New rules on tap
An ordinance approved on the first of two votes Tuesday night creates these changes to rules for San Marcos parks and natural areas:
• Makes the consumption or display of alcoholic beverages on park land prohibited. Provides for access and egress to the river with a “no open container” rule;
The San Marcos City Council voted tonight to ban alcohol in city parks, including the strand of public space alongside the San Marcos River.
Part of a larger package of new parks rules, the alcohol ban passed 6-1 with council member Jude Prather casting the sole vote against. He said he thinks the rule trespasses on residents’ personal freedom.
“I just can’t get behind saying you can’t have a beer by the river,” Prather said.
During more than an hour of discussion at their Tuesday meeting, council members Ryan Thomason and Kim Porterfield also voiced reservations but ended up voting for the law along with Mayor Daniel Guerrero and council members Shane Scott, John Thomaides and Wayne Becak.
“It’s a tool, essentially, to have the ability to ask someone to cease and desist” disruptive or dangerous behavior, said City Marshal Ken Bell who heads the river rangers force.
The ban is supported by the San Marcos River Foundation and the Lion’s Club, which operates a summertime tube rental business at City Park.
New rules also give the city’s parks director the authority to ban barbeque grills and Styrofoam cups. The ordinance must be approved on a second reading before it becomes law.
The city cannot ban alcohol possession and consumption on the river itself which belongs, under the Texas constitution, to the state, not the city.
NOTE: This is a breaking news story. Check back later for expanded coverage of this and other San Marcos City Council stories.Email | Print