Chris Legnon remembers April 23, 2017, like it was yesterday. He was giving his son a bath when he said he heard three gunshots outside the door of his Villages of Hidden Lake home.
One person was injured and four teenagers and one man were arrested and charged in the shooting, police said.
With a proposed new parking lot and trail planned near his home off for Lake Pflugerville, planned to be built closer to his home, Legnon said he is worried about his family’s safety.
"What I ask you to do is to not bring another opportunity even closer to my home for something as silly as a parking lot," he told the Pflugerville City Council Tuesday night.
Legnon was among nine Villages of Hidden Lake residents who spoke in opposition to the planned improvements at Lake Pflugerville.
The council last month approved a $410,505 contract with design and engineering firm Halff Associates to oversee the first phase of improvements for the North Beach area and Biehle House property, which includes additional parking both areas along Lake Pflugerville. New restrooms and other amenities are also slated for the areas.
Clayton and Christina Thieme, who live just a few feet away from a pavilion at the lake, said they are worried a trail closer to their house will increase crime and noise.
"It’s a potential for confrontation between parkgoers and residents," Clayton Thieme said.
"As it is now ... we can hear people on the trail walking, talking," Christina Thieme said. "We have chased someone trying to break into our car that ran from our home to the trail to blend in with the parkgoers."
Christina Thieme said she regularly picks up trash from her yard that parkgoers leave behind. She said she also has seen people come into her yard to retrieve drones and beach balls.
"People are coming into our yards that are utilizing the beach as it is," she said. "If that moves closer to my home, it’s going to get worse."
Ron Bickerstaff said the expanded parking lot and trail will is planned to be built directly behind his house. He created a petition signed by 15 of his neighbors requesting the council revisit the plans and hold a meeting with residents who would be impacted by the project.
"The current plan will provide marginal benefit to visitors at the beach area, while residents will be subjected to trespassing of the noise and light 365 days a year, as well as probably reducing our property values," he said.
Bickerstaff suggested expanding the parking to the south, instead of north toward his backyard. He claims he and his neighbors were not notified by the city about the parking lot and trail plans.
Following Tuesday night’s meeting, Mayor Victor Gonzales said he was concerned about some of the safety and privacy issues raised by residents expressed.
"While we want to make the lake a great recreation opportunity, we do not want it to create safety risks for our residents," he said in an email. "We will be looking at potential options based on last night’s concerns."
City spokeswoman Maggie Holman said city staff plans to revisit the plans over the next few weeks, taking into account the feedback from adjacent property owners.
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