Coun­cil ap­proves Lake­way Es­tates plat

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Rachel Rice rrice@ac­n­news­pa­pers.com

Rather than cram­ming 33 homes onto the to­po­graph­i­cally chal­leng­ing 46-acre tract west of Serene Hills Drive, as had been pro­posed, the Lake­way City Coun­cil has ap­proved a pre­lim­i­nary plat for the 11-lot res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment of Lake­way Es­tates.

The large lots will range in size from 3 to nearly 5 acres, said Build­ing and De­vel­op­ment Ser­vices Direc­tor Ray Miller.

Serene Hills Pass would be de­vel­oped into a public road with a cul-de­sac, and a pri­vate road, Madrone Canyon Drive, would be de­vel­oped for the project. It re­quired a vari­ance so the pri­vate street within the project could be built more nar­rowly than the city code’s re­quired road width of 24 feet where the road makes a hair­pin turn along the edge of a canyon. Miller said the project’s com­mon bound­ary with the Cany­on­lands park caused some en­gi­neer­ing hard­ships.

“Be­hind ev­ery vari­ance, you can al­ways say that cost is a fac­tor,” Miller said. “I think this (hard­ship) is the unique­ness of the to­pog­ra­phy . ... It’s go­ing to con­tinue to get in­ter­est, and this is a way to pre­serve that canyon by hav­ing a very low-den­sity de­vel­op­ment.”

The de­vel­oper ini­tially asked for the turn to be al­lowed at 16 feet wide, but coun­cil mem­bers balked at the nar­row turn at the edge of a drop-off, and con­di­tioned ap­proval of the vari­ance on in­creas­ing the width of the road at the turn at 20 feet wide.

“I can’t imag­ine a 16-foot area where two cars are try­ing to pass and a pedes­trian on the road at the same time,” Coun­cil Mem­ber Keith Trecker said. “You’re look­ing for trou­ble.”

Miller pointed out the Lake­way Es­tates pro­posed de­vel­op­ment would see neg­li­gi­ble traf­fic, around 50 trips per day, due to the low num­ber of lots within the project.

Jerry Perales, the en­gi­neer for the project, said he could make the road wider by build­ing more sup­port for it out into the drop-off by the road.

The vari­ance for the road width of 20 feet at the turn was passed, with Coun­cil Mem­ber Jean Hen­na­gin vot­ing against. The pre­lim­i­nary plat for the Lake­way Es­tates project also passed with Hen­na­gin vot­ing no.

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