We all know the Lake Travis area is booming with growth. And while we may have to experience a few growing pains a long the way, the promise of a bright future outshines the frustrations. The last piece of undeveloped property (130 acres) located behind the new Oaks at Lakeway is being considered for a unique arts district that will give Lake Travis residents a cultural beacon of its own.
What’s important for Lake Travis residents to know is the amount of care involved in this decision. The City of Lakeway has a rare opportunity to determine how the land will be used. And they fully understand it is the last huge stretch of property located in the epicenter of a growing and thriving community. It’s not a question of what should that land look like, but a question of what is our vision.
At the City Council meeting in Lakeway on January 20, Deputy City Manager Chessie Zimmerman outlined a preliminary concept for the Lakeway Arts District that may include things like theaters, museums, galleries, a science center, activities for children and/or a sculpture garden. The basic vision includes a multi-building complex that would be used for performing and visual arts, so all art forms in the community can be showcased in a centralized location.
Zimmerman explained why she and her team of staff and community members embrace the concept of an arts district in Lakeway, because it would “preserve and highlight the unique attributes of our community.” She went on to say, “What is it that makes us special and sets us apart and how do we encourage that to grow and become our identity?”
And Zimmerman is correct. Let’s be honest, that land will eventually be zoned and planned. Isn’t it better to be proactive and plan to use it for something unique and inspired as opposed to only using it for commercial real estate surrounded by 600-900 new apartments?
Another added bonus to the development of this arts district is if it can be rezoned as a Planned Unit Development (PUD) instead of a Government, Utility and Institutional (GUI), that means it would require more connectivity for vehicle traffic — which eases the congestion concerns that are already an issue on RR 620.
This preliminary concept outlines at least two potential road connections on Lohman’s Crossing at Lohman’s Spur and also at the entrance of The Village of the Hills. These intersections would be in addition to vehicle access from the Oaks at Lakeway development and on to RR 620.
Zimmerman also mentioned that Lake Travis has outgrown City Park for its large hometown events and this new concept would include a park that could comfortably host our big community events. (If you attended Goblin Glow this past Halloween, you know we need more room!)
The City of Lakeway supports this proposed arts district and is requesting city staff to gather input from various members of the arts community.
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