Springs update

round2[1]It’s 1-1 with the final round to come to follow.

As per my earlier post, the board mostly sided with the Friends of Barton Springs proposal to carry out a major overhaul of the side side entrance to the pool. They stopped short of approving a variance to the impervious cover request.

Then last night it was round-2, the Planning Commision, they basically reversed the zoning board. The email from the FBSP today said:

Tuesday night, the full Planning Commission voted to deny City staff’s recommendation for the variances and SOS amendments necessary to complete the Grounds Improvements. Only two commissioners, Chair Dave Anderson and Commissioner Myron Smith, did not join the motion to deny and spoke against it. FBSP is very disappointed with their action of the Commission.

They did not reject the plans because they don’t support the Grounds Improvements – in fact, they discussed how necessary almost all of the projects are to control erosion, improve water quality, improve accessibility, and care for the trees and lawn.

However, they had reservations about the expansion of the parking lot, and wanted to see more options from City staff that did not expand, or even reduced the parking lot size and impervious cover, and increased bike parking even more than the current 40 spaces. They also did not support the ADA path to the historic marker.

In effect, the Commission denied their approval, and put at risk four years of work on the plan, in order to send a message to City staff that they were serious in their objections to a few aspects of the plan.

The final discussion will be scheduled at the full council meeting, March 7th, with the hearing likely being on March 28th a Austin City Hall. As always, local democracy depends on participation. If you care about Barton Springs, there is a lot at stake. Get educated and participate.

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