City wants to ‘slow down’ growth on SH 142￼
By Kyle Mooty
Lockhart City Council decided against adding more medium density homes or apartments on already packed West San Antonio Street/SH 142 in Lockhart.
The proposed move was for 17.478 acres just east of the new convenience store on West San Antonio to move from Agricultural-Open Space District (AO) and Residential Low Density District (RLD) to Residential Medium Density District (RMD), but the City Council unanimously approved changing it to Low Density District only.
Lockhart City Planner David Fowler said RMD would mean more homes for the area. Several citizens addressed the City Council during the Public Comments portion of the Nov. 15 meeting, all of whom were against adding even more to the area. City Councilmembers added that traffic was a concern.
Robert Parker, owner of the property and who lives in Creedmoor, said he may continue to farm the land and may not sell it, but he did ask the Council to “overrule the Planning and Zoning Commission” on their request to deny it becoming RMD.
Among other concerns of citizens were drainage issues and the already planned future addition of another school in the area after the recent LISD $71 million bond was passed.
“We’re growing too fast for our own good,” said citizen Levi Garrett.
“We need to slow down,” added Robert Steinbomer. “I’ve seen it happen in Austin and other cities. I’d hate to see it happen here.”
Lockhart Mayor Lew White did quell water concerns when he said that the City would almost double its water capacity in 2023.
White did say that TxDot, which controls SH 142, is “reactive rather than proactive.”
“I’ve been one of the councilmembers that’s said I do want the growth here in Lockhart, but I’ve also said I want the good growth,” said Mayor Pro Tem Angie Gonzales-Sanchez. “I’m voting against it until we can expand 142.”
Councilmembers Kara McGregor and David Bryant also preferred the Planning and Zoning Commission’s approval.
In other business:
Travis Hughes, Director of Lockhart Parks and Recreation, presented his plans to pursue goals set previously to upgrade facilities.
One of the main points for Hughes was the city pool, which was built in 1973 “and is at the end of its lifespan.”
Hughes said there would be a creation of a subcommittee to develop plans for the pool.
Pickleball and Adult Softball leagues are also planned.
There will be a Pickleball Tournament on Thanksgiving Day at Nueces Park.
White recognized new Interim Lockhart Police Chief Keith Lunsford.
White presented a plaque of a Certificate of Appreciation to Beverly Haug, who has been the Director of the Lockhart Housing Authority for almost 42 years.
“You have so admirably served the community in providing much needed affordable housing to those who could not afford so otherwise,” White told Haug. “It’s really a testament to you that the Housing Authority has operated so well.”
Haug responded, “It has been my great honor and blessing to do this job. I knew nothing about Housing when I took it over.”
Haug plans to return to Housing Authority Board of Directors the first of 2023.
Tyler Sanderson, executive director for Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust, gave a presentation to the council along with Conservation Manager Stephen Risinger, regarding the Plum Creek Wetlands Preserve, located just north of the U.S. 183/SH 130 intersection. The property is about 265 acres.
Sanderson said that as soon as funding is obtained, plans are to have on-site a Nature Center, Restrooms, Office, Outdoor Classroom, Picnic Area and Playground, Trail Head, Boardwalks, and Bird Blinds. Grants are the primary source of income for the project.
There will be a Plum Creek Re-Leaf restoration event in December, which launch the long-term capital campaign that will fund the project.
Lucy Knight and Marcia Proctor were each unanimously approved as reappointments to the Zoning Board of Adjustment through November 2023.
Raymond Sanders was reappointed to Civil Service Commission for three-year term.
Public Works Director Sean Kelley said the North Blanco Street Bridge replacement over Town Branch Creek is slated to begin its design process in 2026 with construction to follow.
The City’s offices, including the Recycling Center, will be closed Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25. Trash pickups for Thursday customers will be moved to Friday.