Barton Creek 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 John Connally 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. Recreational amenities include a tennis center, nature trails, three 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 Independent School District and the Eanes Independent School District.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Laurie E. Jasinski | © Texas State Historical Association
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Barton Creek by the Numbers
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|3,356||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|3,265||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|3,077||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|1,589||2000||United States Census Bureau|