59° F Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Far from backing down, some Bee Cave residents are making noise about the Covert car dealership that is poised to situate itself just outside the city’s borders, but next to Falconhead West.

Though several Bee Cave City councilmembers have made it clear they are not pleased with the dealership’s proximity to the city’s borders, they acknowledge there’s little they can do to prevent it locating in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

“If they send us a plan consistent with what ordinances allow and is not a safety issue, I don’t think we can do very much at all,” mayor pro Tem Jack McCool said. “… Texas favors landowners, and in the ETJ we can’t get them to comply with anything.”

Homestead resident Candice House said she greatly empathizes with Falconhead West residents.

“How would you like to have a huge car dealership and a three-story garage right by your house?” House said. “I think it’s a terrible thing for the Falconhead West people to have that essentially in their backyard. Not to mention, it’s a huge safety issue for anybody who lives where they travel along [Texas] 71 West.”

House and other residents have voiced their displeasure about the dealership to City Council for many reasons.

“We think it’s a safety issue, and it’s a quality of life issue, with the lights and the noise and the environmental impact,” House said. “It’s a terrible location, and if they wanted to be good stewards, really and truly good citizens, they should consider that.”

Some groups of residents are trying to take matters into their own hands. Ben King, a resident of Falconhead West, is co-heading a resident action committee speaking out against the dealership.

“I’ve reached out and spoken to Kenny Covert personally, so we’ve gone to the top of the partnership there,” King said. “We’ve been very active on their Facebook pages. They’ve been deleting our posts and blocking us. The Coverts are definitely aware we’re out there, and we’re not happy about [the proposed dealership].”

At this point, resident groups are considering action beyond words, King said.

“We’re consulting with a PR firm since that delivers a widespread message — that’s one of the biggest things,” he said. “We’re also investigating legal action.”

King added that a petition to get the dealership away from Bee Cave has several hundred signatures. He said residents have made multiple attempts to sit down and talk with the Coverts, but nothing has come of their requests.

The Coverts declined to make a statement for this article. Councilman Bob Dorsett said that communication between the Coverts and the city has been scant.

“Best I can tell they’re not communicating with homeowners either,” Dorsett said. “I think they’re hoping everyone will just forget about it. Those neighbors are pretty organized; they’ve got committees, and they’re not giving up without a fight.”

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Comments

  1. Kirk says:

    I agree with everyone’s concerns about traffic safety, noise pollution, light pollution and major disregard for the adjoining neighborhood.

    It definitely seems like shady business practices to seek out property just outside the Bee Cave City Council’s jurisdiction after being told by the council that you aren’t wanted in the town. Even worse to pick a property that backs up within 80′ of houses.

    The idea that they will build two dealerships there ensures that this stretch of highway will become the next “motor mile” enticing other brands to build there too.

    The road is too dangerous for that kind of traffic and no one in the area wants our Hill Country scenery to disappear like that.

    Coverts – Please stop pursuing this location. Your business will definitely be negatively impacted.

  2. John C says:

    Get over it people! It is going to happen and there is nothing any of you can do about it. The Covert’s will stop at nothing to expand their empire and this new dealership will be built. They could care less a handful of people object because there greeenbelt will become a concrete jungle. Your wasting your time fighting the enevitable. There are thousands off people moving to Austin and the surrounding area every year. This is a product of overgrowth and central Texas is imploding from the massive growth. Threatening to not buy from the Covert’s means nothing to this family, as they sell their metal to thousands of people around the state. Your objections willl fall on deaf ears. MOVE ON!

  3. Tim says:

    This smells much like a case of a big corporation using its mass to push around residents.

    Sweetwater Ranch has plenty of commercial sites available and is welcoming retail/commercial development (just read their signage around SH 71). This is just one of the many alternatives to building a dealership that will so obviously degrade quality of life for many Bee Cave residents.

    The fact that the ownership has not engaged residents is a clear red flag

  4. Jan G. says:

    I object to the Covert plan to build a car dealership adjacent to my Falconhead West residential neighborhood in Bee Cave. Covert is exploiting a zoning loophole to build in an inappropriate location. There are significant safety concerns since Highway 71 does not have appropriate traffic controls for this type of business. In addition, they will bring light and noise pollution with them. If Covert is a family oriented business, they will not move forward over the objections of our community. I am in the market for a new car this year and will not consider Covert if they continue with these plans.

  5. Vivi S. says:

    After being in the military for 22 years, 8 relocations, and 3 deployments, our family bought a home in Bee Cave, TX hoping to finally settle down for a peaceful retirement. The hill country way of life in Bee Cave so far has been all that–unique, tranquil, easy, friendly, and simply “homey”.
    Now what value will the Covert Ford dealership/service station bring to the family community of Bee Cave? the industrial image of a Motor Mile, traffic problems from test drives and 18 wheelers hauling cars, light polution, noise polution, flapping flags and flying balloons.
    Please help preserve the historical hill country way of life by joining the opposition of the development of Covert Ford Dealership in Bee Cave.

  6. laker says:

    Hypocrites…. Well what do you think will happen when you move to the hill country. Businesses move with you. The Hill country looks great with all of the rooftops along 620 & 71. I used to go to rough hollow before all of the over priced homes were built. Now you cant with all of the docks ect that made it such a great place to hide out off of the main part of the lake, guess what can’t do it now. It takes forever to drive just to 71 or 2222 on 620 with all of the red lights that change even at 2 am when nobody is even there at the light. The HS lights are just one of them that takes at least 3 min to change. I understand why you all are upset, and I would rather drive to walmart or a car dealer than have it in my back yard. Look at Round Rock this it what Lakeway, Bee Caves and 620 and 71 add 183 for a future look what it is going to look like in 10 years. Overpasses will be coming with cars over looking your homes its coming and I hate it. But I have lived in a 1950s home for a long time and it was out here way before all of this,enjoy it while you can…lets be real here you started the problem…

  7. Ron Puglisi says:

    Wow, what was Covert thinking. Did they really think that by purchasing a tract of land that is out of the City of Bee Cave jurisdiction that you wouldn’t run into objection from the Falconhead West Community. Did you think we would all just lay down and let you build a Car Dealership next to our neighborhood without a fight. It might have worked in Bastrop, but you can bet it won’t in this case. You will be creating such negative publicity for your business that in the end it won’t be worth the trouble. Make the right decision and sell the land.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Covert is exploiting a zoning loophole to build in a location that is not appropriate for a car dealership. Highway 71 is a very dangerous highway, and a car dealership will make it even more dangerous for the residents of Bee Cave and anyone traveling along this highway. In addition, the light and noise from the dealership will ruin the hill country atmosphere the residents of Bee Cave currently enjoy. Covert needs to find a more appropriate location for their car dealership. Take notice of the number of school buses that travel on Hwy 71.

  9. Nona Maxwell says:

    I strongly object to a car dealership adjacent to a family oriented neighborhood such as Falcon Head West . Property values will be undermined along with a marked increase of noise and light pollution. There will also be added trash and traffic problems. I urge Covert to
    find a more suitable site.

  10. Peter W says:

    Car dealerships typically aren’t built near residential neighborhoods. Based on the plans presented by Covert, I find it difficult to understand how the proposed car dealership will “fit” into their desired location. And it begs the question of how sincere the Coverts are about being community conscience let alone “family-friendly”.

    As a resident of Falconhead West, I feel the Covert’s plan offers no sympathy to me or my neighbors. In addition, the Coverts are not considering the community at large given that the stretch of Hwy 71 simply can’t accommodate the anticipated traffic conditions a car dealership will introduce. We will suffer if Covert moves forward, most likely in terms of traffic safety, noise and light pollution; and most definitely through the loss in value of our homes and to our community.

  11. niki says:

    How would the Coverts like a dealership behind their home?? Try that and let us know if you like it, Coverts.

  12. Maggie says:

    Covert, you are making a BIG mistake. Our concerns are being voiced in time for you to withdraw and make a move elsewhere. Save your reputation and find another, more appropriate location.

  13. Courtney says:

    Hopefully Covert will re-think this decision. We are the owners of a GMC and a Cadillac, and it is a trek from Lakeway to get service. However, as 620 continues to get busier and busier, Hwy 71 is an alternative to everyone in Lakeway proper and The Hills to leave the neighborhood. This is a residential area, and yes, business follows migration, but grocery stores, restaurants and Walgreen’s are one thing, multiple car dealerships are another. I hope that Covert will reconsider, perhaps further east on 71, perhaps Southwest Parkway, or even north on 620, where there is already every sort of retail sprawl available, and far fewer homes. Everyone refers to Falconhead West, but truly, our entire area will be impacted. I heard that car dealerships are looking at the Field of Dreams location as well. Lakeway has had to deal with WalMart wanting to put a store at its entrance and the drug rehab facility in the middle of the neighborhood. Both are valuable endeavors, as is a strip of car dealerships, but it is unacceptable and greedy to gobble up the first piece of land to come available, with no thought to what already exists in the area.

  14. Ed H says:

    Coverts, please reconsider your plans. You know that this is a sly way to get around zoning. I hope you can see the traffic issues your business would bring and with a new Middle school being open down the road, safety is of the utmost importance.

  15. Nanci Freemon says:

    As a resident of Falconhead West, I am appealing to the Covert family to reevaluate their attempt to locate a dealership adjacent to my neighborhood. The negative impact to our community would be significant and its effect will ripple to other neighborhoods along the along the Hwy 71 corridor. The Covert family prides itself on having built an automotive empire in central Texas but at what cost to other families? The light and noise pollution issues aside, my greatest concern is the vehicle traffic this type of business would generate. Highway 71 is ill equipped to handle the traffic it now has, as evidenced by the abundance of accidents that occur. We must consider, too, what the inevitable increase in traffic will do to our residential streets where families ride bikes, runners jog and children play ball. To the Coverts: Jennie, Rox, Courtney, Duke, Danay, Chance: would you want one of your dealerships in your backyard? The Falconhead West residents don’t either!

  16. Peter W says:

    Car dealerships typically aren’t built near residential neighborhoods. Based on the plans presented by Covert, I find it difficult to understand how the proposed car dealership will “fit” into their desired location. And it begs the question of how sincere the Coverts are about being community conscience let alone “family-friendly”.

    As a resident of Falconhead West, I feel the Covert’s plan offers no sympathy to me or my neighbors. In addition, the Coverts are not considering the community at large given that the stretch of Hwy 71 simply can’t accommodate the anticipated traffic conditions a car dealership will introduce. We will suffer if Covert moves forward, most likely in terms of traffic safety, and noise and light pollution; and most definitely through the loss in home values and the quality of our community.

  17. Karen Storm says:

    I support the views expressed in this article to keep the Covert Car dealership out of Bee Cave. I’m grateful to those spending countless hours working on this issue. 3 years ago my husband and I chose to move from South Austin to Bee Cave because we loved the beautiful views of the hill country.
    We knew that over time this area would grow and develop but never did we imagine that we would have to face the possibility of a car dealership at the entrance to our neighborhood. We thought we had left all that behind in Austin. I agree with others who have expressed their concern with light and noise pollution. I am also very concerned about the safety of the children playing in our neighborhood. We all know that new cars have to be test driven and Falconhead West would be the most convenient place for people to test drive if the dealership were to be located at the entrance.
    When my family first moved into our house most of the neighborhood was still under construction. During this time my kids had to be extremely cautious riding their bikes in the cul-de-sac in front of our house because there were work vehicles constantly driving down our street. Sometimes theses drivers would come down the street at fast speeds unaware of children playing nearby. Thankfully now that the neighborhood is almost complete the traffic flow has decreased. I fear that test drivers will make our streets unsafe again because their focus will be on testing a new car rather than the safety of children who might be playing nearby. I strongly oppose building a car dealership at the front of Falconhead West.

  18. Jan and TJ Stanger says:

    We purchased our home in Falconhead West specifically to get away from commercial businesses and we are definitely against Covert opening a dealership near our development. Based on Covert’s current plans, we are disappointed that Covert would intentionally put a dealership on their proposed site and lower our property values so that they can make more money. That’s putting profit ahead of people which we thought Covert was opposed to! We hope Covert reconsiders their current direction.

  19. Jennesa says:

    I love how beautiful our community is out here in Bee Cave, TX. It’s like waking up in a vacation every day with views we all moved here for..whether it was 50 years ago or yesterday. I want it to stay this way. We, the community,want it to stay this way. Do the right thing Covert’s. Don’t build your dealership in our backyard.

  20. Terri says:

    I will consider any brand that allows the Coverts to locate by a residential community like this to be guilty by association and won’t buy there cars even from another dealer. They have to be held accountable for their role as well.

  21. KJMcKay says:

    This generation of Coverts really has me, and many in this whole community, questioning their actions. To go about the way they have to get their dealership built is shady, sneaky, and incredibly inconsiderate of those around them. It has not been family friendly at all. I can only account for it as plain and simple greed. I am not against RESPONSIBLE development. This is a complete irresponsible move to put any kind of dealership out in Bee Cave, or even Western Travis County. It’s not a grocery store. I go to the grocery store every week. I go get a new car maybe once every 5 – 10 years. And I don’t even go to the dealership that often for service either, maybe once every 3 months. I know it’s been said already, but I’ll say it again: the safety concern is GREAT at that spot, not only for the neighborhood and its families, but for the drivers on Highway 71 as well. Covert is a bad name right now for many. If they want to redeem themselves, then they’ll move their idea elsewhere, and not in anyone’s backyard. COVERT, you are NOT welcome to build in this area. We don’t want you destroying our beautiful Hill Country, and destroy the peace and quiet of very family oriented neighborhood.

  22. Sandeep Govindraj says:

    I object to the Covert plan to build a car dealership right next to an existing residential neighborhood in Bee Cave. They are exploiting a zoning loophole to build in an inappropriate location. There are significant safety concerns as Highway 71 does not have appropriate traffic controls for this type of business. In addition, they will bring light and noise pollution with them. If Covert is a family oriented business, they will not move forward over the objections of the community.

  23. Mary M. says:

    I live in Falconhead West and moved here recently to have a home in a quiet residential community. An auto dealership just outside my door is not a welcomed part of a quiet residential community. I know the property Covert Ford is hoping to develop is zoned commercial, but an auto dealership with all the noise, lights, water runoff and other pollution is not what the City of Bee Cave intended for this property.

  24. Monica says:

    I love the Covert family and have been a loyal customer for years. (I’ve purchased 4 vehicles from your dealerships.) However, I have to disagree with you on opening a dealership on Hwy 71 at the entrance to Falconhead West. It is a horrible location for all the reasons that people have previously stated. As a customer, I don’t mind driving into the city of Austin to make a purchase or to have my vehicle serviced. Please be considerate of our beautiful, family-friendly neighborhood and do not build at this location.

  25. Brad says:

    I disapprove of the Covert plan to build a car dealership right next to an existing residential neighborhood in Bee Cave. They are exploiting a zoning loophole to build in an inappropriate location. There are significant safety concerns as Highway 71 does not have appropriate traffic controls for this type of business. In addition, they will bring light and noise pollution with them. If Covert is a family oriented business, they will not move forward over the objections of the community.

  26. Thomas says:

    I disapprove of the Covert plan to build a car dealership out in Bee Cave as well. I see the following unfolding:

    1.) Pick inappropriate location for car dealership (done)
    2.) Build eyesore
    3.) Face pending economic slowdown
    4.) Be forced to close dealership by government/parent company (as done in the past)
    5.) Leave eyesore behind for all of the hill country residents on the 71 corridor.
    6.) Build another dealership nextdoor and start the process over again.

    No one from the communities surrounding the proposed dealership location will frequent that establishment, so why build there I wonder?

  27. Naduni says:

    I object to the Covert plan to build a car dealership adjacent to my Falconhead West residential neighborhood in Bee Cave. Covert is exploiting a zoning loophole to build in an inappropriate location. There are significant safety concerns since Highway 71 does not have appropriate traffic controls for this type of business. In addition, they will bring light and noise pollution with them. If Covert is a family oriented business, they will not move forward over the objections of our community. I am in the market for a new car this year and will not consider Covert if they continue with these plans.

  28. Tan Tran says:

    The planned Covert dealership on TX 71 is going to be causing a lot of safety issues as TX 71 is a high-speed traffic thoroughfare (i.e. 55-60 MPH) with no shoulder or feeder roads. Turning into (and out of) the dealership from (to) TX 71 will cause a lot of accidents.

  29. Rebecca says:

    I object to the Covert plan to build a car dealership right next to an existing residential neighborhood in Bee Cave. They are exploiting a zoning loophole to build in an inappropriate location. There are significant safety concerns as Highway 71 does not have appropriate traffic controls for this type of business. In addition, they will bring light and noise pollution with them. If Covert is a family oriented business, they will not move forward over the objections of the community.

  30. DAVID says:

    Let’s be real here. The Coverts, wealthy or not, successful or not, are still all about selling cars. They’re car salesmen. What should we expect from them? It’s no coincidence that convicted felons are often encouraged to find employment at car dealerships based on their lax hiring criteria. So, why is anyone surprised that dealership owners would use shady tactics to build a new lot in our backyard?

    Wait till the public transit lines come through and apartment buildings go up on every corner.

  31. Saddened says:

    To John C. and all the Coverts: The right of the citizens to speak for what we want in our area is just that, a right. We have the right to dispute what we don’t want in our area. Our desire not to have dealerships in the area is for safety, as well as property value. HWY 71 is dangerous enough without having people test drive cars. We don’t want test driving in our subdivisions where our children play. The economy is still not real solid. We don’t want empty shell buildings, or concrete where grass and trees should be. Go away Covert, and any other dealership that wants to invade our space.

  32. Who cares says:

    Yall are all whiney babies…. thinking you will get your way just because it worked with Walmart. You harrassed and violated the people that were trying to get Walmart out there and you think it will work with the Coverts? Let it go…. The Coverts are way more powerful that you…. live it learn it… Bee Cave is not any more special than anywhere else.

  33. Thomas says:

    @Who cares

    I hate to break it to you, but yes, Bee Cave is much better than a lot of other places. It is affluent and highly sought after as evidenced by the recent population boom.

  34. Janet says:

    As a Falconhead West resident I am against a Covert dealership literally right in our backyard! Why the Covert’s would build a dealership right next to a residential neighborhood is beyond me. I will never buy a car from any Covert dealership because of this situation. Obviously the Covert’s have no regard for our neighborhood. The Covert’s are destroying the beauty of the hill country.

  35. PractiGaL says:

    Covert has the right To build. 71 W is not private or closed off to development despite what sme nimbys want you to believe.

  36. Jac says:

    Nice name calling PractiGal.

    The POINT is, they are NOT WANTED.

  37. Rich Schmitt says:

    #35. Of course covert has the ‘right’ to build it. Others have the right to complain about it. The whole issue is about how to control development for the benefit of the folks who live around there.

  38. lakeway biker says:

    A car dealership would be great for our area. This is not the quiet area we all moved to 20 years ago so we have to either go with the new or find a new place to go.

  39. BearBryant says:

    Jac is incorrect. Covert is wanted by a lot of residents. It’s a small but vocal group of “not in my back yarders” that don’t want it.

  40. Jac says:

    Go ahead and try to believe that Mr. Bryant. The majority in this area (at least the ones concerned for safety, and our property values) do NOT want Covert, or any dealership.

  41. BearBryant says:

    Jac is once again incorrect. The many residents I have spoken with are in fact property owners, High End, with children that are very concerned with both property values and safety. Your assumptions are both incorrect and insulting.

  42. PractiGaL says:

    I am all for Covert they have the right to build out here if you bought a home that backs up to commercial land then you did not make a smart purchase. I will be at their grand opening with bells and whistles on.

  43. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    I’ve been visiting the area for 50 years. House in Falconhead west is for retirement. Why doesn’t Bee Caves just move the city limits a few miles down 71?

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