San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 4th, 2008
Parking vs. greenbelt


BUDA – The greenbelt on the east side of Buda’s Main Street rests uneasily as long as the city needs to find parking in the downtown area. But the greenbelt will stay as is, at least for now.

The city council snuffed out a proposal to place ten parking spaces on the green belt across the intersection of Main and Elm Streets Thursday night as a coming development tries to meet its parking requirements.

WW Joint Ventures, which is in the early stages of placing a mixed use building at the corner of Main and Elm, discovered while assembling a preliminary plan that the lot won’t accommodate 26 parking spaces, as required by the city for a development of its size. After making allowances for utilities and right of way, the lot only has room for 16 spaces. So, city staff went to the council with a proposal to place 10 spots on the greenbelt across the street.

Councilmember Sandra Tenorio wanted to at least discuss the possibility at some length, saying, “If you want to revitalize downtown, you have to go outside the norm.”

However, the very idea of paving over the greenbelt has few friends on the council. Cathy Chilcote, the councilmember with the highest profile on parks, is especially adamant against replacing green space with parking space.

“I think this is a special space,” Chilcote said. “People seem to be attached to it. I think the open space makes people feel better. I don’t think 10 parking spaces is going to aid the revitalization of downtown.”

The council voted to require that WW Joint Ventures pay a fee in lieu of its parking requirement. Only Tenorio voted against Chilcote’s motion. Buda City Manager Robert Camareno said the fee would come to the equivalent of what the city would pay for developing 10 parking spots.

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