Manchaca neighbors push against proposed project

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Plans for warehouse development has neighbors banding together

MANCHACA, Texas (KXAN) — “We were anticipating there being some construction back there,” says Megan Terry.

About a year ago, she got a letter from the City of Austin, saying the builder of her home wanted to construct more nearby.

“Three weeks ago we got another letter saying they were actually going to be building industrial buildings behind us,” Terry says.

Records indicate that Milestone Commmunity Builders submitted that application to the city in August.

The plans describe five office warehouse buildings.

Terry’s first concern is what seems to be a septic area right against her backyard.

“With two five-year-olds, that is terrifying,” she says. “It’s just scary to think about the things that could go wrong with my kids playing outside.”

Jason Millwee lives in another neighborhood called Bear Creek Park.

Milestone Community Builders owns a roughly 15-acre piece of land that cuts through one of its subdivisions. (KXAN/Tahera Rahman)

It’s not owned by Milestone, but sits next to the company’s proposed development.

He says drainage from the 15-acre property is also worries him.

“We have some flooding issues in the neighborhood and that whole area’s going to be nothing but concrete,” Millwee says.

Neighbors say they know Milestone can do whatever they want with their property. They just want a plan that will work for everyone.

“The areas around Austin are growing and I’m fine if that get’s developed. I think we can do things that they make money and the neighborhood can be happy with,” Millwee says.

“An undeveloped land is costing them, probably, money but it just seems like they could do a little more research and look for a positive use to that land rather than throwing up janky buildings that wouldn’t help this community that they built,” Terry says.

Neighbors hope Milestone Community Builders will put their warehouse project on hold to work with neighbors toward a better use for their property. (KXAN/Tahera Rahman)

Both neighbors are confident that their concerns will be heard.

“They have a really good reputation and so I don’t know why they would want to change that as they continue to build across Austin,” she says.

Neighbors are getting together Sunday to discuss concerns and next steps.

They are set to meet with the Milestone Community Builders next week.

Milestone did not want to comment before that meeting.

It’s important to note that this tract of land is in an “extraterritorial jurisdiction” — or ETJ — of the city.

So, while it’s not subject to Austin zoning or land use rules, it would still have to follow city environmental and drainage regulations.

Travis County says the development’s application to county commissioners is in its first round of staff reviews at this time.

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