Sunday, March 22, 2015

Council, Arts District Info, CAMPO Survey's, Area Fires and More!

Interesting week at the City - a couple of big things I want to report on.  First lets get into the City Council Meeting Monday evening.  Item 6 was a presentation of the Annual Audit from Singleton, Clark & Company, P.C. = it gave the City a CLEAN report, no adjustments, no errors, no issues at all.  It doesn't get any better than this - thanks to Julie Oakley and her staff!

There was a presentation and public hearing about the possible proposed "Arts District" the City is looking into behind the "Oaks".  There evidently is some misinformation abut the project.  Let me try to clear this up.

There is approximately 130 acres of property between the "Oaks" and Lohmans Crossing Road.  Lakeway MUD owns 82 acres of this property and is currently in the process of changing their permit to allow that property to be released from their spray areas for affluent and if successful the property could possibly be offered for sale.  The other acreage is owned by private entities.

This property is currently zoned GUI (MUD Property) - in order for the property to be sold it would have to be zoned to some other classification.  Normally, this would mean the owner would have a prospective buyer and would come to the City asking for different zoning - this could be any of the current zoning the City has including residential, commercial or a combination of those. 

The City is planning at least two roads through the property, one to Lohmans at the entrance to the Hills, and another that would come out at Lohmans Spur.   These would give access to the "Oaks" from Lohmans and help with traffic issues on RR620.

Now this is where the "Arts District" comes up.  Personally, I would like to see a development here with the least possible density and the staff came up with the idea of developing a zoning district ahead in case of a proposed sale.  It would include some residential, some commercial and an ART's friendly environment including planned golf cart, bike and pedestrian friendly roads.  In effect, the City would guide the development to a more desired end result.

The City has no interest in purchasing the property - just guiding the zoning to manage the development - remember, this is 82/130 acres of PRIME property in the middle of Lakeway that WILL be developed.  The City has very limited control over how this property or any other vacant land is developed - zoning and current ordinances.

There is a piece of property (about 4 acres) just West of the Oaks development that the City is interested in for a possible Performing Arts Center (PAC) that would be financed by the current Hotel Tax that is currently in place and paid by visitors to our community when staying in area hotels.  There are studies going on right now to determine if this is a good idea - more as the studies are finished.

Now you know the full story - here is a link to more info and info on the Open House on April 30th, and here is a link to a survey about what you would like to see if the "Art District" plan goes ahead.  

I hope this clears up some of the misinformation and give you the ability to make an informed judgment of the project.
CAMPO - We have been working on raising the interest level of traffic issues in Western Travis County - it appears we have succeeded to some extent!  There is a study going on right now with input from citizens on what can be done to improve 620 traffic - it is being sponsored by TxDOT.  This would be for short term improvements (five year plan).

Of more importance is the 2035 and 2040 plan!  We have an opportunity to change the course of roads and improvements in our area.  There are two surveys that CAMPO has out right now - if everyone will fill these out it could have a significant effect!  Generally, a very low number of people take the time to fill these out - so if everyone reading this blog was to take the survey it would be heard statistically!!!

Here is the first link to the Draft 2040 Plan.  Let them know you want more and new roads - their plan is to promote congestion so no more people will move here - it's not working.

This link is a survey on current proposed changes to the "TIP" (Transportation Improvement Plan).  It includes 2 toll lanes instead of 1 from 183 to Hwy. 71 on MOPAC.  

Please take the time to do these surveys and let your voice be heard - you're paying for this with your tax dollars - let's make a statement!
Now for the "regular" blog info.  There was a horrific traffic accident on 620 last week - Three dead.  A person driving recklessly and at high speeds was reported to Travis County Sheriff's at 620 and Anderson Mill Road.  Lakeway was notified of the situation and were in the process of clearing intersections when the crash occurred just north of Murfin Road.  Lakeway was helping DPS with the investigation, it took 5 hours to clear the scene.  The suspect was killed in the crash.

There was a house destroyed in Graveyard Point last Wednesday.  All residents escaped after being alerted by working smoke detectors/alarms.  Fire crews had to obtain water from a hydrant over 2000 feet from the location.

At about the same time there was another fire near Lakeway at almost the same time.  It originated as a smoke investigation and turned into a fully involved garage fire.  This home was still under construction and had a working sprinkler system that reduced damage to the house significantly.  Thanks to Chief Robert Abbot for the pictures and information!

The Lakeway "Sing Along's" are ready for the "Spring Show"!  Tickets go on sale March 23rd at the Lakeway Activity Center.  It promises to be a GREAT show again this year.  Get your tickets early for a good seat!  Here is a link to a video!

Lakeway Players are presenting Rick Abbot's  "Sing On!" March 26-28.  Here is a link to more information!

As you probably know - there are five candidates for three Council positions on the ballot in Lakeway this year.  There will be a "Meet the Candidates" forum at the Lakeway Activity Center on April 16th.  Candidates will be greeting guests at 6PM and the question / answer period will start about 7PM.  Lakeway is lucky to have 5 qualified citizens interested in working as City leaders!  Please put this on your calendar and plan on attending - I will not be part of the forum since I am unopposed as Mayor, but I will be there to meet folks and answer questions.

CBC will meet in regular session March 26th in Council Chambers at 9AM.  Here is that agenda.

From Steve Jones:
Devin and I got a nice tour of the new Lexus facility this week.  The building is almost dried-in, and much further along on the inside than I thought it would be.  The service bay section, the largest part of the building, is almost complete and ready for use.  They plan to open on July 6.  From what the general manager told us, it will be very impressive inside; they will use a lot of marble and mahogany.  The lobby will include a café and a boutique.  I believe it will be a car dealership that Lakeway can be proud of.  

The Deer Management Committee held its last meeting for the year.  To date, we have trapped 112 animals.  Weather permitting, we may trap a couple more times before our permit expires on the 31st.  The numbers we track indicate that we are maintaining a healthy number of deer for a suburban environment.  The committee has been requested by a small group of residents to do a professional census of the deer population.  Chairman Edwards does not believe that would be prudent or useful, but we will look into it.  

For your reference, I have attached a copy of the latest TML Legislative Update with news on what is happening at the state capitol.  

I am very pleased with the results of the annual audit of our comprehensive annual financial report by Singleton, Clark and Company.  As you know, we received a “clean” audit with no caveats and no adjusting entries.  It does not get any better than that.  Thank you to Julie and the Finance Department for exemplary financial reports.  Staff may recommend that we change auditors next year.  Singleton, Clark is certainly qualified and doing a great job.  However, it is recommended that organizations periodically change auditors.  

From our municipal court: Warrant Roundup results so far show 203 warrants cleared.  The last warrant roundup in 2013 we cleared 372 warrants.  We will continue tracking the numbers for statistical purposes until the end of the month to get the final numbers for this year’s warrant roundup.

Police Update:
Routine traffic stops resulted in the following charges:

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia X 1
Driving while Intoxicated X 1

On 3/13/15 Officers responded to six locations in the Rough Hollow area for Burglary of Vehicle reports. Some reported items were taken from their vehicles, while others had been ransacked and nothing taken. Electronics including an IPAD and Router where taken. One of these burglaries was of a Utility Trailer, reports list tools and construction equipment as the items stolen.  These cases are under investigation.
Officers responded to a Noise Violation on Sailmaster, while investigating they filed charges of Minor in Possession of Alcohol on a Juvenile. 
Officers responded to a Check Welfare call on Acapulco Court. Following the officer’s investigation a Mental Health Evaluation and Commitment was necessary. 
Officers responded and assisted TCSO and DPS with a Traffic Accident in the 400 block of RR 620 S. The accident resulted in two fatalities and serious injuries to a third person. DPS is handling the accident reconstruction and investigation. 
On 3/14/15 Officers took reports from five different victims of Criminal Mischief at the main entrance of the Hamilton Greenbelt on Lohmans Crossing. Victims returned from walks and exercise to find their vehicles had been damaged in the parking area. Door handles and locks were broken, but no items were reported missing. 
Officers responded to a Disturbance call on Lake Como Drive. A verbal argument was in progress between a woman and her mother-in-law over child custody. Both were advised and separated for the evening. 

A Lakeway man reports that an unknown man assaulted him during a Road Rage incident. He states he stopped in a parking lot on Lakeway Blvd. and was confronted by the unknown person who poked him and spit on him. The assailant has not been identified.
That's all for now - I know, it was a long report!  I hope you can take the time to do the survey's - they are important for our transportation future!

Joe Bain

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