Neighbors create petition against planned northwest Austin hotel

Neighbors worry their view will be blocked by an 11-story hotel (KXAN Photo\Lauren Kravets).
Neighbors worry their view will be blocked by an 11-story hotel (KXAN Photo/Lauren Kravets).

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Part of the reason Rick Brimer moved to his neighborhood off Spicewood Springs Road is the tranquility. He lives near Bull Creek and worries that could be at risk if a new hotel moves in.

“It feeds into the city of Austin water supply so we’re concerned about anything that could impact the quality of water,” explains Brimer, president of the Bull Creek Foundation.

Brimer and other neighbors have signed a petition, asking the city to deny the developer’s request to hook up to the city’s sewage system. However, developer David Kahn tells KXAN if he is not approved, he will still build the 11-story hotel with its own wastewater infrastructure. If that happens, Kahn says his original plan of 80 to 90 rooms will likely double, to offset the cost.

Neighbors are also concerned a hotel will bring more traffic on a very narrow and winding road. “Anything that increases the amount of traffic in the area represents a hazard as well to the day school,” Brimer said.

Spicewood Country Preschool is right across the street from the planned hotel site at 6315 Spicewood Springs Rd., but Kahn says he doesn’t believe the hotel will add cars during peak commute times.

Maintaining the scenery is another concern among the neighborhood. They’re also worried a hotel could spark more development. “Commercial development of this area will tend to ruin the rustic nature of the area,” says Brimer.

The developer says he wants to preserve most of the land, so guests can experience the beauty too. He says he’s willing to work with neighbors and the city to come to some sort of agreement.

The piece of land the hotel — or “lodge” as Kahn describes it — will be built on is on Travis County property, so the hotel itself did not have to be approved by Austin City Council. If council approves the hook up to city utilities, Kahn estimates the lodge would be up and running in 18 months.

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