Lake Travis - Westlake | October 2020

“IT’S INOUR BEST INTEREST TOKEEP THE LAKE LOOKINGGOODAND THAT COVE LOOKINGGOOD, BECAUSEWE’RE TRYING TO SELL HOMESITES THAT LOOKOVER IT.” BILL HAYES, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF LEGEND COMMUNITIES

COLORADO RIVER

BEE CREEK RD.

HIGHLANDS BLVD.

SERENE HILLS DR.

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ENVIRONMENT

Stormwater runo traveled from the Rough Hollow development into Little Rough Hollow Cove Sept. 9. (Courtesy Christy Muse)

Spicewood residents report sediment runo into Lake Travis

Five violations emerged related to the development’s stormwater pollution prevention plan. The ndings prompted a July 13 violation, which McGovern said has since been resolved. TCEQ began a second investigation Sept. 9 in the wake of new complaints. Lakeway issued its own violation Sept. 10 for failed erosion sediment control through stormwater dis- charge, according to Communications Director Jarrod Wise. Since May, the city has led three stop-work orders for Joe Bland Con- struction in response to runo. However, stormwater violation notices are not uncommon during construction, according to Hayes, who also said they can occur just by nature of loose sediment and rainfall. Silt fences, which are used to collect sediment from runo, were installed, but Hayes said such measures can temporarily fail in the event of a storm. Despite the actions taken by the developers and local ocials, Muse said the larger issue is related to the initial site plans which date back more than 20 years. Wise conrmed Bland

Construction is following the code regulations in place at the time of the 1997 agreement. According to Muse, violations have only served as temporary measures for a site plan she thinks is not up to the city’s present standards. In part, she said the clearcutting of trees and lack of detention measure is to blame. As construction comes to an end, she thinks these issues will continue. “Stormwater events are an indica- tion of what’s going to happen after [the development is] built out,” Muse said. “There won’t be construction sediment. It’ll be oil, herbicides, pesticides ...” Hayes said he has heard similar statements from residents but maintains the runo is a temporary occurrence caused by an loose construction dirt and a lack of vegetation. Hayes said this issue will not occur post construction. “We’re very sympathetic to what’s going on and, believe me, it’s in our best interest to keep the lake looking good and that cove looking good, because we’re trying to sell home sites that look over it,” Hayes said.

BY AMY RAE DADAMO

complete and the Las Brisas section is expected to be completed by the end of October, according to Bill Hayes, chief operating ocer of Legend Communities. Muse, a 20-year resident of the adjacent Crosswind community, said early on she foresaw the potential for environmental issues, particularly concerning runo into Lake Travis. Following heavy rainfall the morning of Sept. 9, Muse said she witnessed the runo rsthand. Muse said construction runo and heavy sediment made its way into Little Rough Hollow Cove, an inlet to the lake, which sparked a response from the city of Lakeway and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Since April 21, the TCEQ has tracked over ve resident complaints related to runo into the cove, which led to an investigation in May, according to spokesperson Brian McGovern.

Nearby residents of a neighborhood being built on the south shore of Lake Travis have raised concerns about stormwater runo—an issue a devel- opment ocial said is temporary. In April, Spicewood residents, including Christy Muse, spoke before Lakeway City Council to express concerns regarding site plans for Las Brisas, a neighborhood in the Rough Hollow Development which is under construction. “It has become clear that the big-picture plan for water-quality protection is yet to be determined,” Muse said. Construction led by Joe Bland Construction, L.P began 10 years ago on the 2,000-acre housing develop- ment run by Legend Communities. It is one of the largest residential developments in the area with 25 neighborhoods. Work on Rough Hollow is over 50%

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LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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