Residents in Austin’s rural neighborhood are fighting plans for a large concert hall

Developers say they have hired an engineer who knows the area well and will ensure they follow strict guidelines to preserve the area’s beauty.

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas – A California developer is planning to bring a new concert venue to the Austin area. But some neighbors say they don’t want that and are working together to fight the plans.

Just north of Dripping Springs is a small borough of Austin nestled in Hays County where the concert hall hopes to find its home.

“Rural living, it’s a quiet street, was a quiet place to live and great neighbors,” Sue Munns shared Stop the Fitzhugh Concert Venue Coalition.

Munns has lived just off Fitzhugh Road for years. She said the possibility of seeing a 5,000-person concert hall was worrying.

“Two of the roads have single lane bridges and there is absolute certainty of gridlock. It’s just a no-brainer that it doesn’t belong here,” Munns said.

For neighbor Will High, he said a venue like this could also have a negative impact on the environment.

“This venue is very, very close to Barton Creek, so the impact of the sewage spill in Barton Creek will be felt not just by the people of this community here, but as far away as Austin,” High said.

But Bill LeClerc, a director at Lexor Investments, Blizexas’ parent company, which develops the site, said they have plans in place to ensure these issues are handled with care. He said they hired an engineer who knows the area well and makes sure they follow strict guidelines.

Neighbors say they are concerned as the only thing separating their homes and the proposed venue is a small dual carriageway, which poses a safety hazard.

Leclerc said his team also has a plan to control the exits and make sure people don’t flood the streets after the events. You will work with a system that will let out a certain number of cars at once.

“We’d rather have a few dissatisfied customers who have to wait a few extra minutes to leave the premises than have a mass outflow where we have issues that we can’t control once they leave the premises,” said LeClerc .

Munns said for her neighbors that water conservation is also a top priority, saying the area does not have full access to water and sewerage for some residents.

“It’s heartbreaking to watch the people whose wells have dried up or who are worried because they know they’re going to dry up,” Munns said.

LeClerc said they have plans in place to ensure the area continues to thrive.

“It’s going to create a number of jobs. We estimate probably close to 200 jobs in the area. And along with that, we’re also going to have transportation improvements out there in Fitzhugh,” LeClerc said.

LeClerc said they are currently in the process of obtaining permits for the site. He said they are waiting to fully advance until these are secured.

Boomtown is KVUE’s series covering the explosive growth in central Texas. For more Boomtown stories, visit KVUE.com/Boomtown.

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https://www.kvue.com/article/money/economy/boomtown-2040/fitzhugh-concert-venue/269-4bd75eb1-ba56-421f-917c-6aa70cf45a4a Residents in Austin’s rural neighborhood are fighting plans for a large concert hall

Laura Coffey

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