Cedar Park - Leander Edition | December 2021

CEDAR PARK LEANDER EDITION

VOLUME 15, ISSUE 8  DEC. 8, 2021JAN. 11, 2022

ONLINE AT

VOLUNTEER GUIDE 2021

First everWilCo Fair andRodeo

GUIDE

22

IMPACTS

6 DEVELOPMENT

13 RECREATION

17

Local retailers, restaurants face supply chain issues across board

MEASURES OF I N F L AT I O N

The Consumer Price Index of Texas increased steadily year over year before experiencing several years’ worth of growth in 2021. As dened by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CPI is the average change over time of the prices of consumer goods and services since the early 1980s, when the CPI was set at 100.

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

to get, and he chose to not buy spot prawns when the season opened in October because they would not be aordable for customers. The business also stopped selling scallops because costs increased 71% in addition to a 38% increase in ship- ping costs. In November, Ferguson saw such a signicant cost increase for his scallops order that he told the pro- ducer he needed to wait until prices moderate. “I can’t pass that full cost increase onto my customers,” he said. “No one in their right mind would pay it.” CONTINUED ON 30

Business owners and consumers alike are seeing the pandemic’s eects on supply chains, leading to shipping delays, price increases or unavailabil- ity of products from Christmas trees to sh to paper goods. Leander-based seafood business Savory Alaska is one example of how rising market costs have aected prices for consumers. Nathanael Fer- guson, who owns the company with his wife, Sarah, said the seafood market, specically shellsh prices, recently exploded. Ferguson said crab has been dicult

+2.22% +1.99% +1.64% +1.11% +4.69%

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SOURCE: TEXAS COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

TxDOT expands diverging diamond intersections

increasingly common design, known as a diverging dia- mond interchange, or DDI. He admits the design took some getting used to, but overall nds it to be intuitive. “I think they direct the trac really well to where you’re facing in the direction you need to go once you’re at the stoplight,” Viljoen said. For Central Texans, DDIs are becoming more com- mon, with the latest interchange opening at I-35 and Parmer Lane in October. That is because the Texas Department of Transportation sees it as an opportunity to alleviate congestion and improve safety on certain interchanges. CONTINUED ON 33

BY BENTON GRAHAM

Allen Viljoen commutes fromRound Rock to the Uni- versity of Texas three to four times per week. That drive has made him well-acquainted with the interchange at I-35 and University Boulevard, which temporarily guides vehicles to the left side of the road when cross- ing the bridge over the highway. Viljoen, an engineering student, is a fan of the

Drivers heading west on University Boulevard in Round Rock transition into a diverging diamond intersection at I35.

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CEDAR PARK - LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

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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

FROMDENISE: My 8-year-old son has been expressing to me more and more about how he wants to help people, such as the homeless or those who do not have jobs. It is hard to try and nd a place close to us for the whole family to be able to lend a hand. If you and your family are looking for a place to volunteer and to give back to your community, we have compiled a noncomprehensive Volunteer Guide (see Page 22) of potential opportunities for you and yours. Denise Seiler, GENERALMANAGER

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FROMEDDIE: Having done my own time in the service industry, I want to encourage everyone to show a little grace to the owners and sta you encounter this season. It’s easy to get stressed this time of year, but from mom and pop’s such as Board & Brush (see Page 27) and An Thinh Asian Cuisine (see Page 29)—pronounce it like “awn tin”—all the way up to the big chains, a little patience and understanding will make the holidays shine a little brighter for everyone. Eddie Harbour, EDITOR

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MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Denise Seiler EDITOR Eddie Harbour REPORTER Taylor Girtman GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chance Flowers ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Beth Burton METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney

BUSINESS &DINING Local business development news that aects you

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SCHOOL, CITY & COUNTY We attend area meetings to keep you informed

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

IMPACTS

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

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SCOTTSDALE DR.

AVENUE OF THE STARS

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YogaSix

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TAYLOR GIRTMANCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COURTESY YOGASIX

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to competitive team and also includes mommy-and-me, beginner tumbling, intermediate and advanced classes. It is located at 1717 Scottsdale Drive, Ste. 100-E, Cedar Park. 512-484-6561. www.gmgymnastics.com 4 Handyman Connection of Cedar Park opened Oct. 4 and oers handyman, remodeling and maintenance services in Cedar Park, Lago Vista, Leander, Liberty Hill, Marble Falls, Round Rock and Austin. The minority-owned and locally operated business is located at 2407 S. Bagdad Road, Ste. A, Leander. 512-764-0414. https:// handymanconnection.com/cedar-park 5 H-E-B opened its second Leander store Nov. 17 in the Bar W Marketplace development. The store has expand- ed food departments and additional amenities such as curbside services, home delivery services, a full bakery and tortilleria, store-made sushi, a wine and beer department, a oral area with online ordering, a pharmacy with a drive-thru and a Meal Simple area. The store is lo- cated within Leander city limits at 19348 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Leander. The store will be open from 6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. 512-843-4902. www.heb.com 6 Ramen512 opened a restaurant in Ce- dar Park in October. The restaurant serves a variety of ramen dishes. It is located at 1420 Cypress Creek Road, Ste. 300, Cedar Park. Ramen 512 replaces Hot Wok Cafe. www.ramen512.com 7 Slab BBQ + Beer opened its Cedar Park restaurant Nov. 1. The barbecue restaurant serves “sammiches,” meats by the pound, barbecue nachos and more. The Cedar Park location is at 905 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste. A, Cedar Park. The restaurant has two other locations in Aus-

tin and a food trailer at The Fieldhouse at The Crossover. 512-986-7243. www.slabbbqbeercedarpark.com 8 Slackers Brewing Co. opened on RM 620 in Northwest Austin on Nov. 12. The brewery will open with 11 craft beer taps, one cold brew tap and a limited food menu. Owners Derek and Haley Law previously told Community Impact Newspaper that they aimed to build a family-friendly, community-driven space. This is the rst brewery to open in the Anderson Mill area. The brewery plans to add its own beers in January. Slackers Brewing Co. is located at 12233 N. RM 620, Ste. 204, Austin. 512-284-7639. https://slackersbrewing.com 9 YogaSix opened in November in the Lakeline Market shopping center. The locally owned franchise oers six types of yoga classes such as beginner yoga and sculpt classes. This is the rst Austin-area location for the yoga company. It is locat- ed at 14028 N. US 183, Ste. 110, Austin. 512-886-4002. www.yogasix.com/ location/lakeline-market COMING SOON 10 Jersey Mike’s Subs will open a Leander location in early 2022, accord- ing to the company. It will be located in the Bar W Marketplace, where the new H-E-B store is located. The fast-casual sub sandwich shop serves fresh-sliced or fresh-grilled subs on freshly baked bread and has nearby locations in Cedar Park, Georgetown, Round Rock and Austin. The new location’s address will be 19372 Ron- ald W. Reagan Blvd., Ste. 350, Leander. www.jerseymikes.com

MEDICAL PKWY.

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SAM BASS RD.

LAKELINE BLVD.

WHITESTONE BLVD.

1431

BRUSHY CREEK RD.

BELL BLVD.

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LAKELINE BLVD.

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ANDERSON MILL RD.

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CYPRESS CREEK RD.

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MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2021 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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NOWOPEN 1 Face2Body Skin Studio opened in Cedar Park on Nov. 2. The business oers services including Columbian body con- touring, laser liposuction, microcurrent facials, facials, LED light therapy and cus- tomized spray tans. A boutique also sells shapewear and tanning products. The studio is located at 715 Discovery Blvd., Ste. 202, Cedar Park. 512-986-7042. www.face2bodyskinstudio.com

2 Family Medicine Austin opened in Le- ander on Nov. 16, its second location. The practice oers comprehensive preven- tive, diagnostic and disease management care for individuals and families. The Leander practice is at 2701 S. US 183, Ste. B, Leander. The rst location is on Hwy. 290 in Austin. 512-872-6868. https://familymedicineaustin.com 3 Gold Medal Gymnastics opened at The Crossover on Dec. 1. The gymnastics studio teaches classes from foundations

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

11 Sephora is expected to open a store at 1890 Ranch in February, according to the company. It will replace the now- closed Famous Footwear at 1335 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste. E-100, Cedar Park. www.sephora.com NAME CHANGES 12 TLLT BBQ changed its restaurant name to Ginza Ramen & Poke in late October. The restaurant’s menu includes Japanese fast food, ramen, poke, sushirr- itos and rice bowls. It is located at 11301 Lakeline Blvd., Ste. 300, Austin. 512-436-8181. https://tlltbbq.net Austin Regional Clinic’s urgent-care telemedicine service eMD Access is now called NormanMD . The subscrip- tion-based services available 24/7 will not change, according to an Oct. 26 release. The name change and new branding honors ARC’s founding CEO Norman Chenven. 512-272-4636. 13 The Cedar Park Chamber of Com- merce announced Nov. 11 that it received a 4-Star Accredited Chamber award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for “sound policies, eective organizational proce- dures and positive impact on the commu- nity.” Of 7,000 chambers in the country, 200 have an accreditation designation, according to the release. The chamber’s oce is located at 1460 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. 512-260-7800. www.cedarparkchamber.org 14 Cedar Park Regional Medical Center received an “A” Hospital Safety Grade for fall 2021 from The Leapfrog Group, an independent watchdog organiza- tion, according to a Nov. 12 release. The twice-annual rating program identies how hospitals prevent medical errors and harm to patients. Cedar Park Regional received “B” scores in spring 2021, fall 2020 and spring 2020. The hospital is located at 1401 Medical Parkway, Cedar Park. www.cedarparkregional.com 15 Elyse Scally was named the new vice president and general manager of H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, according to a press release on Nov. 15. Scally, who previously was the assistant general manager, is www.normanmd.com IN THE NEWS

responsible for all programming and op- erations at the H-E-B Center and replaces Sammy Wallace, who died in September, according to the release. H-E-B Center at Cedar Park is a city-owned venue located at 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. www.hebcenter.com 16 Austin-based smoothie and wellness company JuiceLand is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021 and on Nov. 9 an- nounced a new president and expanded menu. The company hired former general manager and Wheatsville Food CO-OP CEO Mark Jacob as the new president. Founder and CEO Matt Shook will remain on sta. New menu items include a Blue Chip Smoothie and more agua fresca a- vors. JuiceLand has two Cedar Park-area locations at A 12226 N. RM 620, Austin, and B inside the 365 by Whole Foods at 5001 183A Toll, Cedar Park. www.juiceland.com SCHOOL NOTES 17 Je Marx , the head of school at Hill Country Christian School of Austin, will retire at the end of the 2021-22 school year, according to an Oct. 27 announce- ment. Marx worked at the school for 16 years, previously as a teacher and upper school principal. Matt Donnowitz, the cur- rent upper school principal, will replace Marx. The private school, which teaches prekindergarten to 12th grade, is located at 12124 N. RM 620, Austin. 512-331-7036. www.hillcountrychristianschool.org CLOSINGS 18 Freshii Cedar Park closed Nov. 12 due to “rising food costs, supply issues and continued stang shortages,” according to a Nov. 9 Facebook post. The restaurant served wraps, bowls, smooth- ies and more at 1310 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste. 530, Cedar Park. 19 Poo Thai Restaurant is closed as of Oct. 26, according to a sign posted out- side the restaurant. It was located at 109 Cypress Creek Road, Ste. B7, Cedar Park. 20 Southpaw Brewing Co. is now closed, according to a Sept. 30 Facebook post. The business opened in August 2020 and was located at 2415 S. Bell Blvd., Cedar Park.

The Fieldhouse has two outdoor pickleball courts available by reservation.

TAYLOR GIRTMANCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN The Fieldhouse, an indoor-outdoor entertainment venue, opened Nov. 15 at The Crossover at 1717 Scottsdale Drive, Ste. 170, Cedar Park. The venue has an indoor bar, two outdoor bars, a covered patio, two pickleball courts, a sand volleyball court, a large lawn, an outdoor playground, indoor arcade games and a large outdoor TV. Pickleball and volleyball can be reserved online. Four food vendors will operate at The Fieldhouse: Flyrite Chicken, Takavron, Slab BBQ + Beer and Southside Flying Pizza. Austin-based Southside Flying Pizza will operate in the facility’s kitchen while Flyrite, Takavron and Slab BBQ + Beer will have outdoor food trailers at the venue.

Takavron’s taco truck opened Nov. 15, but Slab BBQ and Flyrite will open at a later date, according to The Fieldhouse partner Dallas Miller. Southside Flying Pizza’s kitchen opening is pending inspection approval. The Fieldhouse is open daily from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. 737-239-1932. www.theeldhousetexas.com

SCOTTSDALE DR.

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

TODO LIST

December-January events

Ridge High School. The course will be Christmas-themed at the school’s home course. A half-mile kids race will also be held. Finishers will receive a custom medal. The 5K race will start at 8 a.m., and the kids’ race will start at 7:30 a.m. Race registration cost varies. Vista Ridge High School, 200 S. Vista Ridge Blvd., Cedar Park. RunSignUp.com: VRXC 11 LISTEN TO LITTLE TEXAS Country music band Little Texas will bring its music to Cedar Park at an open-air concert at the Haute Spot. The band from Nashville combines modern rock with country themes and styles. Their songs include “What Might Have Been,” “God Blessed Texas” and “My Love.” Tickets are available online for general admission or premium seats. Children ages 13-17 must be accompanied by a guardian. 6-11 p.m. $20-$45. Haute Spot, 1501 E.

THROUGH DEC. 24

DEC. 10

SEE ‘THE ELFONTHE SHELF’ LIVE HEB CENTER AT CEDAR PARK

TAKE PHOTOSWITH SANTA LAKELINE MALL

“The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical” will bring guests to the North Pole to glimpse into the lives of Santa’s Scout Elves in the original Christmas musical. Tickets can be purchased online. Masks are required for guests over age 2. 6 p.m. $29 and up. H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. 512-600-5000. www.hebcenter.com

Santa Claus will be at Lakeline Mall through Christmas Eve for photos with families as part of the Simon Santa Photo Experience. Guests can sit with Santa or be socially distanced. Reservations are encouraged. Photo package costs and hours vary. Lakeline Mall near Dillard’s, 11200 Lakeline Mall Drive, Austin. www.simon.com/mall/lakeline-mall

New Hope Drive, Cedar Park. www.loveandlightstream.com 11 WEAR YOUR PAJAMAS TO THE LIBRARY

DECEMBER 10 AND 11

under 2. 7 p.m. $10-$50. Chaparral Ice, 1717 Scottsdale Drive, Cedar Park. 512-252-8500. www.eventbrite. com/e/the-nutcracker-on-ice-2021- tickets-204063919677 10 THROUGH 18 SEE A CHRISTMAS SHOW Way O Broadway Community Players will present “The Cricket on the Hearth” by Charles Dickens with outdoor

performances at Smooth Village. Tickets for the Christmas play can be purchased online, and guests should bring lawn chairs. 5:30 p.m. (Dec. 12 and 19), 8 p.m. (Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18). $10-15. 203 W. Broade St., Leander. 512-259-5878. www.wobcp.org 11 RUNA SANTADASH The Vista Ridge Cross Country Program is holding a 5K fundraiser at Vista

WATCH ‘THE NUTCRACKER ON ICE’ See mice, toy soldiers, snowakes and sugar plums skating on ice at Chaparral Ice’s “The Nutcracker on Ice.” The cast of 100 skaters will perform over two nights. Tickets can be purchased online. Admission is free for guests

Families are invited to wear their Christmas pajamas to the city of Leander’s Pancakes & PJ’s event. Guests can enjoy a hot breakfast, make Christmas crafts and see Santa Claus at the annual event. Preregistration is required online for limited spots in each of two sessions at

Find more or submit area 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.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

WE’RE

8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Masks will be required inside the library but not outside. Free (admission without breakfast or crafts), $5 (per person). Leander Public Library annex, 1011 Bagdad Road, Leander. 512-528-9909. www.leandertx.gov 15 SEE STARS SKATING ON ICE Famous gure skaters will perform a special holiday performance at H-E-B Center for the “Stars on Ice Holiday” tour. Skaters include the Olympian duo Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Olympic Gold medalist Ilia Kulik and Canadian gure skater Kurt Browning. Tickets can be purchased online. 7:30 p.m. $39 and up. H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. 512-600-5000. www.hebcenter.com 18 ENJOY HOLIDAY TUNES Texas singer-songwriter Hamilton Loomis will perform a holiday music show at Steamer Lane Music. Guests can also play Christmas song trivia, and Topp Dawg will be selling hot dogs. Guests can bring their own chairs, food and drinks. Tickets must be purchased in advance online. 6 p.m. $20. Steamer Lane, 603 Brushy Creek Road, Cedar Park. 512-431-6279. https://steamerlanemusic.com 22 ENJOY A FAMILYMOVIE Families can head to the Cedar Park library’s community room for a viewing of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” The movie is rated PG. 2-4 p.m. Families can bring snacks. Free. Cedar Park Public Library, 550 Discovery Blvd., Cedar Park. 512-401-5000. www.cedarparktexas.gov 24 WATCHA LIGHTUP CHRISTMAS TALE Guests will watch a Christmas tale told with moving light characters and holiday music. Lightwire Theater’s “A Very Electric Christmas” will visit H-E-B Center on Christmas Eve. Performing group Lightwire Theater is known as a semi- nalist on “America’s Got Talent.” Tickets can be purchased online. 2 p.m. $20- $47.50. H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park. 512-600-5000. www.hebcenter.com 30 DECK THE DANCEHALL See country singer-songwriter Kevin Fowler perform at Wild West in Cedar Park for the “Deck the Dancehall Tour.” Musical guest Carson Jerey will also perform. Age 18 and up. 7 p.m. $20-$40. Wild West Cedar Park, 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. 512-986- 7464. https://wildwestcedarpark.com/ event/kevin-fowler JANUARY 06 NETWORKAT A BREWERY Meet other Cedar Park and Leander business professionals over coee. Networking Local hosts mingle- style networking events for meeting business neighbors and to support local businesses. 4:30-6:30 p.m. Free. Whitestone Brewery, 601 E. Whitestone Blvd., Bldg. 5, Ste. 500, Cedar Park. www.facebook.com/networkinglocal

Trail of Lights

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WORTH THE TRIP TAKE THE TRAIL Through Dec. 30 The Trail of Lights returns as a drive-thru event for its 57th year. This year’s Trail of Lights will feature more than 2 million holiday lights throughout the park spanning 90 holiday trees, lighted tunnels and more than 70 other displays. 7 p.m. $30-$40 general admission. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road, Austin. https://austintrailoights.org

MOPAC

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The Armadillo Bazaar

SHOP THE SEASON Dec. 17-19

Armadillo Christmas Bazaar will return for a three-day, in-person, outside event. The pop-up market features art, including paintings, jewelry and metal works. Musicians, such as Gina Chavez, Ruthie Foster and Shinyribs, will perform live. 10 a.m. $10 (admission). Outside the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road, Austin. 512-447-1605. www.armadillobazaar.com

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 183AToll slated for 5% increase

REGIONAL PROJECTS

183A TOLL CHANGES Here is how 183A Toll rates will change starting in 2022. The Park Street main lane gantry has the most expensive rate across all of Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s tolling locations.

S A M

BRUSHY CREEK RD.

2243

WALSH DR.

1

HAIRY MAN RD.

BY BENTON GRAHAM

2

2243

183

CREEK BEND BLVD.

GREAT OAKS DR.

Since 2016, the highest annual toll increase enacted by the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority was 2.27% in 2019. However, in 2022 the increase will be more than twice that at 5.39%. That higher increase is because the Mobility Authority determines area toll increases by looking at ination through the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The metric, which was higher this year than previous years, measures the change in pricing over time for urban consumers, according to the BLS website. Increases to the MoPac Express Lanes are the exception to the 5.39% bump, as they increased by $0.05 per gantry passed. The new toll rates will go into eect beginning Jan. 1.

CRYSTAL FALLS PKWY.

3

N

183A TOLL

BRUSHY CREEK RD.

Hairy Man Road and Brushy Creek Road improvements A Williamson County project to make improvements to Hairy Man Road and Brushy Creek Road on the 2.2 miles of road between Walsh Drive and Sam Bass Road is expected to be complet- ed in December. Improvements to the road made by the county include the addition of shoulders on both sides of the street, rumble striping along the shoulders and turn lanes into the adjacent parks. Timeline: February-December 2021 Cost: $3.9 million Funding source: Williamson County 2013 road bond

4

1431

5

LAKELINE BLVD.

6

45 TOLL

620

N

GANTRY

Locations

Old New Increase

1 Crystal Falls ramps 2 Crystal Falls main lane

$0.45 $0.47 +$0.02 $1.13 $1.19 +$0.06 $0.63 $0.66 +$0.03 $1.59 $1.68 +$0.09 $0.63 $0.66 +$0.03 $0.59 $0.62 +$0.03

3 Scottsdale ramp

4 Park Street main lane 5 Brushy Creek ramps 6 Lakeline main lane

SOURCE: CENTRAL TEXAS REGIONAL MOBILITY AUTHORITYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

620

2222

Speed limit reduced on section of RonaldReaganBoulevard Due to the new HEB store open- ing in north Leander, the city has reduced the speed limit on the part of Ronald Reagan Boulevard between Kauman Loop and Hwy. 29. to 65 mph south of Kauman. Additional commercial develop- ment is under construction next to the HEB store, and a mixed-use development is planned on Ronald Reagan across from the Bar W Marketplace development. 29 BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

N

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF NOV. 9. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LCPNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. RM 2222 to RM 620 bypass The southbound bypass lane connect- ing RM 2222 to RM 620 is expected to fully open in December. Timeline: December 2019-early 2022 Cost: $10 million Funding source: city of Austin 2016 mobility bond

The existing limit of 65 mph will be reduced to 45 mph due to increasing trac counts. Added trac as a result of the HEB “will exceed the bounds of safe operation,” according to city documents. The speed limit returns

New speed limit signage cost about $1,500, which was funded through the city’s operating budget. Leander City Council approved the speed limit change ordinance Nov. 4.

N

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CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

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The Mobility Authority is building new connections for Williamson County.

Central Texas’ explosive growth is driving the need for proactive congestion relief. The 6.6-mile extension of the 183A Toll Road into Liberty Hill will ensure continued, reliable mobility for years to come. We build more than roads. We build connections that enhance quality of life and economic vitality across Central Texas.

183A.com

12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Projects underway in the area

COMPILED BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

CedarPark’smixed-useBell District tostart construction inspring2022

Construction on Cedar Park’s new mixed-use development, the Bell District, is expected to begin in spring 2022. First openings are scheduled for early 2024, RedLeaf partner Rob Shands said in an Oct. 28 update to Cedar Park City Council. RedLeaf and the city of Cedar Park are part- ners on the $350 million develop- ment, which will have residential, commercial and civic areas with 16 acres of parkland. Bell District construction will begin following the completion of the Bell Boulevard realignment project, which is expected to nish in early 2022. This project realigned part of the road to Old Hwy. 183. Phase 1 construction will start in the spring with infrastructure such as roads and utilities. Verti- cal construction will start at the end of 2022 with the city library,

restaurants, shops, two high-den- sity residential projects, parking garages and green space. The Phase 1 social hub will be renamed as The Backyard. This will include the area with restaurants, patios, the new city library, a great lawn and trail. Shands said The Backyard’s design will have a com- fortable, relaxed, come-as-you-are design aesthetic. “It’s everything Cedar Park wants in its own backyard,” Shands said. Current progress is on track with the original timeline, and the timing provided an opportunity to integrate pandemic-related design changes, Shands said, especially with restaurant trends. “It’s a pretty post-COVID[-19]- friendly program with a lot of outdoor dining and open areas,” Shands said. The project is using public and

CLUCK CREEK TRL.

183

BUTTERCUP CREEK BLVD.

N

The Bell District in Cedar Park will feature the city’s new public library.

RENDERING COURTESY CITY OF CEDAR PARK

private funds to redevelop a Cedar Park area along Bell Boulevard between Park Street and Buttercup Creek Boulevard. The next project steps include Phase 1 construction, project

promotion, design and planning for the rst high-density residential project with 250-300 units and marketing to future tenants. Shands said there is “robust interest” for food and beverage operators.

NORTHLINE Construction on Northline’s residential development is expected to begin before the end of 2021, according to a Nov. 3 release from Northline. The rst residences will include townhomes for sale, townhomes for rent and apartments, according to Northline. When the Leander development is complete, there will be 2,150 apartments and 250 townhomes. The 116-acre development broke ground in early 2020. RENDERING COURTESY NORTHLINE Residential construction will begin by the end of 2021.

SPLASH SHACKMINI GOLF Splash Shack, an indoor water park in Cedar Park, plans to expand its family-friendly activities with a mini-golf course. The course is in the preliminary design phase with the goal to open the course in late 2022, said Tom Davis, a Splash Shack owner. Davis said the goal is to create a family entertainment complex for people of all ages. Cedar Park City Council unanimously approved a special-use permit Oct. 28 allowing the development. TAYLOR GIRTMANCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Splash Shack plans to add mini-golf in 2022.

CEDAR PARK PICKLEBALL COMPLEX RENDERING COURTESY ELECTRIC PICKLE The complex will have 12 pickleball courts.

Zoning to allow a pickleball complex in Cedar Park has been approved. About 4.6 acres near Whitestone Boulevard and 183A Toll at 580 Spanish Oak Estates Drive, Cedar Park, was changed from development reserve zoning to general commercial Oct. 28. Electric Pickle will build a complex with 12 pickleball courts and a restaurant, according to a June release.

183A TOLL

183

183A TOLL

183

N

N

N

13

CEDAR PARK  LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

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At Dell Children’s, we are growing — just like families and the communities in Central Texas. The hospital, with the most pediatric specialists and specialty programs in the region, is expanding to deliver even more advanced and specialized care. Now more than ever, you have access to the highest level of care, close to home. • New state-of-the-art full-service children’s hospital in North Austin — opening 2022 • New 4th bed tower, adding 72 inpatient care rooms, with the ability to expand in the future — opening 2022

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COUNTYREDISTRICTING Williamson County commissioners approve newprecinctmaps

examined data and proposed new borders for residents to know who their commis- sioner, justice of the peace and constable are. “All of our big cities are really too big to be wholly contained in one precinct,” Long said. “We recognized that and knew that it wasn’t feasible, for instance, for all of Georgetown to be under one commissioner anymore.” Where previously George- town was entirely in Precinct 3, come Jan. 1, the east side of the city will mostly be in Precinct 4 with the rest remaining in Precinct 3. Round Rock was mostly split into Precincts 1 and 4, but parts of the city will also be in Precinct 3 going forward. Precinct 2 will now predom- inantly contain Cedar Park and Leander. Precinct 1, with parts of the city of Austin, will have a slight population edge—though within the mandated 10% margin—but

is viewed as slower-growing than the other areas because it lacks the room to grow, according to Long. “We hope that in four or five years from now, as those other precincts grow, the numbers won’t skew so quickly,” Long said. “We overpopulated Precinct 1 and underpopulated the others so that in five or six years it’s not quite so out of balance.” While Leander more than doubled in size between censuses from 26,521 to 59,202 residents, and Cedar Park saw a 58.56% jump from 48,937 to 77,595, Round Rock saw an increase just shy of 20% from 99,887 to 119,468. After receiving public comments, the final map received minor edits from the proposed map, primarily to clean up some boundary lines and ensure some areas were not split into different school districts in an attempt to help elections officials keep ballots streamlined. “There were some tweaks that needed to be made, some cleanup,” Covey said at a special meeting Nov. 12. “There were a couple of items for school districts. ... There were those [types of] changes made.” With new precinct lines drawn and adopted, the county still needs to approve voting precincts in the coming weeks so political parties can elect party chairs, whose filing deadline to run is in January.

BY EDDIE HARBOUR

After the 2020 census, Williamson County saw its population at 609,017, a 44.08% jump from the 2010 total of 422,679. According to Long, most of that growth happened on the west side of the county, leaving Precincts 2 and 3 over their target population of about 152,000 to evenly split the four—give or take 10%, per the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Thomson. To get their numbers in line, the commissioners, with help from a subcom- mittee and county staff,

Long, along with Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey, was a Williamson County commissioner in 2010, the last time the county went through redistricting, and that experience helped them move the process along this year, they said. Following the delay in finalizing the nationwide numbers, the state went through its own redistricting process that finished Oct. 25. Then, on Nov. 4, the state told its counties they had until Nov. 13 to finish their own process.

After a decade of record growth, Williamson County found itself having to redistrict its four precincts following the completion of the 2020 census, a task it completed in November and will take effect Jan. 1. “It was a very accelerated timeline,” Precinct 2 Com- missioner Cynthia Long said. “It started with the federal government delay in releasing the census data. That normally happens in March but didn’t come out until August.” EVENING THE FIELD

Between the 2010 and 2020 censuses, Williamson County saw a 44.08% increase in its population to 609,017, forcing it to realign its precincts while also taking into account future growth.

Precinct 1

158,935

PRECINCT 3

35

Precinct 2

148,465

29

Precinct 3

150,578

PRECINCT 2

95

130 TOLL

PRECINCT 4

Precinct 4

151,039

PRECINCT 1

N

SOURCE: WILLIAMSON COUNTY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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CEDAR PARK - LEANDER EDITION • DECEMBER 2021

EDUCATION Board, officials reviewoptions after LISDbond propositions fail

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Leander ISD board members and officials will continue discussions of how to proceed with projects that were not approved funding in the 2021 bond election, including school construction, major maintenance and projects in Proposition B that first required Proposition A projects.

BY TAYLOR GIRTMAN

November 2022 election will be in August. But Gearing said the timeline for calling a May election would not provide enough time for the district to conduct community listening. “We really do need to pay attention to our voting public, and we need to listen to what they want. But if we don’t have the time to do that then that may not be the right timing,” Gearing said. “On the other end of that, we have facilities pressure. We know that these students are coming to the district, and how are we going to respond to that?” Short-termeffects To meet student growth, the district is expected to open three elementary schools in the next two school years. Elementary School No. 29 did not require

HERE ARE SOME OPTIONS THE BOARD IS CONSIDERING:

Following the failure of two Lean- der ISD bond propositions in the Nov. 2 election, district staff and board members discussed the next steps for the district Nov. 18. LISD voters approved one of three propositions in the Nov. 2 bond election. Proposition A failed by 215 votes and would have funded $727.2 million of school construction and renovations. The $33.3 million Proposition C failed by about 3% and would have funded upgrades for high school performing arts centers. Proposition B for technology replacement was approved with 52% of the vote. However, part of the proposition, which funded interactive panels to replace projec-

• calling a May 2022 bond election • calling a November 2022 bond election • adding portables at overcrowded campuses • rezoning school attendance boundaries

SOURCE: LEANDER ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

funded with about $5 million in alter- native funding, but the other school would remain unfunded at this time, Gearing said. “Timeline on that is important because we really should be get- ting under design and planning for construction of both of those elementary schools very soon,” he said. “Otherwise, the opening in 2023 is in jeopardy.” These schools are planned in the Ranch at Brushy Creek neighborhood in Cedar Park or the Travisso neigh- borhood in Leander, though sites are not confirmed. Chief Facilities Officer Jimmy Disler said unless funding is secured by the end of May, opening the second elementary school on time in 2022 will come off the table. If a May 2022 bond is called and passes, the school would only have about 15 months for construction. Disler said 18-24 months is needed to build a school with current construc- tion delays. “If we’re looking for a school in August of ‘23, we need to be in [the design phase] and about to be under construction right now,” Disler said. One short-term solution is adding

portables to the overcrowded schools that would otherwise be relieved with a new school opening. Rezoning discussion Board members also discussed the possibility of rezoning the district to make better use of existing facilities. Board Member Elexis Grimes said while some schools do not have the capacity in the northern area of the district, some schools in the southern end have remained under capacity. “I think zoning is a really very real conversation that is going to happen, and it has to happen,” Grimes said. Board Member Anna Smith said she supports a districtwide rezoning for early childhood, elementary, middle and high school students. “I know it’s not going to make people happy, but the voters spoke ... we have facilities that need to be utilized, and I think we [can] get creative,” Smith said. However, Board Member Sade Fashokun said she had concerns about rezoning in north Leander neighborhoods as some students have been moved multiple times. “The continued rezoning is so disruptive,” Fashokun said.

tors, required infrastructure within the failed Proposition A. New district growth pre- dictions show continuing rapid student growth and increasing housing devel- opments in LISD,

“IFWE’RE LOOKING FOR A SCHOOL INAUGUST OF ‘23, WE NEED TOBE IN [THE DESIGNPHASE] ANDABOUT TOBE UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW.” JIMMY DISLER, CHIEF FACILITIES OFFICER

funding from the 2021 bond, but Elementary Schools Nos. 30 and 31 depended on 2021 bond funding. The failed

Proposition A included the construc- tion of four elementary schools. One school cost $5 million in the bond because of project savings from the 2017 bond. Gearing said there could be other ways to fund the remaining need for that school so construction can proceed. Either ES 30 or ES 31 could be

and the district is projected to build eight schools over the next 10 years. During the school board’s Nov. 18 meeting, Superintendent Bruce Gearing said the next steps could include district zoning changes, using portables and calling another bond. The deadline to call a May election is Feb. 18, and the deadline to call a

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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