History of Balcones Village / Spicewood Subdivisions
Prior to the golf courses and beautiful homes, this area was rumored to be a goat ranch. Yes, with all our beautiful trees and rolling terrain one pictures something a bit more romantic. There also is information in the late 1800s archives of the City of Austin labeling everything west of what is now MoPac as Comanche Land! If only our oaks could talk!
Bill Cotton developed the Balcones Village subdivision under the banner of Fairway Estates, Inc. with the first deed restrictions recorded on July 24, 1967. There were approximately 60 homes built in that first section mainly on Balcones Club, Crest Ridge and one house on Highview. The last section in Balcones Village went on record in October 1972. To date there are about 487 homes in Balcones Village including some in Williamson County.
In November 1972 Jim McCullick, operating as the Spicewood Development Corporation recorded the first deed restrictions for the Spicewood at Balcones Village subdivision. The house at 10007 Mandeville Circle was one of the first model homes. Eighty-three homes were built on Spicewood Parkway and Cedar Crest. Development of the west side of the Spicewood golf course began in 1979 by Spicewood Development Corporation. The last deed restrictions were recorded in February 1980. All 698 homes in the Spicewood at Balcones Village subdivision are in Travis County.
Originally Balcones Village obtained water service from the city of Austin but was on private septic systems. Spicewood Development Corporation owned and operated a private sewage system for the Spicewood area, which also obtained water service from the City of Austin. To cover the west side of the Spicewood golf course, Spicewood Development set up a municipal utility district (Northwest Travis MUD #2), which provided both the water and wastewater service. The MUD built a sewage system and operated a holding pond on Pickfair Drive. The holding pond on Pickfair was shared with the private treatment plant owned by Spicewood Development, and the treated sewage from both was used to water the golf course.
The MUD also built the fire station on Pickfair in the late 80's to have fire trucks on this side of 183. (183 was a mere road at that time.) The fire trucks were owned and operated by the Jollyville volunteer fire department. The City of Austin continued to use the Pickfair Fire Station until it was able to complete work on the new Fire Station located on Anderson Mill Road. Then the Pickfair station and playground were turned over to the Austin Parks Department.
In the late 80’s, Jim McCullick, who was from San Antonio, decided to move on. He sold the property south of the MUD treatment plant and fire station that is known as Spicewood at Bull Creek to another developer, sold Balcones Country Club to the club members, and donated the golf course property (all 36 holes) to the MUD. The MUD and the Balcones Country Club signed a lease agreement that allowed the Club to use the property as golf courses in exchange for operating the distribution system for the treated sewage. This arrangement worked until the late 90’s when the City of Austin decided to annex the area. At that time, the City of Austin took over the MUD, but not before the MUD returned the golf course property to the McCullick estate, who then sold it to the Balcones Country Club. Initially, the City of Austin used the MUD treatment plant and holding pond along with the distribution system, however, they subsequently decided to shut down the system and re-route the sewage to one of their other treatment plants, as well as install sewage lines in the Balcones area so those homes could switch from septic systems to the Austin wastewater facilities.
Our neighborhood has become a sought-after place to live due to custom homes on wide, shaded streets with excellent schools and numerous amenities nearby. Our neighborhood includes the Balcones Country Club with tennis courts, swimming pools, restaurant/club house and golf course. Easy recreation right in the neighborhood. The goats are gone.
Thanks to Tom Manning and Sue Schupbach for the above information.