneld entrance, causing trac to slow down considerably on southbound MoPac and also causing an additional spillover on major roads that feed into it. Once work is complete, travel time is expected to improve by 40% and allow for an additional 770 vehicles during rush hour, according to the Mobility Authority.

Median upgrades to cause nightly closures onRM620 in Lakeway

LAKE TRAVIS

BY GRACE DICKENS

LAKEWAY BLVD.

during the nighttime hours until the project is complete, which the city estimates will take a few weeks. At the end of April, the Texas Department of Transportation began work with South Travis Maintenance to clean and prepare the medians for painting in the rst week of May.

While the cleaning and preparation process lasted a few days, the city estimates that the painting process will likely take a few weeks. After the painting portion of the project is complete, new pavement markers and delineators will be put in place, according to the city.

620

Work on RM 620 medians will result in some nighttime lane closures until mid-May, according to the city of Lakeway. At least one lane will be open in each direction on RM 620, but the city anticipates some minor trac

LOHMANS CROSSING RD.

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LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • MAY 2022

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withdrawal without notice. All measurements and square footages are approximate, but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage. Compass is a licensed real estate broker. Equal Housing Opportunity.

12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

TxDOT declares 2021 second-deadliest year for Texas roadways; trac deaths up 15%over 2020

ONGOING PROJECTS

KEY

BULLICK HOLLOW RD.

COMPLETED

RIVER PLACE BLVD.

CONTINUED

620

BY MIKAH BOYD

TRAFFIC TRAGEDIES While most trac crashes did not result in injuries, thousands of Texans died

Roadways are becoming increas- ingly deadly, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Transportation that detailed ndings that are part of a larger issue nationwide. TxDOT reported in March there were more than 4,480 deaths on Texas roads in 2021, only a little behind 1981, the deadliest year to date with over 4,701 deaths. Roadway deaths are also on the rise nationwide. Ocials reported an estimated 20,160 people died from vehicular crashes in the rst half of 2021, 18.4% higher than in 2020. Texas saw an increase of almost 15% from 2020-21. TxDOT elaborated on the shared responsibility drivers, roadway engineers and law enforcement have to reduce deaths on Texas roads. “Driver behavior is one of the causes but also one of the most important solutions,” Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan said in a news release. “This is not blame. These are facts. We all have a role. TxDOT can do more, and we accept that responsibility. The driving public can do more. For instance, in 2021, a total of 1,522 people were killed because of speed, and a total of 1,219 were killed because they were not wearing a seat belt. These were decisions made by people that could have potentially saved 2,741 lives.” Art Markman, a psychology professor at The University of Texas, informed TxDOT leaders and

2222

or faced serious injuries on the roads in 2021. Reported vehicle crashes in Texas in 2021

STEINER RANCH BLVD.

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RM 620/RM 2222 bypass The RM 620/RM 2222 bypass opened to trac with two lanes in each direc- tion April 29. Northbound trac ows into a dedicated lane on eastbound RM 2222 and is no longer required to stop at a signal. Work continues on RM 2222 between the bypass road and RM 620, and the project is expected to be completed by late 2022. Timeline: December 2019-late 2022 Cost: $10 million Funding source: city of Austin, Texas Department of Transportation

Noninjuries

1.07M

137.4K Possible injuries 100.4K Unknown injuries

“WEMUST DOBETTERFOR OURSELVES, OUR LOVED ONES ANDOUR LARGER COMMUNITYOF TEXANS.” LAURA RYAN, TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER

82.5K Suspected minor injuries 19.4K Suspected serious injuries

4.5K Fatalities

SOURCE: TEXAS PEACE OFFICER’S CRASH REPORTSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

71

transportation stakeholders at the annual Texas Transportation Forum in February about coronavirus-related pressures that have had a negative impact on Texas roadways. “We have to remind people that they are part of a community,” Markman said. “We have to start considering everyone as part of our community. If we don’t do that, there are going to be all sorts of negative consequences, and those are going to include negative consequences on the road.” The release provided information on initiatives TxDOT is researching and studying before implementing to aid in roadway safety. Some of the initiatives include trac safety campaigns and law enforcement funding grants as well as proven

life-saving roadway designs. TxDOT is also reviewing crash data to identify areas where drivers are more likely to crash and will use its ndings to focus improvement initiatives on those areas and share the data with the driving population. Ocials within the agency believe the implementation of the above ini- tiatives and focusing on engineering and enforcement will greatly reduce the number of deaths on Texas roads. "But make no mistake: This is an urgent call to action for all of us behind the wheel,” Ryan said. “We can do better. We should do better. We must do better—for ourselves, our loved ones and our larger community of Texans. Not a single death on our roadways is acceptable.”

12

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF MAY 5. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LTWNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. should begin after Memorial Day. Timeline: late 2021-late 2023 Cost: $13.7 million Funding sources: TxDOT, Travis County Hamilton Pool Road widening Utility work is underway and should be complete within the next few weeks, weather permitting. Roadway construction will begin after the utility work and will include pipe installations and roadway widening. Lane closures

Love what you wear.

13

LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • MAY 2022

NEWS BRIEFS

Austin airport receives TSA staffing boost in response to backups

1.2K

PANDEMIC EVICTION FILINGS Since the eviction ban was lifted, Travis County has hit more than 50% of pre-pandemic-era yearly totals in just three months.

Eviction protections lifted

1K

800

600

Pre-pandemic eviction levels

BY BEN THOMPSON

400

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is getting a staffing boost for its security lines in response to extended passenger wait times the travel hub has experienced in recent weeks. Airport and Transportation Security Adminis- tration officials confirmed that new TSA officers are coming to ABIA. In an April 12 meeting of the Airport Advisory Commission, Aviation Department CEO Jacqueline Yaft said 15 new TSA officers are being deployed to supplement 35 officers already temporarily assigned to the airport. The aviation department said the new officers were expected to start work April 8. “TSA leadership has confirmed additional staffing and canine resources to be deployed to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The Department of Aviation is grateful for the con- tinued collaboration and support from our TSA partners as we work together on the shared goal of improving the [ABIA] passenger experience,” Public Information Specialist Bailey Grimmett said in a statement. A TSA spokesperson confirmed that officers are being onboarded at ABIA. However, due to security reasons, the agency could not provide specific details about the recent officer deployment. STEPPING UP STAFFING The Transportation and Security Administration is providing relief to travelers hoping to cut wait times at ABIA in the form of extra officers.

200

0

2020

2021

2022

SOURCE: TRAVIS COUNTY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

After a pandemic pause, local evictions are on the rise as rental market strains remain

BY BEN THOMPSON

800 eviction cases filed each month prior to the pandemic, many of which were tied to increasing local housing costs, according to representatives of the health and human services department. While the local and federal eviction moratoriums suppressed the number, the underlying housing issues were further exacerbated by fiscal hardships for many residents who lost income or faced other economic and medical events during the pandemic. Some local officials and advocates are working to ensure the scaling down of protections do not result in longer-lasting fallout for renters. “It sounds like evictions are going to skyrocket and continue

to increase, and that’s only going to compromise our local economy and our community even further,” said Pilar San- chez, Travis County health and human services executive. Between March and April 2020, eviction filings in Travis County plunged 96% as local orders aimed at delaying evic- tions went into effect, according to data from Princeton Universi- ty’s Eviction Lab. The county of nearly 1.3 mil- lion people historically saw well over 100 eviction cases filed each week, figures that dropped to around several dozen. In late 2021, those numbers began gradually rising as the CDC’s national eviction ban expired, according to Eviction Lab data.

After evictions in Travis County dropped to historic lows due to increased governmental protections during COVID-19, a gradual return to normalcy has also brought a renewed spike in cases as the Austin area remains in what some are calling a housing crisis. For much of the past two years, Travis County, Austin, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shifted their response to evictions, nearly halting renter removals. In March, the last Travis County eviction protections ended as the number of filings in the majority-renter city was jump- ing to pre-pandemic levels. The county saw about

temporary officers 35

new officers assigned 15

SOURCE: AUSTIN-BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

GRAND OPENING!

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Austin-basedAmerican Campus Communities announces sale toBlackstone

BY BEN THOMPSON & JOE WARNER

According to ACC, it owned 166 student housing properties with approximately 111,900 beds. With its third-party managed properties, ACC had 203 properties with approximately 140,900 beds throughout the United States. According to the press release, Blackstone’s real estate business was founded in 1991 and has $279 billion of investor capital under management. Blackstone is the largest owner of commercial real estate globally. The purchase, according to ACC co-founder and CEO Bill Bayless, “represents the culmination of the passion and dedicated service of the ACC team to our student resident and university partners, while creating significant value for our shareholders. “Moving forward together, the combined synergies of our organizations will enable us to better serve our current and future residents and university partners,” Bayless said.

Austin-based American Campus Communities Inc. will sell its student housing real estate devel- opment, construction and management company to Blackstone for $12.8 billion in a deal announced April 19. Among the campuses with ACC-owned prop- erties are The University of Texas at Austin and Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. In Austin, ACC’s portfolio includes more than a dozen housing complexes in the West Campus area home to hundreds of beds and valued together at more than $520 million as of 2022. According to a press release, the transaction was unanimously approved by ACC’s board of directors and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022. On its website, ACC states it is the largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing communities in the U.S.

620

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ACC declined to comment further on the announcement April 19. However, in letters to its partner universities, including UT, the company said its work with student housing development is not expected to be affected after going private. ACC also owns or manages multiple student housing properties at Texas A&M University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, Sam Hous- ton State University, Baylor University and more.

Lawmakers, industrymembers tout Austin’s growing presence in semiconductor sector

BY BEN THOMPSON

April 18 at The University of Texas’ research campus for a discussion of the industry’s local presence and national efforts to boost America’s semiconductor expertise. While UT is already home to semiconductor facilities and related educational opportunities, officials said a related piece of federal legisla- tion could boost the university’s work even more. The CHIPS for America Act, spon- sored by Cornyn and McCaul, would broaden the government’s focus on semiconductors with billions more for research. UT is in line to benefit if the bill

Central Texas could see its role in the semiconductor manufacturing space grow as lawmakers, industry members and education officials eye the area as a hub for the increasingly critical field. The Austin area is home to the plants or offices of several major play- ers in the technology space, including AMD, Applied Materials, Micron, NXP and Samsung—some of which already have multibillion-dollar expansions in the works. Represen- tatives from those companies joined U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep Michael McCaul, R-Austin,

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, RTexas, (second from right) and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, RAustin, (second from left) tour UT. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

is passed. The Texas Institute for Electronics, a partnership of dozens of companies and educational institutions, including UT, could receive a large slice of the act’s $13 billion investment in research and development—including up to $3

billion dedicated to new or expanded semiconductor facilities. The Congress members said a need for more semiconductor production in the U.S. ranges from personal elec- tronics to national concerns related to research and security.

Steve Johnson Owner/Broker of Realty Pros Austin c: 512-940-9634 o: 512-401-3330 realtyprosaustin.com steve@realtyprosaustin.com

SCAN HERE

Your Lake Travis Area Expert

15

LAKE TRAVIS - WESTLAKE EDITION • MAY 2022

GOVERNMENT

Lakeway’s home occupation ordinance does not permit the following occupations in city limits: Home occupations NOT PERMITTED

BREAKDOWN of events Day care owner Bianca King underwent a monthslong process with the city in an attempt to gain a home occupation permit.

March King granted right to operate during lawsuit, other remedies considered

May Home ordinance

Exact date unknown

revisited by commission

King appeals to board of adjustment decision

Complaint received

animal breeding, animal hospitals, pet grooming, commercial kennels or stables, veterinary offices lodging houses, “bed and breakfast” lodges, rental outlets clinics, hospitals, massage parlors/therapy clinics

2022

2021

January King opens day care business

August King is notified she needs an additional permit

September King files for city permit

November Zoning and planning commission

February • 9: board of adjustment denies appeal

April Revised preliminary home ordinance presented to commission

SOURCES: INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE, CITY OF LAKEWAY/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

• 10: city issues official ruling • 15: King files lawsuit against the city

denies permit

barber shops, beauty parlors

Lawsuit prompts change to home occupation laws The city of Lakeway is considering updating its home occupation ordi- nance governing at-home businesses following a monthslong administra- tive and legal battle with local day care owner Bianca King. King sued the city after she was the homes have someone working from home and operating some kind of business at times. We need to not take that away.” The revised ordinance was revisited BY GRACE DICKENS denied her permit for the first time. After appealing the decision to the board of adjustment, King was denied again in February, shortly after which she filed a lawsuit against the city to keep her business open.

restaurants, cocktail lounges

dancing schools or studios

contractor’s yards, junkyards

adult-oriented businesses

at the May 4 zoning and planning commission meeting with further revisions suggested by the commis- sion, which Molis said he and the city attorneys will work to address in coming weeks. An exact date for approval by the commission has not been determined as of the publication of this story. King operates a state-registered at-home day care out of her Lakeway home. She can care for up to four preschool children in addition to two of her own, ages 2 and 4, according

vehicle repair shops

“The city has an extremely strict ordinance governing home busi- nesses,” text from the lawsuit said. “It is one of the most oppressive home occupation ordinances in the state and even the country. These provisions ban virtually all home businesses, including many traditional home businesses that are common in most other towns, and which the [c]ity has no legitimate interest in prohibiting.” A home occupation is defined by

SOURCE: CITY OF LAKEWAY/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

denied a necessary permit for oper- ation and ordered to shut down her day care operation in February. The permit was denied on the grounds that it violated two of the 19 at-home business rules listed in the city’s home occupation ordinance, which outlines rules a business must follow in order to receive a permit for operation. “There’s a long history of home occupations in general, as long as humans have had homes,” Lakeway Assistant City Manager Joseph Molis said. “Specifically in Texas, there is a long history of allowing things to be home occupations, and when you look at the strict interpretation of this code the way it’s written now, it can be considered overbearing.” The lawsuit with King prompted the city to review its existing ordinances. On April 6, zoning and planning commission members viewed a preliminary version of the updated ordinance, which corrected many of the major flaws of the original code and removed some rules entirely. Of the 19 rules, nine were removed; three were altered substantially; four were clarified; and three were not altered. “Part of this is also trying to acknowledge the reality that a lot of people are working from home now,” Lakeway City Attorney Cobby Caputo said. “On a given street, probably half

to control with a special-use permit is the abuse of property rights by property owners and by neighbors,” Molis said. “You’re trying to pre- vent noxious things that happen in residential areas or that impact residential areas.” Various home occupations have been outlined by the city in its code as unacceptable, such as animal breed- ing, junkyards and dance studios. One traditional home-based business that has been accepted by courts is someone who cuts hair or operates a beauty salon. Both in the original code and updated code, however, that occupation is not permitted within Lakeway’s city ordinances, Caputo said. “It’s within the power of the city to change the common law of traditional home-based businesses to better fit the community itself,” Caputo said. The city and law firm reached an agreement in early March, allowing King to operate her business while the lawsuit proceeds, Lakeway Director of Communications Jarrod Wise said. King will have the opportunity to reapply for a home occupation permit

the city as an occu- pation carried out in a home or a building connected to a home. In these instances, the use of the home for an occupation is second- ary to the use of the home for residential purposes. Some occupations specifically outlined in the original ordinance as acceptable include a computer program- mer, tutor, consultant, artist or dressmaker.

to the court document. She opened

"THERE’S A LONG HISTORYOF HOME OCCUPATIONS IN GENERAL ... WHENYOU LOOKAT THE STRICT INTERPRETATIONOF THIS CODE THEWAY IT’SWRITTENNOW, IT CANBE CONSIDERED

her business in January 2021 to support herself after she was laid off during the pandemic. Directly behind her home is the eighth hole of the Live Oak

OVERBEARING.” JOSEPH MOLIS, LAKEWAY ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER

golf course at the Hills of Lakeway

Coincidentally, some of these violate the strict rules set forth in the home occupation ordinance, such as the inability to sell merchan- dise or services on the property as would be necessary in the case of a dressmaker or tutor, Molis said. “In general, what you are trying

Country Club. After the city received a complaint about King’s business, she was contacted by the city in August and informed she needed an addi- tional permit to continue its opera- tion, according to the court document. King went through a commission hearing in November where she was

once the city adopts the revised ordinance, according to the city. COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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