Bee Cave residents flocked to the Dec. 11 City Council meeting to oppose the construction of a Covert car dealership on Hwy. 71.
One by one, neighbors stood at the podium and pleaded with the council to do what it could to block the building of the dealership.
Bee Cave Mayor Caroline Murphy and at least three City Council members appeared to agree with the sentiment of the residents, but the council admitted there is little it can do to stop the dealership from coming. Council does not have the authority to deny construction in the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction, Murphy said.
“There are times some things come before us that I may not like,” Murphy said. “The state Legislature has made it clear what cities can and cannot do. [Covert] is not out of compliance with anything that’s in the code. Legally, we don’t have the ability to deny this.”
The main concerns council members and residents have with the potential dealership in Bee Cave are safety, lighting and traffic.
“My goal is to have a safe community,” said one Bee Cave resident. “That’s what I want. That’s why I moved here four years ago.”
Another resident said his home is 60–100 feet away from the proposed dealership site. He asked City Council members to take “any and all actions available” to oppose the dealership.
“This is not the sort of thing that belongs in what is a budding community,” he said. “We don’t want [Hwy.] 71 to become the next [US] 183 or I-35 car dealership corridor.”
“We moved here so we could be away from all the crap,” said Mike Goldsby, who moved to Bee Cave from Houston with his wife, Beth.
Councilman Bill Goodwin told the crowd that in his seven years on the council, he’s seen many of these types of proposals come before him. To an engineer at the podium speaking on behalf of the auto dealership, Goodwin said, “I can only assume you drew the short straw to be here tonight? There’s no legal base for us to deny this. I don’t like pandering to a crowd. I just know I don’t want a car dealership in my town.”
After returning from executive session, Murphy announced that Councilmen Steve Braash and Bob Dorsett had recused themselves from the vote. The remaining three council members voted to deny the preliminary plat based on the city's subdivision ordinance which requires there be two entrances/exits in all developments, unless otherwise approved by council. Covert does not have approval for the second entrance/exit. Ultimately, because the property is in the Bee Cave extraterritorial jurisdiction, council does not have the power to block the dealership moving ahead with its plan.