Green Space and Development: the Importance of Balance

By: Eric Bramlett

A new development announced, to be built in the hills of Bee Cave, has got me thinking about the importance of leaving room for green space. The proposal is for a Tuscan-style residential development, called Cielo, that will include 400 luxury flats, condos and town homes, as well as 28 acres of green space beside the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.

While a real estate agent is usually excited about new development, after all, it means more homes to sell, there is a balance between making money and maintaining peace of mind. Not everyone enjoys the concrete and glass of the city, many people need a home near parks, with fresh air and room to move around outside. Also, if we develop every square foot of space, pave over every forest and field, where will the wildlife live? Already animals like deer are a nuisance to suburban neighborhoods. Without any home at all, they will become even worse. Not only that, but those of us that have lived here for a long time are rather attached to the natural beauty of the area, and while change is good, too much change can be just that: too much.

That's why I respect the Tennessee-based Southern Land Co. for their decision to leave 28 acres of green space surrounding their Cielo development. It will complement the developments proximity to the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, home to many endangered animals. If Southern Land Co. had gone with more traditional landscaping, the fertilizers and herbicides necessary to maintain it may have contaminated the Preserve. The high density nature of the development will further reduce the impact on the environment.

The green space will be an area that residents can enjoy, alongside the more traditional amenities of a resort-style pool, fitness club, cafe, theater and more. The green space will continue the amazing views provided by the Preserve, and will give residents the peace of mind knowing that their home is contributing to the fresh air and natural beauty of the area. The homes will even have window boxes, planted with colorful annuals. This development will truly be a nature-lover's paradise.

Cielo will be the best of both worlds for its residents, with quality homes located in the beautiful hills of Bee Cave. Lake Travis is only a short drive away, and even the city of Austin is within easy reach.

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