By SANDY COX
Mayor of Lakeway
The Lakeway City Council and Staff are off to a fast start for 2019. Over the course of two regular council meetings and a special work session, the City Council has:
- Updated a number of policies and ordinances.
o The right-of-entry ordinance was updated to clarify when and how a code enforcement officer may enter private property.
o The solid waste ordinance was amended to allow residents to place trash cans at the curb the evening prior to their pick-up day and bring their cans in anytime the day of their service. This should help our residents accommodate extended work schedules.
o The fence ordinance was updated to restrict spiked fencing and clarified when a permit is required. Fence permits are required when constructing a new fence or making modifications. Residents will no longer need a permit to repair fences.
o There was also lengthy discussion about the boat and RV ordinance. I appreciated all of the community participation on this item. In the end, I think the council will find a way to strike a healthy balance in the code to continue to enforce “no on-site storage,” yet allow ample time to load, clean, and pack our RVs and boats. We are a lake community, after all.
- Continued to overhaul the Code Enforcement Department. Charlotte Hodges, Director of Building and Development Services, is changing the department from a "Code Enforcement" to a "Code Compliance" mentality. All policies and documents are being updated to reflect this change. Notices of Violation (NOV) will not be issued until attempts have been made to bring an issue into compliance. Additionally, Charlotte has to sign-off on any NOV’s that are issued.
- Installed “traffic calming” speed signs on Lakeway Drive to address speeding complaints from residents.
- Appointed an Associate Judge, Michelle Locke.
- Added a Juvenile Case Manager to the courts.
- Approved a resolution to allow our citizens the right to vote on whether they want the extra medical services provided by a proposed new overlay district ESD16 in the May election. This resolution only effects a small portion of the residents in Rough Hollow on the western edge of our community.
- Accepted a $43,148 donation from the Lakeway Civic Corporation (LCC) for historical videos and Swim Center upgrades. Thank you, LCC for the continued support.
- Received a presentation from Justin Bragiel, Texas Hotel and Lodging Association, about the laws to administer the Hotel Occupancy Tax and ways to use the funds.
- Received a presentation from Legend Communities about their desired development for the Square on Lohmans. No action was taken. Expect to see Town Hall meetings scheduled in the future to solicit community input.
- Approved an approximately $38,000 expenditure to give City Park a facelift just in time for the 25th Anniversary celebration in April.
Additionally, the City held our 2nd State of Lakeway Town Hall meeting to communicate the City’s priorities and allow residents to ask questions. Both meetings have been well attended and thus we will continue to have them quarterly. We also launched our 2nd community survey that was geared towards Parks and Recreation. Over 2,300 responses were received. Thank you to all that took the survey. Once the results are analyzed, I expect that the Parks and Recreation Committee (newly formed Summer 2018) will use those answers to guide them as they develop the Master Parks plan.
I hope you see that your City Council is listening to your concerns and taking action. I encourage you to attend a meeting or watch one from the comfort of your home (www.lakeway-tx.gov/videos).
In the coming months, I expect that there will be more ordinance updates. Many updates will address concerns that we have heard from our business owners and residents. At the top of the list is: “What requires a permit?” We are also looking at the commercial sign ordinance. (Last year we updated the residential sign ordinance.) Expect an update on both the size restrictions and aesthetics such as sign colors. The City’s Board of Ethics is also revising the Code of Ethics to enhance the processes and clarify/update the code.
The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee will update the progress of their plan. This committee is using the work from each of our Council committees as the basis for their plan as well as working with a consultant to develop the vision and strategic intents.
Thank you to the many volunteers that devote numerous hours and their talents to the city. Without them, Lakeway would not be the Lakeway that we all know and love.