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New Spicewood subdivision plans 3,500 homes

Burnet County Development Services Director Herb Darling and County Judge James Oakley

Burnet County Development Services Director Herb Darling (front) shows preliminary plat plans for the Thomas Ranch Hilltop subdivision to County Judge James Oakley during a Feb. 14 meeting of the Burnet County Commissioners Court. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Burnet County Commissioners Court approved Phase 1 platting for the incoming Thomas Ranch Hilltop subdivision during its regular meeting on Feb. 14. The preliminary plat is for 54 lots on 27.46 acres at the 11710 block on CR 404 in Spicewood, near the Burnet-Travis county line. 

Of the total 2,200 acres planned for development, 545 acres are in the boundaries of southeast Burnet County. The entire development is expected to contain about 3,500 new homes.

“In the big scheme of things, Phase 1 obviously affects Burnet County, but other phases not so much,” said County Judge James Oakley during the meeting. 

Most of the 13 phases of development will be in Travis County. The development is being handled by Areté Collective, a luxury real estate developer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Included in the approved plans are expansions to CR 404, deceleration lanes, improved intersections, and a connecting road from 404 to Texas 71.

Commissioners unanimously approved the preliminary plans.

Thomas Ranch Hilltop location
An aerial view of a lot that will be developed into the Thomas Ranch Hilltop subdivision near Spicewood. Image courtesy of Burnet Central Appraisal District

“This is in line for that area of the county,” Burnet County Director of Development Services Herb Darling told after the meeting. “It’s simply Travis County creeping westward into Burnet County.”

Darling is responsible for handling subdivision development in the county.

“The big thing for us out here is water,” he said. “Not having a viable water supply is the main hindrance to development.”

Thomas Ranch Hilltop is partnering with a neighboring subdivision, Canyon West, on a firm water contract with the Lower Colorado River Authority. The subdivision also will have centralized water and sewer services.

Darling estimated that construction will begin in five to six months, but no firm dates have been set.

2 thoughts on “New Spicewood subdivision plans 3,500 homes

  1. This disregard of water availability for new subdivisions is unconscionable. The aquafers are at a record low level now. Our Hill Country lakes are below half full. Has there been any study done on the impact of the water demands for these huge new subdivisions? This area can’t continue to support the immense population growth. I understand that these developments will generate tax revenue. The other side of this is the demands for roads, police services, emergency services, schools and utilities will cost the county taxpayers more and more. We need common sense and decrement from our Burnet Couty Commissioner’s Court, Burnet County Development Director and LCRA.
    Concerned citizen,
    Anna Marie Denniston

  2. Unbelievable. Our water usage has been reduced by 15% recently by the county. There are constant articles and meetings warning us of water shortage, and the county continues to approve developments.

    More and more tax base approved and no property tax relief.

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