From: Brushy Bend Park HOA Board of Directors
We’re about to be threatened with the prospect of a rather substantial change to our neighborhood, and not one for the better. What’s equally disturbing is that we were caught unawares about this, and our elected representatives don’t seem too bothered by it, nor are they eager to help.
At some point in the relatively near future, we are likely to see a new road system that will turn Walsh Lane into a significant North/South thoroughfare between I-35 and Parmer and Brushy Creek Road and 1431. It will lead to a dramatic increase of traffic on Walsh, not only affecting those that live along that street, but all of us who either walk or bike the neighborhood or who have kids that do so. The last large undeveloped tract in the Great Oaks neighborhood – a 20- acre parcel that lies on our neighborhood’s southeastern border – has been purchased by a developer who has submitted plans to the county to build a number of houses on it.
Although previous attempts to develop this land have failed because of environmental problems, it has passed those hurdles this time. The immediate threat to our neighborhood lies in the fact that the county has told the developer to build a road jutting out to the west that stops just short of connecting to the cul de sac in which Brushy Bend Drive now dead ends. This road in the new development doesn’t end in a cul de sac; rather it ends in what is known as a stub, a street that just all of a sudden comes to an end. In the development world, this is generally recognized as a street that will likely be continued on at some point.
This stub is being built even though a look at the plat map shows another stub had been created years ago that was designed to be hooked up to this area when and if development proceeded. The original stub was to provide a secondary exit out to the north and keep the traffic circulating within the Great Oaks neighborhood. After pointing this out in a meeting with county commissioners, they informed us that this alternative – which was how the subdivision was originally envisioned – won’t be considered.
No government official bothered to contact anyone in our neighborhood about these plans. Rather, one of our residents was tipped off when construction equipment started appearing on the property.
A number of the HOA board members recently met with County Commissioner Lisa Birkman, her chief of staff and County Engineer Joe England. They were courteous and polite and gave us a substantial amount of time. But Commissioner Birkman offered no help in this matter and appeared more concerned that the developer have a new exit she felt was needed out of his community than with any thought on intruding on a 40-year-old neighborhood and creating an instant traffic hazard. Interestingly, it appears the developer would just as soon not have the stub built, but has acceded to it so he can expedite construction.
Ms. Birkman also appeared eager to close our low water bridge, although that was not given as the reason for extending the stub to the edge of our neighborhood. When informed that most people in our neighborhood would prefer keeping the bridge, she responded with several exaggerated statements (e.g. “we have to pull people’s cars down from the trees three times a year”) and indicated it’s only a matter of time.
For the moment however, the immediate threat to our neighborhood is the extension of the stub pointing threateningly at our southeastern boundry. We do not know the exact timetable to complete these efforts, but the developer’s plat has been given conditional approval. We’re told the development in its current form is expected to receive final approval by our commissioners in the next few weeks.
If you share our concerns about what this infusion of new traffic could mean to our neighborhood, we urge you to contact your representatives on the commission. Lisa Birkman is the county commissioner for our area and Don Gattis serves as the county judge. They can be reached via the information below:
Commissioner Precinct One
Williamson County Jester Annex
1801 East Old Settlers Blvd.
Round Rock, TX 78664
Phone: (512) 244-8610
Fax: (512) 244-8616
Williamson County Courthouse
710 S. Main Street,
Georgetown, TX 78626
Phone: (512) 943-1550
Fax: (512) 943-1662
Unfortunately, we’ve learned about this at a rather late date and the wheels are already in motion, but it could be helpful if you and a number of your neighbors contact our representatives and let them know your feelings on this matter.
We’ll provide more information as it becomes available. You can view maps and a number of supporting documents by the links in the post below titled “Brushy Bend Drive Extension To Great Oaks“