The History of Barton Creek
BartonCreek is an upscale community located south of Farm Road 2244 about eight miles west of downtown Austin in southwestern Travis County. Named after nearby Barton Creek, the town began in 1974 as a development under the property partnership of Ben Barnes and JohnConnally when a country club, golf course, and conference center were constructed. After the bankruptcy of Barnes and Connally, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. purchased the real estate development in 1988, and CEO Jim Bob Moffett proposed a 4,000-acre project known as the Barton Creek Planned Unit Development to include residences, apartments, and three golf courses, as well as commercial space.
By the early 1990s Barton Creek had become the center of controversy among developers, environmentalists, city officials, and local citizens over the limitation of development along the Barton Creek watershed. Various meetings and legal battles ensued, and a coalition known as Save Our Springs (SOS) formed in support of the environmental protection of Barton Springs, Barton Creek, and the Edwards Aquifer. In 1993, after Austin voters approved the so-called SOS ordinance in an election the previous August, various interests agreed on a compromise plan in which Freeport-McMoRan was granted thirty-year development rights in exchange for partial compliance with the ordinance, a reduction in construction density, and setting aside acreage for habitat preservation.
By August 1993 Freeport-McMoRan had filed its plans for 5,597 residences as well as 620 acres of commercial construction in the community. Development continued in the 1990s under Freeport-McMoRan and its successor, subsidiary Stratus Properties Inc., amidst continued debate over environmental issues.
In 2000 the Barton Creek community had a population of 1,589. The population in 2010 in Barton Creek was recorded as 3,077 which saw a 93.6% increase since 2000. Recreational amenities include a tennis center, nature trails, four golf courses, and Barton Creek Country Club. Barton Creek was the site of the Seniors PGA Legends of Golf tournament from 1990 through 1994. The community is served by schools in the Austin IndependentSchool District and the Eanes Independent School District.
Vertical File, AustinHistory Center, Austin(Subdivisions—Barton Creek Community). Vertical File, Dolph Briscoe Centerfor American History, University of Texas at Austin (Barton Creek).