Proposed Lakeway city center raises concerns

Local

More and more cities across the country are turning to mixed-use developments.

In Austin, places like The Domain and Mueller are just some examples. However, for some who live in Lakeway, a proposed mixed-use development is raising concerns.

It’s a proposed city center project consisting of around 60 acres on the city’s Municipal Utility District property off Lohmans Crossing Road.

“We can’t support any higher density than we already have,” said Judy Holloway, a longtime resident of Lakeway. Holloway’s concerns revolve around the traffic, safety and environmental impacts associated with the project.

Lakeway City Center project. The project would create a city center stretching 60 acres on the city's Municipal Utility District property off Lohmans Crossing Road. (Courtesy: Legend Communities)

It would be a planned-unit development or PUD consisting of mixed-use that would include a hotel and an events center, as well as commercial, retail and residential properties. 

“People could potentially, live, work, shop, dine, play all in one space without ever getting in their car,” said Bill Hayes, the chief operating officer for Legend Communities, the developer behind the project. 

On the other hand, Holloway says she’s not so sure about that.

“Well, we already have a traffic problem here in Lakeway,” said Holloway. “RM 620 is a mess.”

It’s nothing new for Lakeway Mayor Joe Bain and he can understand why some would be concerned about the potential traffic increase the project could bring to the area. 

“RM 620 currently has about 53,000 cars going down it and it was designed for about 20,000 to 25,000 cars a day,” said Bain. 

Hayes says the goal of this project is to involve the community and create a “gathering place.”

“There’s no real place where people can gather and celebrate an event and we finally have a chance to put that together,” said Hayes.

For some, it just doesn’t represent what Lakeway stands for. 

“Big town, Lakeway,” said Holloway. “Little town, squished together, Lakeway, too.”

On Wednesday, April 4 at 9:15 a.m. the city’s Zoning and Planning Commission will decide whether to recommend the project. If approved, it would go to city council for a vote.

The meeting will be held at city hall located at 1102 Lohmans Crossing Rd. and is open to the public.

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