A Mall to Bee?

There were no surprises in Bee Cave Tuesday night: Local residents packed the house to speak against a proposed $250 million shopping mall, and the village aldermen gave it their unanimous approval. But winning the board's vote on the Hill Country Galleria was only half the fun for developer Chris Milam. He's now under the gun to convince some stylish anchor stores to lay stakes on the 114-acre spread along Hwy. 71, RM 620, and Bee Cave Road -- west of Austin in the Barton Springs watershed. If Milam is able to lock in the anchors and meet a number of other requirements, he'll qualify for a $30 million incentive package.

Meanwhile, a growing coalition of residents, many of whom met for the first time Tuesday, will continue trying to thwart Milam's efforts, for a number of reasons: traffic, safety, and simply, they don't want a mall. Residents in nearby Lake Pointe are particularly opposed to a proposed four-lane bypass road that would connect Bee Cave Rd. to RM 620. Since large-scale developments typically act as a magnet for other developments, the Save Our Springs Alliance argues that the village would be within its legal rights to impose strict ordinances that would prevent the encroachment of more pavement in the Hill Country.

Lake Pointe resident Pat Sinnot, one of the mall's more outspoken opponents, says if there was one victory to come out of Tuesday's meeting, it was the crowd of residents (she estimated 250) that packed the small municipal building. A turnout like that can't be ignored, she said. "It was a very coalescing experience."

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Amy Smith
The Work Matters
The Work Matters
A look back at some of our most impactful reporting

Sept. 3, 2021

Well-Behaved? Let's Assume Not.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
Barbara Leaming's new biography makes the case that Jackie O suffered from PTSD

Nov. 28, 2014

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle