San Marcos Neighborhood Commission (SMNC) Member Jean Baggett at a June 22 SMNC meeting. Photo by Sean Batura.
San Marcos Neighborhood Commission (SMNC) members will meet this week and discuss whether further legal restrictions should be placed on alcohol use in the city’s 17 neighborhood parks, which do not include parks along the San Marcos River.
SMNC may make a recommendation to the San Marcos City Council at the meeting.
At least two city departments and a municipal task force advocated further restrictions on alcohol in city parks, and only two out of seven councilmembers expressed opposition to such a measure last month. SMNC members came to no unofficial consensus on the matter at their last meeting, though a few expressed support for banning alcohol from neighborhood parks.
SMNC will meet on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Conference Room. The event is open to the members of the public, who may ask questions near the end of the meeting.
The San Marcos Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) recently voted unanimously in favor of increased restrictions on the use of alcohol in city parks, particularly those along the San Marcos River. PRAB did not specify the nature of the restrictions, but favored leaving the specifics up to the city councilmembers.
According to current city law (Section 58.033), it is illegal to possess an alcoholic beverage 1) on or within 500 feet of any softball or baseball field in a city park, 2) within the fenced area surrounding any city swimming pool, or 3) within Children’s Park, one of the parks near the San Marcos River.
At the last SMNC meeting, City of San Marcos Fire Marshal Ken Bell said further legal restrictions on alcohol would likely take the form of a ban on the public consumption and display of alcohol in city parks. Bell said alcohol would likely be allowed in the parks during some city-sponsored events and for groups that rent city parks facilities. Bell said an ordinance would likely specify alcohol-friendly paths to the river in order for people to legally bring alcohol into the water. Under state law, the city cannot legally forbid alcohol in a waterway.Email | Print