Just 15 years ago, there wasn’t much to be found on Highway 71, which cuts right through the middle of the City of Bee Cave. With a population of just 600 in the year 2000, Bee Cave didn’t have much need for more than the few restaurants and services that the highway had to offer. Today, the population of Bee Cave has increased to nearly 4,000 and Hwy. 71 has become one of the Hill Country’s primary corridors.
With the growing number of businesses and services developing on Hwy. 71, both residents and business owners have benefited. Residents have a number of businesses to choose from, while business owners see high traffic counts as people move through the area. With plans to continue building homes in the Bee Cave area, business owners are likely to further increases in customer traffic. This will further benefit residents as it provides additional employment opportunities to the area.
According to the City of Bee Cave’s zoning maps, the area has already seen significant business and residential growth along Hwy.71 in the area west of Bee Cave Parkway. The city is also rapidly zoning tracts of land for commercial, office, public and neighborhood use, with a great deal of consideration given to growing the area along Hwy. 71.
To help encourage continued growth, a number of improvements have already been made to Hwy. 71. Given the location of the highway, some think it will ultimately become the main port into Lakeway as people look for an alternative to the traffic on RR 620.
Still, despite the area’s growth and general support from its residents, not all development has been welcome. After all, many of Bee Cave’s residents moved to the area in order to get away from the sprawl of Austin. Therefore, care must be taken to develop the area while also managing to keep things the way they are. Residents spoke loud and clear when an auto dealer submitted a plan to build a car dealership off Hwy. 71 near Falconhead West. Residents objected due to the bothersome lighting, potential noise issues and safety concerns. The council denied the plan and a new plan has yet to be submitted.