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Supply chain problems and growth issues collided during the Jan. 18 meeting of the Horseshoe Bay City Council, which granted permit extensions for builders but denied a request to increase the number of speculative homes that can be built at one time.  

Builders of single- and multi-family homes, remodels, and pools were given a 60-day extension on building permits that have already been issued by the city of Horseshoe Bay or were in the process of being issued Jan. 19. 

The extension was granted because of supply chain issues that have plagued the country, explained Sally McFeron, director of the city’s Development Services.

Mayor Cynthia Clinesmith said city leaders “are trying to be sensitive to that fact.”

“We’re also sensitive to people who live next door to homes that have been in construction for three years,” she said. “We visited with our builders and asked them, ‘Can you build within this timeframe?’ ‘Yes, we can.’ Sometimes, life happens.”

Leaders noted that if builders can complete a home or pool within the next 18-24 months, the extension won’t matter. 

“(Now) builders are delaying permits until they have everything,” McFeron said. “Some who applied 18 to 24 months ago, this has blown up in their faces.”

Ron Mitchell, Cynthia Clinesmith, Elsie Thurman, Douglas Jaffe
IN OTHER COUNCIL BUSINESS: Horseshoe Bay Resort Vice Chairman and President Ron Mitchell (left) and CEO Douglas Jaffe (right) each received proclamations from the city of Horseshoe Bay for their ‘vision, expertise, and leadership.’ The honors were presented by Mayor Cynthia Clinesmith (second from left) and Mayor Pro-Tem Elsie Thurman during the City Council’s regular meeting Jan. 18. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The council also denied a request for an exception to the city’s speculative home policy, which limits builders to constructing two homes at a time on 61.2 acres of residential development located at Texas 71 and FM 2147 in Horseshoe Bay West. Ty Cunningham of Toll Brothers asked the council to allow the company to build 16 speculative homes at once and 10 townhomes simultaneously in four different phases.

Clinesmith noted that she was able to see some of the homes the company built in Liberty Hill and Austin, adding they are “beautiful products.” But, she noted, the city has more than 35 registered builders who all want to build more than two homes at once. With 280 homes under construction, 10,000 lots, and 7,000 buildable lots, city leaders must ensure the water and wastewater systems and roadways are in place for the growth, she said.

Clinesmith also encouraged Toll Brothers to consider adding amenities within the development such as parks, courts, and a clubhouse that other subdivisions have constructed for their residents. 

City Manager Jeff Koska said Toll Brothers’ next move is to re-examine and proceed “on something that isn’t a burden on the city and create amenities on what they want to attract and what makes Horseshoe Bay nice and unique.”

“We’re trying to make sure we don’t overstrip the ability of our resources,” he said. “We want to make sure we get in front of the growth. This involves all city services. The council listens to what the community expects.” 

jfierro@thepicayune.com