4H Hat Co. approved for live music


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Jesse Hernandez and 4H Hat Company successfully appealed last month’s denial of a Special Use Permit (SUP). The East Pecan Street business can now have live music outdoors during First Friday events downtown along with the third Sunday of each month.

The Lockhart Planning and Zoning Commission denied the SUP for 4H Hat Co. on April 24 by a 4-3 vote, and an appeal was filed six days later. The appeal was unanimously approved by the City Council last week, 7-0.

Council listened to several speakers in favor of 4H Hat Co. Several times, the large turnout of those in support for 4H Hat Co. applauded comments from speakers — including Hernandez — and some on the City Council.

The SUP allows 4H Hat Co. to have the live music events, but with stipulations. The approval is subject to review after a year. Also, outside First Friday entertainment is allowed from 7-10 p.m. and the third Sunday entertainment must be between 2-6 p.m.

Hernandez questioned why he could only have two events, but he did not pursue it further.

During his addressing the City Council, Hernandez said 4H Hat Co. had provided First Friday music at its location since April 2021. He also noted that his sign at the business was up for nine months before he was notified it was in violation.

As for the original denial, Hernandez said, “The FFA (Future Farmers of America) wanted to use our location as a fundraiser, but they canceled the event. What I don’t support is if we are being targeted in our location. We are law-abiding citizens.”

A neighbor claimed to have recordings of the music at 4H Hat Co. reaching more than 106 decibels, according to City Planning Director David Fowler, who added that the maximum decibel level is 65 for commercial businesses abutting commercial businesses, and 55 for commercial businesses abutting residential businesses.

“I don’t know that these decibel levels were recorded by neighbors are true,” Hernandez said. A person speaking in favor of 4H Hat Company noted that Apple watches had decibel readings and that she was recorded at 73 while addressing the council, “so the maximum needs revisiting.”

Another lady said the City had treated Hernandez and his family in a “thoroughly disrespectful in the way it’s been handled.”

Mayor Pro Tem Angie Gonzales-Sanchez told Hernandez and 4H Hat Co. representatives she felt “as if I owe y’all an apology. As my mother would say, ‘We’re making a mountain from a mole hill.’”

4H Hat Company has a TABC license and sells beer from a trailer.

Mayor Lew White said other businesses away from the downtown area can participate in First Friday activities but noted that most do not because it is mainly “a pedestrian type of event, and they don’t see as much traffic.”

In other business:

An update was given regarding the large Seawillow Project, just east of FM 1322 and west of Seawillow Road. The project will be on 586.78 acres, 88 acres of which are in the Lockhart City Limits.

There have been 38.9 acres devoted to commercial property in the development’s center; 44.4 acres have been donated for public institutional, 41 acres of which will be for school sites; and 133 acres of parks and an amenity center. A planned eight phase build out starting this year and finishing in 2035.

The school area is large enough for two schools. There will also be numerous pocket parks. There will be multiple builders with several different housing types. Some will have garages in front. 

Public works Director Sean Kelley noted there will be three new traffic signals installed due to the Seawillow development. 

“There will be locations ideal for second middle school and a future elementary school,” said LISD Superintendent Mark Estrada.

“This is a true partnership in housing for our school district and staff. This would allow our staff to build wealth through home ownership. About 30 percent of our staff live in the district boundaries.”

The development group, Red Oak, has already had an agreement from dreamland pickle ball, and brewery from Dripping Springs, to come, as well as a medical development group from Houston.

A spokesperson for Red Oak said that the net benefit over a 30-year period to the City of Lockhart would be an estimated $77 million. 

Follow the update, Mayor Lew White said, “The feeling of the Council is we still have way too many unresolved issues as far as this development agreement goes. Before we even consider the issue, we would like to see those issues resolved one way or another, then we will come back and reconsider this agreement.”

The City’s Summer Fan Program has begun. Free box fans are available to Lockhart residents. 65 and over, or if they have a disability, and if they did not receive fans in 2023. Those in need of a fan may stop by Lockhart City Hall (308 W. San Antonio St.) Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. They must have a government issued ID or utility bill to prove Lockhart residency. To prove disability, bring your letter from the Social Security Administration.

The City Park swimming pool opened May 25. Its hours will be Tuesday through Sunday from 12-8 p.m. It will be closed on Mondays for maintenance. Admission will be $1 per child and $2 for adults. Children under 1 are free. Reservations are available by calling the Parks Department at 512-398-6452.

Officials from Rise Broadband gave a presentation to the Council regarding residential and nonresidential high-speed fiber internet and digital services provided by the company. The presentation showed the provider’s initial plan for Lockhart to provide approximately 5,000 homes and businesses with the option to access to fiber connectivity.

The City has received an application for Masonwood Development for its new single-family residential development, the Everly subdivision. The proposed development for about 539 detached single-family lots. The project is located west of SH-130, between Borchert Loop and Maple Street and adjacent to Boggy Creek.


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