Friday, December 13, 2019

Stratus, Council (Another Consultant) Blue Alert, Traffic News and More!

*****Weather*****

So, what do you think about the weather?  85° at the first of the week, 31° Thursday morning.  The temperature swings this year are amazing.  We got about half an inch of rain Tuesday morning.  Warming up to the 70's this weekend and then another freeze possible next week.  No snow yet....

The lake is doing real well this year!  It's been dropping lately because of the dry weather we've been having.  Need to get some real rain to fix the dry ground.  Travis is at 670.21 (11 feet below full) and was 670.48 a week ago.  We're still almost 10 feet above the average for this time of year.


******Another Stratus Sale*****

Beau Armstrong (Stratus Properties) has made another big sale.  After selling the "Oaks" in Lakeway for $114 million a few years back, he has now sold the block the "W" is on in Austin along with Austin City Limits and more to the Ryman Hospitality Properties for $275M.  Sound familiar?  They also own properties in Tennessee like the Grand Ole Opry.  The music business is booming in Austin - you just have to walk around the homeless and their mess to get there (and maybe ride a bike....).


*****Council Special Session***** 

Council met Monday in Special Session - here is that agenda / packetHere is a link to the video.

3)  They've been talking about medians through town on 620 for a year now as an interim solution to traffic issues.  I'm not sure what has taken so long but they are finally getting close to doing it.  Medians to be inserted from Lohmans to around Murfin road.  This will curtail the left turning movements along that route except for a couple of locations.  You can see more if you go to the packet - there are several diagrams there.  These medians will look like the median that was put in near Wendy's and the North Bound left turn onto Lohmans.  

This will be a significant change - you should look at the diagrams and will be starting around the end of May 2020.  The median will mimic the plan for turning ability planned in the major 620 widening project.  TxDOT is picking up the expense of this - it's really not too expensive (in the big scheme of things) and will go pretty quickly - there is a concrete truck that lays the median after the area is marked and prepared.

They need to go ahead and figure out how to make Main coming out of the Oaks a two lane left.  

4)  Wildfire Mitigation Project Update.  Significant amount of work done by volunteers (school) and also other citizen volunteer.  Lake Travis Fire and Rescue worked hard to support this project.  Andra is also applying for a grant through FEMA to help finance more of this project.

5)  Organization Development Study - Yep, another study.  Hire a professional to look at how the city does things - more money to consultants.  I guess we'll need to hire more folks and spend more money.  I'm amazed at how much the way the city does things needs to change.  Ms. Vance and Mr. Smith will be the liaison and the city is spending $50,000.

6)  More discussion on Article 28 amendments.  You've heard about Code Next in Austin?  This is kind of like that.  They feel they need to  change development codes and locations along with water quality items.  Some has been forced by some of the new Texas laws going into effect.  Other parts are by choice.  Do we need all this change?  Costs a bunch to do, especially attorney fees to write and re-write all the ordinances.

7)  Continuation on the Chapter 28 review.  There are significant changes being talked about.  Here's a link to the published changes.

8)  An Executive Session on Economic Development - a project Granite.  Nothing further after the ES.


**********


Did you get a "Blue Alert" Thursday?  I did, after much investigation it turns out it was an alert notifying the public of a manhunt for a person that shot and killed a police officer.

According to DPS, four criteria must be met to issue the alert:

  • A law enforcement officer must have been killed or seriously injured by an offender.
  • The investigating law enforcement agency must determine that the offender poses a serious risk or threat to the public and other law enforcement personnel.
  • A detailed description of the offender's vehicle, vehicle tag, or partial tag must be available for broadcast to the public.
  • The investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction must recommend activation of the Blue Alert to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Here's a link to the story from a Houston station.

Suspect has been arrested in a Houston home without issue.

*****Wildlife Committee*****


The Wildlife Committee met Thursday evening.  Here is their agenda.  

4)  Report was given on the recent deer survey (third done) by Nick Kolbe.  Bottom line, Lakeway has about 1350 deer now per the survey.  I'm working on a copy of the survey and will publish it when I get it.  If this is correct and the deer reproduce at the normal rate of 35% per year, in two (2) years we will have 2500 deer.  The only predators in Lakeway are cars and an occasional coyote - much less than in the wild.

5-6)  Reports on TTT permit process and cost of management programs.

7-8)  Discussion on surveys and open houses.

There was a motion to re-institute the trapping process, get the necessary permits from the State and hire a trapper for next year.  It passed committee 4-2 in favor and will now go to the council.

*****More Traffic News*****


TxDOT started the RM 620 bypass project (Groundbreaking Dec. 11), RM 2222 is already under construction and the new bypass will make it even worse.  Hopefully the pain is worth it.  My concern is the traffic will move through that intersection much better but that will move the issues to other intersections.  TxDOT is working to make it better, we can help by driving defensively and staying off the phone.  I was coming out of Wendy's about a week ago and had to wait about a minute to enter onto 620.  In that time, I witnessed 7 people on their cell phones driving past me on 620.  This is not acceptable.  A little enforcement would make it happen!

**********

January 17, 2019
Have you heard all the concern about all the commercial space that is vacant around Lakeway?  There are plenty of folks looking for commercial space.  My intel is the Tai Spice location is already getting inquiries.  Maybe it's the owners of the properties - notice the "Rocco"s" location is still vacant - seems some are renting all the space they have.  If Tom lets me know, I'll announce who's going in - maybe a scoop!


*****City Building Commission*****

CBC only had one agenda item on their agenda.  It was to extend the permitted time on a home remodel on Vanguard St.  Extension was approved for 6 months.

*****Lakeway Directory*****

Have you signed up yet?  If not, click here to go to the sign up page and fill in the form.  Time is running out to get in the directory - it's a great service and is available in print and digital for your computer!  If your a business in Lakeway, consider an ad in the directory - great value - as little as $300 for a full year!  Here's a link to the main page.

*****Some Thoughts******

The City has spent Hundreds of Thousands of dollars in the last two years on attorneys - much of that is to revamp all of the ordinances that have served us well for 50+ years.  Is all that necessary?  Is it good for the City?  More consultants than ever, more committees - it seems a little much to me.  It means more tax dollars spent and higher taxes.  The meetings are so long I believe there is a disconnect with the citizens.  Is this moving forward?  I know I'm old, but I liked the way the city founders set this up.

That's all for today!  Get out and enjoy the great weather we are going to have, it will change!  Please consider a picture of your home or property!  Sky Pictures is there to get it done - email me at joe@skypict.com.

If you want to be added to my email list, send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll get you added.

Please forward the information to your friends!  They might like to see the Lakeway and area information too!

Joe Bain
lakeway@bain.us









Thursday, December 5, 2019

Weather, ZAPCO, Lakes and More!

WOW, I hope you're enjoying the wonderful weather that the good Lord had been generous to provide us with!  Looks to change a little in the future - a little cooler and a chance of rain next week.  We'll see...


*****ZAPCO*****


Items 1-5 went without fanfare and the consent agenda was approved unanimously.

6)  Preliminary Plan for Highlands Phase 3 went without issues and was approved unanimously.

7)  The Plat Amendment for Highlands Phase 3, 6B had some questions but was approved unanimously.

8)  The variance request for Lakeway Estates (this is a new development off of Serene Hills) did raise some questions.  The access road to the homes has a hairpin curve that is only 20' wide.  This was turned down before because of safety and fire concerns.  They came back with little improvement, curb and gutter road with a safety rail and approval from the fire department and was approved unanimously.  I hope nobody had to get in or out of there in an emergency - and they also significantly increased the density.

9)  The Preliminary Plan for Lakeway Estates was approved unanimously.

10)  There was a Home Office Request for a therapeutic massage business at 100 Lido Circle.  Apparently this business had been in operation for a while and must have had a complaint.  The Commissioners turned down the application unanimously.

11-12)  Sign Plan revision and sign request for the HEB was approved unanimously.

That was it - they got out early - meeting lasted about 2 hours.

*****Lakeway Directory*****

Did you know there is a Lakeway Phone Directory?  There really is and it is produced by the LCC (Lakeway Civic Corporation) every year.  If you got one (they are delivered) and your name isn't in it there's a reason!  You have to ask to be included.  It's free!  Go to this link, lakewaydirectory.com and make sure you are in the directory - it's great to keep in your car or where ever it's convenient.  

*****Lakes*****

Got a call from a resident asking about the lakes on the properties behind HEB, the BSW Rehab and near Lohmans.  The two North lakes are owned by Stratus and the Southern one near Lohmans is owned by Lakeway Plaza Partners.

This is the largest lake, it is at the North end of the chain.  It is behind the La Quinta project.  If you go to the end of Main Street, there is a walking path that goes around the lake.  Try it out, it's really beautiful.  As you can see, the water is pretty clear.
This is the smallest.  It is behind the BSW Rehab Center on Medical kind of across from the HEB.  It's a pretty little lake and not very accessible.
Here's the lake off Lohmans.  It's behind the Tai Spice location that is now closed.  It's also next to Lohmans Spur bu the Police Facility.  
All these lakes feed each other, mostly spring fed.  The city tried to buy the property South of Main Street from Stratus for parkland.  They didn't want to sell.  The current PUD over their property allows R-5? - kind of like Courtyard Homes on the South part and some commercial is also on there.  Maybe even another hotel.  

Stratus came to the city and offered to give the Southern part to us if we would allow them to build 350 apartments on the North end.  That was a no go for the city.  Apparently they still are wanting to do that from the information that Chessie Zimmerman gave at last months ZAPCO meeting.  They are not required by the agreement to build their part of Main St. until they start development.  Too bad, that was a mistake - Ms. Zimmerman negotiated the PUD and now works for Stratus....

If you have questions, please feel free to email me.  These are examples of the pictures I produce - let me know if you need aerial pictures!  See more at Sky Picturesjoe@skypict.com 

*****Upcoming*****

Of course, the Trail of Lights is ongoing, and it's great fun to walk the trail!

The Lakeway Heritage Committee meeting on the 9th was cancelled.

The City is having a "Roundtable" on ordinance updates.  One on the 11th from 1:30 - 2:30 at the Activity Center and one on the 12th at the Police Facility from 6:30 - 7:30.  Think all these changes are necessary?

City Building Commission meets next Thursday at 9:00 a.m. No Agenda yet.

Lakeway Wildlife Advisory Committee meets 11-12-19, 6:30 at the City Hall.

That's all for now, questions are welcome!  If you want to be added to the email list, send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll get it done.  Hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving, I'm now on a diet since the leftovers are gone.

Joe Bain






Sunday, December 1, 2019

Weather Roller Coaster, Affordable Housing, Land Use and More!

Well, its been another weather roller coaster!  A little rain, a little fog, a little wind, some 80's and some 40's.  A lot for a week don't you think?  Yesterday's high was 87°, this morning was 48°, we got about 0.21 inch of rain.  We had wind gusts to 34 mph Friday and the leaves are everywhere.  Looks like moderate temperatures for the next week and no rain for the next week.  Welcome to the Texas Winter!

*****New Affordable Housing*****

In case you missed it, some think the solution to the issue for local workers is to build affordable housing.  So here it comes.  The project is funded through a statewide tax credit program and the developer commits compliance with the program for 30 years.  The developer says there won't be a traffic impact because these folks will work in Lakeway.  Really?

One question is, do people really want to move to work in Lakeway?  What exactly are the benefits of working here?  So, an experiment at our expense - the city doesn't control it so we'll have to see how it turns out.  I expect more traffic and we still have a problem finding help.  What do you think?

*****Land Use Options*****
Response to Article in Impact

The conversation continues on the land use options that the Comprehensive Plan Committee (and Consultant$$) have been working on.  The city continues down the path that the moderation of new housing starts (over the next 10 years) will put the city into a budget issue because of the loss of new tax from new housing.  I believe that is kind of a fallacy.  The new tax from the housing stays with the city, it doesn't stop.  All those new houses continue to pay taxes.  There will be a moderation in income from building permits, but that just means the staffing levels can go down in BDS since they won't be issuing permits.  The increased tax income will continue unless property values decrease - what could cause that?  One thing could be a national issue, the last downturn that affected us actually just slowed down growth and building slowed, we were affected much less than other area and national cities because we were still desirable.  Another thing is to change the way our city is perceived by others by making changes that make us less desirable, that is a concern.


The other thing I find interesting is the changes to the "FLUM".  This is the Future Land Use Map.  It's dated May 2019 and is the current plan.  If you will look closely, the most disputed area is along Lohmans (MUD Property) and is designated commercial and mixed use.  Some of this was recently changed to "Residential".  Here is the FLUM used at the presentation to council.  If you look close, it looks a lot like the old map except more multi use and some recreational area that is currently privately owned and not for sale (or at least it wasn't previously).  I know because the city tried to purchase it a few years back.  The multi use is to allow business on ground floor and residences above - interesting, isn't that what ZAPCO turned down as too dense?  They were sent back to rethink some of the suggestions - maybe the old plan was pretty good?  Of course, much of this is prefaced on the "budget crisis" because construction will slow down (in 5 to 10 years).  It's a plan, we'll have to see where it goes.

*****Sing Along Christmas Show*****

It's that time of year again, get ready to kick off Christmas with the Sing Along's on December 8.  Take the kids!  Santa (the real one) will be there!
*****Meetings*****

The Public Engagement Advisory Committee will meet on December 4th at 4 p.m. at the City Hall.  Here is their agenda.

The Parks and Rec meeting that was scheduled for December 3rd was cancelled.

City Council will meet in Special Session on December 9th from 2-5 p.m.  This is advertised as a Work Session and no agenda has been posted yet.

ZAPCO will meet on December 4th from 9:15 a.m. until noon.  Here is that agenda / packet.

6-7) Plan revision and plat amendment for RH of Lakeway.  Nothing significant there.

8-9)  Lakeway Estates apparently wants variances that were previously turned down - new owners.  They also want to increase the number of homes on the Preliminary Plan.

10)  Home Business Permit - Operate a therapeutic massage business, 100 Lido Circle, Unit A-2.

11-12)  Signs.

That's about all for now - I think I'm almost caught up from the Holiday.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and now I have to go on a diet....

The Lakeway Church construction is continuing, there's a little framing being done for a retaining wall.  Hopefully this will really take off in the next few weeks.  Here's a link to a 360 panorama I did from 200' above the church.  Enjoy!

As always, if you need aerial pictures, please consider Sky Pictures - we aim to please!

Thanks for taking the time to read the blog.  I'm passionate about Lakeway and want to be sure residents are informed about what is going on in the community.  Please feel free to email me with questions or comments.  If you want to be added (or removed) from my email list, send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll get it done!

Joe Bain





Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Commissioner Daugherty, Some Pictures and More!

*****Weather*****

Looks like a warm Thanksgiving Holiday!  It appears it will be a little damp though, for all those driving and traveling, please be safe on the roads.  Put your phone down!  For current conditions, be sure to check out the weather station on the 15th Tee of Live Oak Golf Course - It will give you the temps and rain totals if there is any.

*****Commissioner Daugherty*****

I was honored to be able to attend the Women's Club meeting Monday for Commissioner Gerald Daugherty's presentation.  He gave a GREAT talk and got some pretty interesting questions.  

Transportation:  As we all know we have a real problem in this part of the county.  The problem is there is no place to go for new roads.  Not much interest in building an upper deck, can't go East because of the Preserve and the environmentalists so expanding 620 and making intersection improvements will have to do for now.  

Mass Transit:  Cities pay for mass transit - most small cities can't afford to build it.  Austin spends hundreds of millions of dollars on theirs and has a ridership rate of about 3.5%.  It makes more sense in large metro areas - we are more rural.  The thought that a person in Austin would ride a bus for an hour to work at a job in Lakeway when they can work near to their home just doesn't work.  We do have an issue with help here, buses won't fix that.  People want the flexibility to drive.

County spends a significant amount of their budget on Courts and Jails, nearly half of their budget.  They house an average of 2200 inmates - for an average of about 6 months.  Longer incarcerations generally go to state facilities.  They are responsible for those incarcerated included medical and drugs.  A big expense.

He's still fighting for his precinct and lower taxes.  It's good to have at least one conservative and traffic / road person on the County Court!  Another little tidbit - All of the counties in Texas (254 of them) have 4 commissioners and a county judge - no matter how large or small.  One county, Loving with 67 residents, still has 4 commissioners and a county judge.  

*****Pictures*****

Still taking pictures!  Here's a link to a 360 Panorama about 150' above my house.  You can use a mouse or your finger on your phone to look around.  

I have another one near 183 and Burnet Rd. to check out the view from a possible buildingHere's a link to that if you want to check it out.

November 23, 2019
November 23, 2019
Another Angle
Work is still moving forward at Lakeway Church.  I take these every week and will plan to put them into a time lapse.
Front 11-11-19
*****Calendar*****

I believe there are still about 15 calendars left!  If you need a Thanksgiving or Christmas gift, why not a calendar that is not only beautiful but also supports our local animal rescues.  You can email her at kim@kimortiz.com and here is a link to the order form.


That's all for now, please share the blog with your neighbors and friends that may want to see what's going on in Lakeway.  I suggest if you haven't, you should start paying attention to the way our city is changing!  You may not like it!

Thanks for all the support!  If you would like to be added (or removed) from the email list, send me a note at lakeway@bain.us and I'll get it done.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!  With all the turmoil going on (both nationally and locally) lets take this time to reflect on the importance of family and friends.  If you live in Lakeway, you are already blessed!

Joe Bain
lakeway@bain.us









Friday, November 22, 2019

Weather Change?, Volunteer Dinner, Lights On and More!

*****Weather Change?*****

It's a great time to try out this link to see the current weather conditions!  It's a balmy 54° as I write this blog and the wind is out of the North at about 3-15 mph.  It was 68° at about 6 a.m. this morning and dropped to 51° in less than an hour.  No rain here, was hoping for a little!  

When you're driving around, take some time to look at some of the Fall colors.  It's really pretty around here right now.  The colors are amazing!  These are from my yard, there are many more beautiful examples of the changing of the season all over our little city.  Take time to smell the roses!

*****Volunteer Dinner*****

Thursday evening the City held the Volunteer Dinner at Vintage Villas.  This event is a celebration of the folks that take the time to work for the city as volunteers the previous year.  This was a GREAT event and thanks to Dena Lindamood for all her work putting it together and making it so special!

In addition to a fun evening, two special awards were made.  The Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Janet Wright for her continued work for the Arts in Lakeway.  

The Unsung Hero award went to Bill Hawkins for his long and continued work on the Heritage Committee.

Congratulations to both of them on the awards!  And thank you for all the hard work!

Also, all 5 of the previous mayors still living were in attendance!  Here's a rare photo of us with the current mayor.  

From the left in order of their service - Charles Edwards, Gerry Astorino, Steve Swan, Dave DeOme, Joe Bain and Sandy Cox.  Thanks to all of you for your service and it was really special to be with you last night!

*****Light's On*****

Don't forget the "Lights On" celebration tonight (Friday, November 22) at the City Hall.  All the festivities will start about 6 p.m. (get there a little earlier than that).  Santa will light up the Trail of Lights and there will be complimentary S'mores and marshmallow roasting at the fire pit.  Non-perishable food items will be collected for a local food bank.  It will be a special evening!

*****Trash Timing*****

Because of the Thanksgiving Holiday, if your trash pickup is normally on Thursday, it will side to Friday.

City offices will be closed Thurday and Friday, but the Police will be there 24 hours a day.   Thanks guys for keeping us safe and working the Holiday!  Most people probably don't think of that - there are officers that give up their holiday to keep us safe, 24 hours a day.

Here's a link to the events going on at the Activity Center.  Check them out, there is good stuff going on!

*****Turkey Grease*****

Lakeway MUD General Manager Earl Foster was on CBS Wednesday evening talking about the pitfalls of turkey grease on our public sewer system.  Here's a link to the article, just don't put the grease down the drain.  Put it in a container and put it in the trash!

That's all for today, more soon!  I appreciate all the folks that have reached out about the email issues.  I'm sure there are still some going into the spam folder - eventually I hope it gets worked out.

Please forward the blog email to your friends or neighbors that might want to get local information!  Doesn't hurt to click on an ad occasionally, you might find something you want!  To be added to the email list, send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll get you added!

Joe Bain
lakeway@bain.us






Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Weather, Commissioner Daugherty, Council and More!

*****Weather*****

Isn't the weather fantastic!  Enjoy it while you can, it's going to change.  50% chance of rain Wednesday, Thursday and into Friday.  Looks like we will be blessed with mild temperatures with a slight cooling as the week goes on.  Here's a link to the Live Oak 15th Tee weather station for current conditions.

*****Women's Club of Greater Lakeway *****

If you're a member of the Women's Club of Greater Lakeway and want to find out what's really going on with TRAFFIC in Travis County, this is your chance!  Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty will be the honored speaker at the General Meeting, Monday, November 25 at the Flintrock Falls Clubhouse (new location).  If you haven't signed up yet, email Kim Majkszak - kimber4sue@att.net or Pam Filas - pamfilas@yahoo.com and they will try to get you on the list!  He can tell you the real scoop, and will.  I'm sure he will be able to answer questions.  He's been involved with Lakeway issues for a long time - was instrumental with the  Bee Cave Road improvement project where it goes into Hwy 71, helped significantly with the county / city partnership to update Flintrock Road and has also been instrumental with getting the Lake Travis Sports Park off the ground and getting it funded.

*****City Council*****

Another MARATHON meeting Monday night.  Here's the agenda / packet and here's a recap:  Quorum was met by 6 Council Members, Laurie Higginbotham was absent.

They put the Consent Agenda up front so let's start after that although there was a change to one of the minutes bu Council Member Kumar.

12)  HEB was presented with the first Community Partner Award.  It seems that HEB is always there for the city and the Police - they deserve an award - I see them at community functions everywhere - Congratulations!

13)  Special Use Perm it was approved for 111 Javelin after discussion.  

**Executive Session on items 14, 15, 22, 23 - 6:53 - 8:03**

14)  Future Land Use Map (FLUM) and change was approved to change this 45 acres from mixed use to residential.

15)  Proposed zoning recommended by ZAPCO was for 10 acres R-1* and 35 acres R-3+.  Eventually after much discussion it took two votes.  Since ZAPCO approved it, to override the ZAPCO vote would have required a "Super Majority" which is 6 votes - since there were only 6 members there it would have had to be unanimous.  The first vote was to change the recommendation to all R1* - this was an effort by Mastrangelo / Vance in line with Tom Kilgore's recommendation and failed 2-4.  The second motion was to accept as recommended by ZAPCO and passed 4-2 (10 acres R-1* 35 acres R-3+, .  Here's a link to a bigger document if you wish.

16)  Another FLUM change involving 1 acre of property at 15617 Flintrock Road from commercial to residential bu Cherry Knoll LLC.  This was passed without much fanfare.  

17)  This was a request from Cherry Knoll LLC to rezone property at 15617 (the whole property, about 23 acres) from R-1 and C-1 to R-8 (apartments).  This one took about an hour, ZAPCO denied this recommendation so once again it would have taken a "Super Majority" to overrule that recommendation - eventually the zoning was denied unanimously. 

18)   Requested annexation of 0.585 acre off Crosswind Dr. for GUI.  This passed unanimously.

19)   Zoning request of the above property to GUI - passed unanimously.

20)  This took about 30 minutes of discussion.  Although some of the time council suggests we need to make it easier for development and commercial the discussion seems to contradict that in some ways.  It was an interesting discussion and no action was taken.

21)  Citizens Participation -
  • Comments of resident on Crosswing about parkland and development.
  • Tom Kilgore commented on issues with the Open Meetings Act as it pertains to the City Building Commission.
  • Comments on concerns with parkland on Crosswind 
  • Comment against connecting roads on Clara Van and Clubhouse.
**Executive Session 11:17 p.m. - 12:00**


No action taken on items 22-25.

26)  Council Member Vance made a motion to offer the job of City Manager to Interim City Manager Julie Oakley, seconded by Council Member Kumar.  Passed unanimously.

Congratulations to new City Manager Oakley!  I guess we will also have a new citizen in Lakeway!  The City Charter requires the City Manager "reside" in the City - so good on two points!

Meeting adjourned at about 12:05 a.m.
=============

*****Lights On!*****

November 2017
This Friday, November 22 is the Famous "Lights On!" ceremony to start out the Holiday Season in Lakeway.  This should kick off at 6:00 p.m. at the City Hall - 1102 Lohmans Crossing.  Here's a link to more information - Santa (the real one) and Mrs. Claus will be there to light up the Trail of Lights!

*****LTlov Green Santa Toy Drive*****

Help LTlov (Lake Travis Labor of Love) assist local families in need. Contribute to their Green Santa Toy Drive - a convenient collection point is at the new Lakeway Police Department. Drop off your donation during normal business hours (M-F, 8am - 4:30pm)  starting November 16 at noon until Monday November 9 at 4 p.m. in the box in the lobby of the new PD. While you're there, say "hi" to the LCPAAA volunteers at the reception desk.

That's it for right now, hope everyone is enjoying the magnificent weather that we are experiencing right now.

Please let your friends know about the blog!  It's a good source of accurate information about what is going on in Lakeway!  To be added to my email list, send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll get you added!

Joe Bain





Saturday, November 16, 2019

Infamous Weather, Wildlife, Council and More!

*****Weather*****

Well, it got cold again this morning, low was about 32.5° at first light.  High yesterday was 63°.  Not too bad overall for January - oops, it's November, burrr.  Looks like the next couple of days it is going to be pretty nice, highs in the 70's, lows in the 40's and 50's.  Next chance of rain Wednesday or Thursday.  It's still dry, I'm appreciative of the rain we've had but we're still behind.  Current conditions on the 15th Tee Box on Live Oak on this link.


*****Wildlife Open House*****

I went Thursday evening, attended better than I expected.  Unfortunately there were more questions than answers.  No presentation, just informational posters around the room.  Places for folks to make comments on near the posters.  Nothing new, no new solutions.  

The deer herd grows annually at a rate of 35%.  Let me put that into numbers.  If the herd was 500 2 years ago it grew to 675 the next year and 900 last year.  It shows at my home, our two herds have grown significantly.

Although there is significant disagreement on this, my opinion is the herd needs to be controlled.  That was the recommendation to City Council from the committee.

In another 5 years, without some control and if the growth remains the same, the herd would grow to over 4000 animals.  Lakeway can't support that size herd - we learned that in our history.

What are the options?  Not feeding would certainly help, but that doesn't work.  There's a feeder near our house I have posted pictures of twice now, still there.

Chemical sterilization is problematic.  For one thing, it's not legal in Texas.  The deer would still have to be trapped and dosed every two years.  It also makes the meat not edible.

Physical sterilization is also problematic.  Still not legal, would require trapping and very expensive.  The two sterilization options would be an issue with the state because the deer are not contained and could / would wander to other areas.

That leaves TTT / TTP.  It's my understanding that some deer could be trapped and transported to areas that have been decimated by anthrax.  The TTP process could again be implemented and food would again be available to those that need it.

I'll leave with this thought.  If the herd continues to grow at the average rate, it won't be long until there is no option.  There will not be places to trap the deer (we've already lost about half of the trapping areas we used to use).  What happens then?  More auto / deer issues and the deer will become unhealthy as they did when when the program was started.  Just the facts, your choice.
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*****City Council*****

Monday evening council will meet in regular session.  Here is the agenda / packet

Kind of mixing it up - the consent agenda is moved to the front and citizen's participation for items 10, 11, 12 is item 3.

13)  SUP for short-term rental at 111 Javelin.  Recommended by ZAPCO.

14)  Future land use map change - this is a new step in zoning.  It is to allow a change of use from "mixed use" to "residential" for the property known as the MUD property on Lohmans.  Recommended by  ZAPCO.

15)  Zoning change for the above property to allow R-1* and R-3+ zoning on that property.  Teh + in R-3 allows 60' wide lots to accommodate side entry garages.  R-1* is slightly smaller than regular R-1 - a significant part of the older Lakeway is R-1*.

16)  Request for land use map change for 15617 Flintrock (across from Flintrock Falls) to allow R-8 zoning.  This is for apartments - 12 per acre.  NOT recommended by ZAPCO.

17)  Request for R-8 zoning for above property - Not recommended by ZAPCO.  Both of these items would require a super majority vote.

18)  Annexation of Crosswind Drive.  Recommended by ZAPCO.

19)  Zoning for above property to GUI - recommended by ZAPCO.

20)  Third reading of revisions to Chapter 28 of the Code.  These are the rules for subdivisions and site development.

21)  Citizens Participation (my guess, 10-10:30? maybe)

22-26) The infamous executive sessions.  Looks like they are going to talk about:

Real Estate issues with the Oaks PUD and Stratus Properties.  I noticed Ms. Zimmerman side-pitched 350 apartments on the Stratus Property again in return for parkland.

Potential Muni building and parkland?

Possible lawsuit on Electra Street about drainage.

More talk about the Cherry Knoll L.L.C. lawsuits.

More talk about the City Manager Position.  Why continue this discussion?  Isn't there a consultant looking for a City Manager?  Maybe a report on that.
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Been a big week for me too!  Got a root canal on Monday and was deposed on the Cherry Knoll L.L.C. lawsuit on Thursday - I can't decide which one was the most fun......

Lot's going on at the Activity Center!  Here's a link to the current events and happenings there.

November 22 is the Lights On celebration and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there to light up the festivities.  It's a fun evening and one of the remaining traditions in Lakeway.

That's all for right now!  I appreciate the continued support of Lakeway Update Blog.  If you would, please forward the blog to your friends and neighbors - they might be interested too!

Picture taking was a little slow this week, rainy and cold!  Weather will be a little better the next few days, let's take advantage of it!  Sky Pictures  

A little plug - Bella (Carabella) was diagnosed with heart failure about a year ago - she won second place in the calendar contest (thank all my Facebook friends!).  She is under the care of Lakeway Vet and Dr. Doyle has been a miracle worker - she is doing GREAT after a year and shows no sign of problems.  His group has been a lifesaver (literally)!  Thank you Dr. Doyle and Lakeway Vet!

Thanks again!  Have a GREAT weekend and enjoy the sunshine!


The Church construction is moving forward too!

Joe Bain