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Monday, 26th June 2017

in Bee Cave TX 78738

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Backyard 3.0

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Our thanks to Connie Heller for this exceptional write up of the Travis County Court's consideration of another Backyard style venue at Fall Creek Road in Spicewood.

"The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday delayed any action on stricter requirements for mass-gathering permits until August as new stakeholders entered the discussion: backers of a proposed concert venue in Spicewood and the local residents it would affect.


Spicewood resident Frank Davis’ plans to build a festival venue similar to the now-closed Backyard amphitheater in Bee Cave on his 25 acres off of Texas 71 was greeted Tuesday with push-back from neighbors worried about traffic, drunken drivers and noise pollution.


The future venue is under the partnership of Davis and Tim O’Connor, who used to run the original Backyard, and could potentially hold festivals and shows of up to 5,000 people.


“If you have several thousand people coming from Austin, and you give them several drinks or whatever they consume, you are going to have problems,” said Charlie Meek, a longtime Spicewood resident.


Meek and his wife, Cindy, both cited the dangerous stretch of Texas 71 along the possible venue location near Fall Creek Road as a reason why the new permit should limit the total capacity to 1,000 people.
But Davis said traffic and drunken driving shouldn’t be a concern.


“There would never be an event at our facility without Travis County sheriff’s officers directing traffic,” he said. “The people that are coming to support live music are not all just coming to get drunk.”


After a 90-minute public discussion Tuesday, there was only one new development on the mass-gathering permit process reached by the Commissioners Court: approving the Travis County fire marshal’s office as the point of contact for applications.


County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said the vote on the new permit requirements is tentatively set for the court’s Aug. 11 meeting, allowing commissioners more time to study the issue and hear from stakeholders.


The most notable changes to the new permit proposal are a stricter paperwork deadline of 45 days before the event and a midnight curfew on Friday and Saturday nights.


The commissioners proposed the changes to the mass-gathering permit in May after a dispute between neighbors Brenton Johnson and Joan Havard over music festivals such as Austin Psychfest and Euphoria held at Havard’s ranch in eastern Travis County.


Havard, who owns Carson Creek Ranch, began hosting musical festivals on her property a couple of years ago to provide an additional source of income.


But Johnson, who owns Johnson’s Backyard Garden, said the noise and traffic from the shows infringes on his property rights.


“I’m hearing expletives yelled from the stage, intoxicated people jumping my fence,” Johnson told the commissioners. “People park on my property, and I’m just frustrated.”


Scott Davidson, the president of Code 4 event management, which ran several of the concerts on Havard’s property, said Carson Creek Ranch has never been above noise restrictions and that the festivals have been properly contained.
Davidson said the nearby airport is just as big a source of noise as the festivals.


“All I ask is the court keep an open mind with how they move forward with this issue,” he said."

 

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