Bee Cave: City Asks Local Church and Staff to Reevaluate Project
Feature Photo: An aerial view of the property site that the Episcopal Church of the Cross will develop into their new campus. Image: Goggle/VBX graphic
by Art Benavidez
Bee Cave (Travis County) — City Council directed staff on Tuesday to work with Episcopal Church of the Cross on its zoning request for a 60-foot-tall building that the church wants on its new campus.
The church is looking to rezone their property to a public planned development district from neighborhood services zoning. The church purchased the property in 2018.
After declining to approve the request, council asked that the item be reevaluated and brought back to the council at a future meeting.
The 23-acre undeveloped property is located at 15900 West State Highway 71, just east of Vail Divide near the Falcon West subdivision, in the northwestern portion of the city.
Outside of the 60-foot tower, the concept site plan for the church campus will include:
A 12,000-SF, 35-foot high, one-story worship center that seats 450
A 12,600-SF, 35-foot high, one-story fellowship hall/kitchen
A 17,000-SF, 35-foot high, two-story education building (8,500 SF per floor) that will house a preschool for infant students
A 25-foot high, 12,600-SF, one-story youth activity building
An 1,800-SF facilities maintenance building, an entry courtyard and playground.
Concept site plan.
Also proposed for the campus is a large open space area with a network of public pedestrian pathways over a former solid waste disposal site on the northern side of the property.
A majority (70%) of the existing trees on the property will be retained after construction to enhance the development’s park-like setting.
The front lawn configuration will include a 20-foot floating pedestrian access easement to the church, a 75-foot setback and a 30-foot wide path that leads to the parking lot.
The western edge of the property will have a high density landscape buffer and a 60-foot yard setback near the public trails and the rear of the property. On the eastern boundary has a 35-foot setback.
To remain compliant with the city’s connectivity goals for the State Highway 71 corridor, the development includes a cross-access drive across the front of the property, connecting to the commercial developments at Vail Divide Drive and North Joint Access Drive.
The site will not have direct access from State Highway 71, and it is to be developed in phases.
Phase one includes the cross-access drive and temporary water quality facilities for treatment of the cross-access drive with the remainder of the project to be developed concurrently with phase one or in additional phases at the discretion of the church.
The eastern connective driveway that connects to the future development Summit 56 must be completed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for any structure.
Council members did not have any reservations for the development outside of the 60-foot tower, which they believed would limit the visibility of adjacent homeowners.
The Austin-office of LJA Engineering, Inc. and Austin based architects Studio Steinbomer and landscape architects of Verdi are on board the project.
Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, Central Texas) is a seasoned journalist with over 15-years of experience in writing breaking news and in-depth features at the local level. He honed his research and reporting skills in newspapers and magazines throughout South and West Texas along with expertise in crafting digital content as Managing Editor of New Image Marketing Research Corporation. Benevidez is a Texas native and graduate of UT-RGV.