Saturday, October 19, 2019

Weather, Meetings, Council Agenda, Lifeguard Class and More!


It's been an interesting week!  A little warm, a little cool, a little rain and now it's dry again.  Supposed to get into the low 90's today and tomorrow then another cool front (with possible rain) and a cool down into the 70's.  Maybe another front and rain later in the week.  You can look at all this and the current conditions on this link to my weather station.  If you will look right under the "Live Oak 15th Tee" you will see another link - "Forecast for Lakeway, Tx" - that will get you the current forecast.  Check it out!


  • Transportation Steering Committee - Open House
    The Council voted to hire a consultant to study the City's internal traffic issues ($130K).  Then they appointed a committee.  Here is a link to the information included on the website.  This link includes the projects in the study - 4 of which are in the County's jurisdiction and are not in the city.  Should be an interesting meeting.  The meeting is either October 24 or 29 depending on where you look on the calendar.

  • CBC was supposed to meet Thursday, and that has been cancelled.
  • City Council meets on Monday October 21 at 6:30.  More on that later in the blog.
  • Special Program, Lessons in Leadership: the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster by Lt. General JD Howell, USMC (Ret) at the Activity Center on October 22 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  
  • State of Lakeway Town Hall - City Hall 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
*****Lifeguard Class*****

The City is putting on a "Shallow Water Lifeguarding Course" October 25, 26 and 27 for $35.  If you or your kids - grand kids want to be a life guard this is the way to do it.  Here is a link to sign up and for more informationHere is a link to the full flyer.

*****City Council Meeting*****

OK, they are starting out with a bang - the Pledge and then they start the infamous Executive Sessions.

3)  Executive Session to talk to attorney about the legal issues pertaining to the Board of Adjustments ruling on the Appeal Wednesday where they dismissed the appeal by Mr. Kilgore for standing.  The attorney was there at the meeting and gave the BOA advice in an executive session.  The lawyers are making a lot of money....
4)  Executive Session - talk about the MUD / Stratus property.  My expectation is they are going to talk about ZAPCO's tabling of the latest zoning request by the purchaser until sometime next year in case maybe by then they might want to change some of the zoning ordinance?  There may be a problem....But it might be a completely different issue.
5)  Executive Session - Talk about Potential Municipal Building and Potential Parkland.  
6)  Executive Session - More MUD property questions
7)  Executive Session - Talk about the ongoing lawsuits with Cherry Knoll and a lawsuit having to do with the (I think) the temporary buildings at the Lake Travis Elementary.  I'll continue to look into this and figure out what it is about.
8)  And finally, they want to talk to the attorney again about the City Manager Position - thought we had done that...

9)  Financial Report 

10)  Update on the Hamilton Greenbelt Fire Mitigation Project

11)  Council will look at the ZAPCO ruling on the MUD property zoning request.  The owner presented a plan to ZAPCO that was just what the city asked mostly, R-1 and R-3 zoning and ZAPCO kicked the can down the road until the rules might change.

12)  This item was withdrawn bu the applicant at ZAPCO since they tabled the previous request.

13)  Simple annexation recommended by ZAPCO

14)  Simple zoning request recommended by ZAPCO

15)  Special Use Permit for Short Term Rental at 202 Top O' The Lake Dr. - recommended by ZAPCO

16)  Second reading of the changes to Chapter 28 of the Code of Ordinances.  Subdivisions and Site Development.

17)  Donation for the Police Department from the Lakeway Police Foundation for a Training Simulator.  The cost of the training equipment is about $42,080 - what a great deal - the Police Foundation has been a GREAT asset to the city and the Police Force.  Hopefully the city will accept the donation - never know these days.

The rest is on the Consent Agenda - nothing really outlandish there.  We'll see if anyone pulls anything at the meeting.

*****Brush Disposal Day*****

Lakeway residents can drop off their brush and trimmings for recycling at Public Works, 3303 Serene Hills Dr. on October 26, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.  Here's a link to more info.

I noticed the League will be opening a new restaurant in the Galleria where the Iron Cactus was soon!

Work is progressing at the Lakeway Church - lot of dirt work going on getting ready for the new foundation.  Click on any picture in the blog for a larger image.

Finally, as reported earlier, today is the day for the Lakeway Garage Sale at the Activity Center.  Here is a link to all the goings on at the Activity Center in the near future.  

That's all for today, I know I missed something....  There have been many issues with the email group I was mailing the blog through but I have worked out a solution.  It will come with a little different header info but is still the same blog.  You know, I have been doing the blog for more than 10 years, I think the public needs a way to see what is going on in our little city.  It's changing, all the rules and ordinances that served us so well for 50+ years are being updated (changed)  and the State hasn't helped much with their overreach of taking away our building ordinances.  

Thanks for all the support over the years!  If you need pictures, please email me at or .  Check out the website at Sky Pictures .

If you would like to be added (or removed) from the email list, send a note to and I'll get it done!

Joe Bain

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Weather and BOA Outcome!


Believe it or not, we received nearly an inch and a half of rain over the last 5 days.  Almost an inch Tuesday evening!  Yea!

*****Board of Adjustment*****

Update on Board of Adjustment meeting, here is a link to the agenda / packet.

2)  Item was an appeal of a variance denial on a front entry garage at 106 Bella Colinas Dr.  The appellant made their case, basically they just wanted to have a front entry.  They agreed to trying to have enough landscaping to partially block the garage door - that will be pretty hard since the driveway goes straight to the street.  The commission went into executive session, came out, had a discussion and eventually voted to overturn the denial and approve the variance.

3)  The appeal of the variance for the boat dock and tram brought by Tom Kilgore and attorney Miguel Suazo took an interesting turn right off the bat.  Chairman Cooley started out the discussion with questions on "Standing".  Mr. Suazo stated there were three reasons for standing:

a)  Mr. Kilgore was an aggrieved party because he feels it was a decision that treated some differently and he and other are deprived of revenue as a result of the fine being in error.
b)  The approval of the "dock" was under the incorrect section of the LCO (Lakeway City Ordinance) and special privilege and was inconsistent with other similarly situated properties.
c)  Council Member Gretchen Vance, being an officer of the City had standing and joined the appeal.

The attorney for RH Development then stated his answer to these reasons for standing. 

At that point the Commission retired into Executive Session.  Upon return, a motion was made that the appellant did not have standing, motion was seconded, and the Commission voted unanimously there was no standing.

The next step if Mr Kilgore desires is to go to District Court within 10 days.  We'll see what happens!

The meeting was then adjourned.

That's all for today - if you want to be added to the email list, send a note to and I'll get it done!

Have a GREAT week!

Joe Bain

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Cool Front, Calendar, BOA and a Little More!


Get ready, it's going to cool off again - front expected tonight!  Hopefully a little rain along with it.  I love the cooler days - but I'm not excited with the shorter days.  Getting dark too early! Here's a link to the weather station

*****Buy A Calendar*****

Bella is patiently waiting for orders for the Calendar that supports local animal rescues.  Please order a calendar, if you don't Bella will make me order more....

Here's a link to order!  She's starting to pout and it's not a pretty picture.  Help!

*****Board of Adjustment*****

Board of Adjustment meets Wednesday this week at 3:00 p.m. in the City Hall.  Here is a link to the agenda / packet.  

2)  Owner of the property at 106 Bella Colinas Drive want a front facing garage.  R-1 does not permit this without a variance and substantial reason for that variance.  This is complicated by the fact that much of the Highlands is zoned R-3 and is under a development agreement that in many cases allows front entry garages.  R-1 zoned property does not allow this.

The packet shows multiple variances - both allowed and disallowed.  The applicant was not present and the CBC visited the property, opened a public hearing on site - Commissioner Vaughan moved to deny the variance, seconded by Commissioner Wilsey.  Motion to deny was carried 5-2, Commissioner Berry and Knaus opposed.

The BOA is charged with determining if an error was made by the CBC in their deliberations.  Previous variances are not supposed to constitute a precedent.  

3)  Appeal of Boat Dock Variance Granted July 25, 2019 by CBC.  This is an interesting appeal.  Mr. Tom Kilgore has hired a lawyer to appeal this variance.  

The Boat Dock was permitted by LCRA and built by the developer to be used by residents of the gated community it serves.  Their reason for this was to have one larger dock instead of multiple small docks as would be allowed by ordinance.  The dock was not permitted by the city and required a variance because of the size of the dock.

Multiple Docks on Cove
Single Dock for Residents
The developer requested the variance and paid a $10,000 fine for that request because the structure was already built.  CBC visited the site and unanimously agreed that the large structure would better serve the community.  Here are photos to illustrate.  Click on the photos for a larger image.

The appellant asserts standing because the developer is treated differently than others requesting the same treatment - I'm not aware of anyone else requesting a large dock instead of multiple smaller docks.

He also asserts that since this facility is owned by the HOA it is not taxed appropriately and harms Lakeway residents.  I think this is a slippery slope.  Dock costs were about $311,320 and Tram was $636, 400.  Does this mean any HOA that owns a pool and / or common area is in jeopardy?  I'm not a tax attorney and am not sure if this is really taxable or not.  I suspect not.  

To confuse matters further, Council Member Gretchen Vance has joined the appeal and is speaking against the variance.  I'm not sure that it is good practice to have an elected official try to assert their influence on our city volunteers.  I don't think this has happened in the past either.

Times are changing.  It will be interesting to see how the BOA rules and if the appellant will take the city to court if he loses.  I don't think any of the residents of the area using the dock will speak against it....


Construction is continuing at the Lakeway Church.  A lot of preparations are going on, should be marking and starting the construction of the concrete work.  It will be glorious!

 Took a couple pictures of a house on the lake yesterday.  Pretty nice cottage...

 It's really nice that the lake is still nearly full compared to past years!

Let me know if you would like some pictures of your home or property - it's a great time to take them, the trees, shrubs and grass look good this time of year and it makes for nice pictures!  Sky Pictures -

That's all for today - more when I find out.  I'll try to post the results of the BOA meeting.  Send me a note if you would like to be added to my email list - hopefully it is working now!

Joe Bain

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Weather, Email, Calendar Link, and More!

Another week has passed and things are a lot different!  Who would believe it was 99° on one day and the next morning it was 45°, a 54 degree swing - and a little rain!  About 0.6 inch here and a couple of sprinkles since for a total of 0.65 inch for the week.  I'll take it!  Of course you can always get the current conditions at the Live Oak 15th Tee Weather station - here's the link.

*****Email Issues*****

I've had some issues with the email list over the last week or so and am currently working on getting a new system on line.  Hopefully it will be up and running this week sometime.  I've officially started paying to do the blog.....  I think it is important to get information about what is going on in our city since most people don't have time to attend the marathon meetings.  Hope you agree!

*****Order a Calendar*****

Please consider ordering a calendar to support LOCAL Animal Rescue groups.  Here is a link - Bella is waiting for the orders to come in - lets keep her busy!

*****Board of Adjustment*****

Looks like the Board of Adjustment will meet next week on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.   A couple of appeals - here is the link to the agenda / packet.  The first item is an appeal from the Hengeli's wanting a front entry garage at 106 Bella Colinas Dr. in the Highlands.  CBC denied the variance request and over the years many have been denied.  It generally depends on the view from the street and how the house is positioned. 

Item 2 is an appeal about the variance granted for the large boat dock that was approved July 25, at 627 1/2 Casasanta Trail in the Highlands.  I thought this was done, but Mr. Kilgore hired an attorney to appeal this case.  It should be an interesting meeting.

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

CBC met on October 10th.  Here was the agenda.  The variance at 101 Salinas Cove was denied - they wanted a fence 25' into the 25' setback for a pool.

6)  This item was postponed at the request of the applicant.

7)  They determined that the lot a t 106 Fenway Court was in fact a Golf Course lot.

*****Heritage Committee*****

The Heritage Committee will meet on Monday, October 14 at 11:00 a.m. at the City Hall.  Here is their agenda.  Might be a good meeting to attend!

*****Upcoming Events*****

The Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Lake Travis High School Musicians will perform together at the Lake Travis Performing Arts Center November 16 at 7:30 p.m.  Here's more info and ticket information.

Monday, October 14 the Republic of Texas Big Band will play at the Activity Center - No Charge - for the Big Band Bash.  Get your self a partner and go enjoy the music!

The Wildlife Committee is currently scheduled to meet Thursday, October 17 at 6:30 at the City Hall.

Photo Courtesy LW website
The Lakeway Indoor Garage Sale happens next Saturday from 8:00 a.m. and noon - here is a link to more info.

Still taking pictures of the construction at the Lakeway Church.  They are starting to move forward and it's going to be GREAT! 

That's all for today - I hope everyone gets the blog - thanks to all my subscribers for the support!  

If you want aerial pictures please contact me!  The weather is going to be great for a while!  Sky Pictures - - scroll down a little on the main page and see the progression of the Church Construction.

Please forward to your friends that might be interested!  If you want to be added to the email list, send a note to and I'll get it done.

Joe Bain

Monday, October 7, 2019

A Little Weather, Aggravated Robbery Info and Order a Calendar!

Cool Front actually happened last night!  It's amazing we are so excited about a cold front in Texas that brought the temperatures down in the 80's.  It was nice at 64° this morning, no rain though.

*****Lakeway Police Asking for Help*****

Lakeway Police are posting the following information and request on their Facebook page.  There should be a better way.  For those that don't have Facebook, here it is:

Here is a composite of the suspect.

Call them if you've seen this guy or car - we need to nab him.  Maybe send a note to your elected officials telling them many of the folks that built this wonderful city are not on social media as well as many of the new residents.

The Wildlife Advisory Committee meeting has been postponed until October 17 at 6:30 in the City Hall.

The Heritage Committee will Present "Lessons in Leadership:  the
Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster".  USMC (retired) Lt. General JD "Beak" howell, former Johnson Space Center Director will give a special presentation at the Activity Center Tuesday, October 22 at 7 p.m.  Here is a link to more info.

Please consider ordering a calendar to support LOCAL Animal Rescue groups.  Here is a link - Bella is waiting for the orders to come in - lets keep her busy!

That's all for today - just a short update - mostly to get the word out about the info on the aggravated robbery.

The weather has cooled off - lets take some pictures!  Great drone weather -

If you would like to be added to my email list, send a note to and I'll get it done - best place for local news!

Joe Bain

Friday, October 4, 2019

Calendar, ZAPCO Update, NNO, Challenger Aggravated Robbery and More!


Did you know we had a shower Wednesday morning?  0.01 inch about 6:00 a.m.  Take that and the 0.06 inch Monday and we are really dry.  Promising a cold? front with lows in the high 60's Monday and Tuesday and highs in the high 70's, low 80's.  I'm ready, how about you?

*****Please Get A Calendar*****

Calendars are available for pre-order!  Please consider ordering to support our local rescue's - they make great gifts!   Here is a link to order your calendars, it's a great cause!  Bella's counting on you!

*****ZAPCO Update*****

The meeting started off with Citizens Participation.  A group sent out a letter that caused some confusion saying there was a presentation and discussion on cut through streets from Rolling Green to the MUD property.  Chairman Taylor allowed 1 person to speak for and one against developing the cut through roads.  After much discussion by Chairman Taylor, a lawyer in the crowd, the City Attorney and council Member Kumar (Attorney), citizen participation was closed.  The group called themselves the "Connectivity Committee" and claimed 100 members.  They want roads opened up from Rolling Green to the MUD property.  

5)  Annexation and Zoning of property with proposed R-3 zoning.  After discussion the Annexation and Zoning was approved unanimously and recommended to City Council.  The developer stated the lots will actually be larger, 78' than the required size, 50' for R-3 but do not quite meet R-1*.

6)  Agenda item was to amend 45 acres of the MUD property on Lohmans  to rezone to R-1* for 10 acres and R-3 for 35 acres.  The entire parcel is shown as mixed use in the future planning map.  The developer has listened to residents and has reduced the density significantly.  The R-3 lots would be 60'X125' (significantly larger than required with R-3) and would be no front load garages.  The R-1* would back up to homes on Rolling Green with an additional 50' buffer owned by the MUD.  The Zoning Request would have no variances.

Somewhere along here the conversation took an interesting turn.  Some Commissioners were concerned about what the results of the Comprehensive Plan and Transportation Plan.  They pushed for and were successful in delaying the rezoning until the results of the plans are finished.  In essence this says anyone that wants to do development under current laws and ordinances has to wait for new laws or ordinances to be made.  I think this is a slippery slope and am not sure it is actually legal (attorney did not push back).  This could conceivably stop any development in the city.  Is that a fair way to conduct business?  To be consistent, all future zoning and development would have to be tabled.

The agenda item was tabled by a split vote - Taylor and Point against tabling, Kotrady, Olsen, Nichols and Haley to table.

7)  Pulled by developer because of item 6's tabling.

8)  Special Use Permit was approved for Short Term Rental at 202 Top O' The Lake Drive.

9)  Sign variance was approved at 2303 RR 620 South.

*****National Night Out*****

GREAT turnout at National Night Out!  About 30 different locations were set up around town and residents and police got to talk and meet each other.  The Lakeway Police Academy Alumni Association did a great job of organizing and keeping everything going - thanks to those volunteers and thanks to the police that keep our city safe!

*****Skunks? - Deer?*****

It seems we have a skunk epidemic this year - have you seen any?  I have several go through my back yard every night - more of them than I've seen before.  My next door neighbor's dogs got sprayed last night in their yard.  Be careful, they do carry disease and occasionally rabies.  Be especially careful if you see them in the day time - stay away and keep your pets safe.  Maybe the Wildlife Committee will take this up since the deer aren't an issue....

Deer?  The Wildlife Committee will meet on Thursday October 10 at 6:30.  Have you seen any deer?  If your in an area that is over populated you are probably wondering whats going on.  The City has effectively allowed three fawning's with their moratorium on trapping.  That has effectively doubled the herd size in Lakeway.  Is that an issue?  The Wildlife biologist the city hired says it is.  Council decided they knew better and didn't take the committee's recommendation.  I love the deer - I don't like too many.  15-20 go thru my backyard every day and another 12-15 go across the front.  Too many and eventually will be a significant problem.  I am afraid history will repeat itself within 5-10 years.  I guess we'll find out!

*****Aggravated Robbery on Challenger*****

Found this on Facebook - there should be a better way - many residents don't even have a Facebook Account!

According to police, the victim was confronted in her carport by a male demanding for her jewelry and purse. The suspect threatened to shoot the victim is she did not comply, but did not show a weapon.

The suspect is described as a black male, 5'5" to 5'7", approximately 175 lbs and in his 30-40s. He was wearing a grey or blue business suit and was last seen running away from the victim's residence in an unknown direction.

The suspect(s) were operating a white, newer model of a Mercedes-Benz sedan with a black roof and black rims.

If you have any information about the case, you are asked to contact the Lakeway Police Department at (512)261-2800.
That's all so far for today - hope everyone has a great weekend planned.  If you would like to be included on an email when I make a post, please send a note to and I'll get you added.  

Now's a good time if you want aerial pictures of your home or property - quality photo's at a reasonable price!  Sky Pictures would love to work with you to get a good shot!  Email me at and we'll get it done!

Joe Bain

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Special Edition - Lakeway Photofest Winners

Thanks to Chair Janet Wright for furnishing the winners of the Lakeway Photofest Winners celebrating Lakeway City Park's 25th Anniversary.  Click on the photo for a larger image.

 First Place:  
"Mediation Bench in City Park Wildflower Meadow"
Bill Galloway

Second Place:
"Hurst Creek Falls in Fall"
Monu Sohal
Honorable Mention:  "Pyracantha in Greenbelt"  by Robert Walker
Digital Photo Not Available

First Place:
"Geese in City Park"
Gay Bonorden Gray
Second Place:
"Hungry Birds"
Dallas Gorman

*****Lakeway Volunteers*****

First Place:
"City Park Volunteers"
Bill Hawkins
Second Place:
"City Park 25th Anniversary Celebration Chair Jerry Cooper and Emily Haussler"
Erwin Boettcher

*****Lakeway Events*****

First Place:
"Fry's Fun Farm"
Sue Knolle
Second Place:
"Jordan Moser Band"
Allisyn Martin

First Place:
"Kayaking on the Lake"
Halle Gray, 7th Grade

*****Grand Prize*****
"Hurst Creek"
Joe Bain

These are all GREAT pictures - looks like we have many photo artists in Lakeway.  Thanks to all for their efforts and congratulations to all the winners!  All photos are on display in the City Hall Foyer for a while.