Disannexation of Lost Creek from the City of Austin

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Thank you all! 154-15 LCNA vote to move forward! 95% support!

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December 2020                                                                   

Dear Lost Creek Neighborhood Association:

We, the undersigned Lost Creek residents, request that you support efforts by friends and neighbors to pass legislation at the Texas Legislature seeking a critical goal: 

Formal Disannexation of Lost Creek from the City of Austin.

We have been serviced by the City of Austin for long enough to know that the services have been reduced since the annexation. These problems not only have economic impacts on Lost Creek residents but health and safety impacts as well.

Benefits to Lost Creek Residents are:

1) Lower Property Taxes

2) LC to be served by Travis County Police, Westlake Fire, and Westlake EMS

3) No CodeNEXT Concern and other overbearing Austin building codes

4) Public Service improvement and probable cost reduction

We need your support now by signing the petition in order to show the Lost Creek Neighborhood Association (LCNA) that the community is extremely interested and supportive of this proposal.

The timing is ripe for action. The current statewide backlash at the Texas Legislature against the City of Austin provides an opportunity to pass legislation that would otherwise likely not exist.

The unique features and legal basis requiring this compelling local legislation involve the following collective Lost Creek community facts:

Ø The City of Austin’s forcible annexation of Lost Creek would not be legal if they tried today. On May 24th, 2019, Governor Abbott signed into law HB 347 which prevented municipalities from forcibly annexing property without the approval of the residents and businesses affected.

Ø Lost Creek’s geographic location prevents Austin from having the means to properly service the area. Lost Creek is not contiguous to the City of Austin. In order to get to Lost Creek from the City of Austin, you must travel first through either Westlake Hills or Rollingwood. The geographic location of Lost Creek results in many significant service problems from the city, several of which are outlined below.

Ø Crime has spiked since the annexation. Prior to annexation, the Travis County Sheriff’s office had routine neighborhood patrols. Since annexation, Lost Creek has seen an increase in theft and stolen cars. Austin’s response to the spike in crime has been to park an unmanned cruiser in the neighborhood. Even worse, the Lost Creek Limited District is now funding Sheriff patrols in the neighborhood.

Ø Fire services have decreased even though Lost Creek is one of the largest wildfire risk areas in the region. Although the City of Austin is responsible for providing fire services, an interlocal agreement means that physical fire service is still done by the City of Westlake, but under Austin’s fire service plan. Austin’s plan prevents Westlake Fire from having ultimate decision rights to safely service our area.

Ø Trash pickup is worse under city control. Prior to annexation, Lost Creek residents had trash and recycling picked up every week. Now recycling is every other week. And for fewer pickups, the costs have tripled.

Ø The reduction in the police, fire, emergency services, and trash services is a direct violation of state law. Sec. 43.056 of the Local Government Code requires that a service plan not reduce the level of protection post-annexation. It also provides that trash service must be at a comparable level to prior service.

Ø Property taxes continue to skyrocket. Over the last several years, Austin has raised its property taxes the maximum amount possible. Last year alone it went from .44 to .53 cents per $100. Lost Creek residents pay $1,000s more in property taxes than the Camelot residents located adjacent to the west.

Ø Austin’s CodeNEXT provisions could destroy the fabric of the neighborhood. Although the CodeNEXT provisions continue to change, the multi-family housing provisions alone are enough to change what makes Lost Creek, Lost Creek.

Ø Current plans for 360 overpass could create a homeless camp in front of our neighborhood. Current 360 project plans recommend an overpass in front of Lost Creek. Austin’s overpasses have created “tent cities.” Disannexation would allow Lost Creek to control the right of way at the neighborhood entrance.

We understand that successful passage of legislation does not immediately return Lost Creek to pre-annexation contractual arrangements and that issues such as water and trash contractual arrangements will still need to be made. Our request fits within the unique circumstances respecting local control.  Please see the following pages of constituent signatures.  Thank you for your consideration.