Two decades after the planned development was approved by local officials, developers are rushing to launch a 242-acre residential project in a lakeside town west of Austin.

Las Vegas-based Turnback Development purchased the Lago Vista site in 2008 with plans to build at least 400 residences, a clubhouse and leisure center while preserving 120 acres of open space, including the city’s first Lakeside Park – Austin Business Journal report.

Andrew Trietley, a project manager at Ventana Capital in Colorado, which represents the ownership group, said the developers could logically launch the project now, but they would rather come up with more concrete plans than the initial concept.

“As the Austin area continues to grow and diversify, with its employment and immigration patterns changing, it feels like now is the perfect time for the community to offer high-quality housing in the area,” Tritley told the outlet.

“The city of Lago Vista is a lakeside community that doesn’t have access to its own lake,” and the companies want to help create the city’s first waterfront park, he said.

Lago Vista officials and developers have been in talks for months, but changes to the original plan have yet to be approved, largely because local residents have opposed the project over concerns about traffic and the size of the development, fearing it would disrupt The town has a population of 9,400.

Even though Turnback’s proposal was much smaller than a Dallas developer’s proposal in 2007, locals protested at a city council meeting. Their plans call for 700 homes, a dry-stack dock, restaurants and a small grocery store.

Lago Vista officials are waiting to approve the development until the potential impact on traffic and other aspects is analyzed. However, Mayor Ed Tidwell said a resolution could be approved soon, saying the proposal could go to a final vote before the Planning and Zoning Board and City Council by early August.

“It’s been a challenge for developers and councils to negotiate something,” Tidwell told the media. “Because they, as private property owners, have the right to develop something. We’re just trying to figure out what works best.”

— Quinn Donoghue

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