Liberty Hill’s newest park will have San Gabriel River frontage


image-1-webMembers of the City’s Parks & Recreation Board heard a presentation Tuesday on a proposed 36-acre park in the new Larkspur subdivision that will be dedicated to the City of Liberty Hill.

The park has frontage along the San Gabriel River, making it the first city-owned park with a water feature.

The subdivision, which was formerly known as the Caughfield tract, is 608 acres inside the Liberty Hill extra-territorial jurisdiction. When built out in eight to nine years, there will be 1,539 single family homes in the development.

Rather than provide a payment in lieu of parkland like many other developments choose, Larkspur chose to develop the park.

Brenda Williams from Larkspur and MileStone Community Builders described the area proposed for the park as well as the subdivision itself.

Located just north of the San Gabriel River and east of US 183, the entrance will be across from Whitewing Drive. She said there are plans for an arterial road to connect from Hwy 183 to Ronald Reagan, and the property south of Larkspur — the Widemeyer tract — will also have connectivity.

A proposed trail system will connect the Liberty Hill parkland inside the subdivision with a Leander trail system.

Williams said the development went beyond its required 36-acre parkland dedication and added another five acres that is waterfront along the San Gabriel River.

The park will also contain a water/wastewater stub out for a future restroom facility.

A parking area near the river frontage will be accessible from CR 267.

City Administrator Greg Boatright added that the City of Leander plans to construct a regional sports park on 40 acres adjacent to the subdivision.

Williams described the Liberty Hill park as heavily wooded and ideal for walking and nature trails.

“The plan is to deed the property to the City and then ask the City to lease it back to three MUDs there. The MUDs would improve it and maintain it,” she said.

The public park will remain open and accessible to all residents of Liberty Hill.

Boatright said this will be a 20-year agreement between the City and the MUD.

“At the end of the agreement, the MUD will go away and annex into the city,” he said. “That’s when we would be responsible for maintenance of the property. We will have a real clear agreement that will outline exactly what we’re going to do.”

Also Tuesday, the Parks Board heard a presentation by Senior Planner Sally McFeron on behalf of developer Chris Pezold.

Pezold is developing Central Park in downtown Liberty Hill, and is dedicating .6 acres for parkland to the City.

McFeron said the property is heavily treed, as Pezold’s goal is to preserve natural landscaping and make the area pedestrian friendly.

She said the City will develop a maintenance agreement with the homeowners association so that property owners will pay a fee for park maintenance.

In other business this week, the Board heard updates on plans for the downtown pocket park located on Loop 332.

The Board agreed to begin development of the park by adding some picnic tables and ornamental iron fencing. Future plans call for a splash pad there and possibly a skateboarding area.

Assistant City Administrator Amber Lewis said early plans for a roundabout at the intersection there have since been reconsidered. Building the roundabout would require more of a land commitment from the park and the development across the street.

The Board discussed one bid for construction of a walking trail around City Park on CR 200, but will seek two additional bids before a decision is made to recommend a contractor.

The trail will surround the existing soccer and football fields.

Also this week, the Board voted to accept plans from Liberty Hill Youth Football & Cheer and the Liberty Hill Youth Soccer Association for improvements they would like to make at City Park.

If the associations can come up with 50 percent of the costs to compete those projects, the Board is willing to recommend the City match those funds.

The football association is seeking to build a permanent structure for storage of equipment, and the soccer association would like to make improvements to the large soccer field that parallels CR 200.