Lakeway City Council discusses wider use of golf carts

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Lakeway City Council discussed changing the city code to allow residents to drive golf carts for reasons other than going to a golf course. Currently, the ordinance prohibits driving a golf cart around Lakeway unless it is to and from a golf course.

Board member Gretchen Vance, who introduced the point, said she was approached in the last election cycle by a resident in a wheelchair who had expressed a desire to use a golf cart to visit friends . Vance said limiting the use of golf carts to golfers is unfair because it excludes people who cannot afford golf or who cannot physically play the sport.

Council discussed the need to ensure golf cart drivers stay safe on city streets, and council member Laurie Higginbotham said she would like the ordinance to require infants are securely strapped in.

The council also discussed ways to reduce the number of teens who illegally ride golf carts, as local and state law requires golf cart drivers to be licensed vehicle drivers. . The state now requires golf carts to be registered with a small license plate – although the rollout of this process was delayed during the pandemic – and the The council discussed it as a way for the police department to alert parents if a teenager uses a golf cart irresponsibly.

Several members of the public spoke in favor of expanding the authorization to use golf carts in the city. Mayor Pro Tem Louis Mastrangelo has expressed a desire to get more feedback from citizens before council changes the ordinance. The board plans to come back to this issue at its July 19 meeting.

The council also discussed a surveillance system that was installed on city streets without proper city permission by the Rough Hollow Home Owners Association.

City council also voted to appoint an advisory committee to help the city manager search for a new police chief after Chief Todd Radford resigned in May. The committee will include Mayor Tom Kilgore, Vance and council member Steve Smith. The council also discussed involving citizens with law enforcement experience in the research process and Higginbotham said she would like the committee to hold focus groups and meetings with the public.

The council also voted 5-2 to delay a decision on a development deal with 314 Clubhouse LLC, a group that wants to build 17 homes on a plot of land in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. This issue will also be revisited at the July 19 meeting.

The 6.3 acres of land in question, which is for sale, is surrounded by the city limits of Lakeway and, as part of the deal, the city would annex the land and have a say in the elements of the land. design such as building materials. The developer is also asking for allowances for the project that do not match the city code.

A group of residents spoke at the meeting to oppose the development over concerns about traffic, density and construction vehicles in the neighborhood. However, several council members made it clear that the city did not have the capacity to prevent the development of the land and that reaching an agreement with the builders gave the city more control over the circumstances of the development than if the land was developed under Travis. County rules are currently permitted.

Vance explained that since the state changed the law not to allow cities to limit the building materials that can be used in new projects, development agreements are a tool Lakeway left to keep some control over. the appearance of new homes in the area. The city council does not have the capacity to prevent the development of new projects, she said.

“If we annex it, the city has some control,” she said. “Do you want it to grow in the county or do you want it to grow in the city? This is what it boils down to.

The council also approved permits for two new stores – Love and Cookies, which will be located in Lakeway Village Square, and a bubble tea joint called Pearl’s Tea Cafe, which will be located in Lohman’s Crossing Mall.


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