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I’ve attached the final plans they’ll be submitting to the Zoning and Platting Commission on March 6. The WBNA has been in contact with Travis County for over a year regarding this development. Below is a brief summary of how we got to where we are today in response to why the developer wasn’t required to put in a road to 1325/Burnet or Grand Avenue.
Our biggest setback was that majority of the area in question is located in Williamson County. This would include any additional ingress/egress onto Burnet Road or Grand Avenue. Williamson County has an interlocal with the City of Austin ceding any input on site plans to the COA. This gives the City of Austin the ability to approve any improvements within their ETJ located in Williamson County without input from the County.
Travis County backed our requests to require an additional road. They have held out all this time and requested a transportation impact analysis to prove that these roads (Java, Sambuca, Espresso, Mocha, Cadoz) were not adequate to accommodate an additional 1600 vehicles per day. Unfortunately, it didn’t. The TIA determined that the roadways in Travis County had the capacity to handle the additional traffic with modifications to the intersections at Shoreline/Burnet and Shoreline/Bratton. Because the TIA did not validate our claims, those comments were cleared by Travis County paving the way for the development to proceed.
It’s on the agenda for the March 6 Zoning and Platting Commission. They’re by the book and typically rule based on regulations, not community appeal. Residents can go and testify, they may ask questions, but any discussion will take place behind closed doors and they most likely will rule to approve. We can request a postponement on the hearing; although, I doubt additional time would help.
The engineering firm represents the landowner (actually an estate). Sale of the property to KB Homes is contingent on approval of this site plan. It was suggested that we contact the engineering firm and ask for a meeting. They’re not going to readily agree to adding a roadway connecting to Burnet or Grand because of loss of saleable lots, added expense, and the watershed/drainage easement it would have to cross. It would not be in the estate’s best interest. We don’t have any leverage to persuade the engineers or developers to add the road. The property it would have to cross to reach 1325 is not being bought by KB and is tentatively planned for apartments. Grand isn’t an option as the adjacent property belongs to an apartment complex and that land is part of their drainage. They’ve read our objections (and Travis County’s) for over a year. Getting them to “do the right thing” now isn’t likely.
Bringing us back to Travis County, after the Zoning and Platting Commission hearing, it will go to Travis County Commissioners Court. They can only rule on its approval based on compliance with Travis County rules for the area ACTUALLY located in Travis County. They required the TIA. The TIA determined that our roads could accommodate the additional traffic. They’re engineers. They’re number based. If the study says it will work, they have to respect that and recommend approval. We can go to Commissioners Court and testify. We can write to Commissioner Shea and attach signatures from all the residents in your area asking that they reach out to the COA to resolve this issue, but if the City digs in as anticipated, they rule at the end of the day. The bottom line is that the City Planners have signed off on the plan as it is. The likelihood of having them change their minds isn’t good.