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Area residents express anger at Bee Cave

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 by Jo Clifton

When the Bee Cave City Council meets tonight, some angry residents of Hamilton Pool Road will be tuned in via Zoom to hear what the Council members have to say about the West Travis County Public Utility Agency. Although there is an item on the agenda for a “discussion and update” related to the agency, there is no reference to the Council’s 2013 resolution. Jim Koerner, founder of Hamilton Pool Road Matters, told the Austin Monitor that a number of residents had requested a discussion about that resolution, which specifically opposes development on the property where Provence intends to build a high-density subdivision with 1,600 new homes within the Barton Creek watershed. Residents are worried about pollution of Barton Creek as well as increased traffic if the public utility agency settles the lawsuit filed by the property owner. Koerner said it was particularly frustrating to residents that the two people appointed by Bee Cave to the utility authority board – including Bee Cave City Manager Clint Garza – seem to be the ones driving the settlement. Resident Gene Lowenthal told the Monitor that Garza “is telling Council members not to talk to us, not to discuss Provence, and not to discuss the 2013 resolution that was opposed to Provence.” Although the Council is not slated for action, the board of the utility is scheduled to meet on Nov. 19. Lowenthal and Koerner are worried that the board will approve the settlement and give the developer 1,137 water taps, as requested. If that happens, Lowenthal said, “it will open the door to all kinds of development. The line is capacity limited today and that has saved us from rampant development,” but that protection will disappear once there are more water taps. Organizers announced Monday they will hold a Save Hamilton Pool Road protest rally before the Bee Cave City Council meeting from 3:30 to 5 p.m. directly behind City Hall in the Hill Country Galleria.

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