From Dianne Wassenich with the San Marcos River Foundation, an excellent history of the Capes Camp/Stokes Park Area and update on Tuesday’s P&Z meeting
TUESDAY NIGHT P&Z: San Marcans, including a lot of neighborhood folks from the east side, did a great job last night expressing their concerns to P&Z respectfully, regarding the apartments proposed for Cape’s Camp. They spoke powerfully about the master plan process which has found many places to locate apartments, more than enough places for our expected growth for decades, none of which are on the river. They spoke about the east side needing a park that is actually a park, not a floodway. And they spoke about the dangers inherent in placing a 1,000 bedroom apartment complex on the river, where security would be difficult at night in the park if it became a party site. And where the built-up flood plain land the apartments would be built on, up to three stories high, would impede floodwater flows down the long streets of the nearby neighborhood, like Barbara, Linda and Conway, toward the San Marcos River. And of course, the flood dangers to the apartment dwellers, near a road crossing that floods too
I explained the story of our how existing river parks were created 50 years ago, by moving entire neighborhoods of people out of the flood plain, to higher locations at great taxpayer cost and emotional cost. Many moved east of IH 35. These eastern neighborhoods have not had walking access to the existing river park systems for 50 years, and still won’t after the trail segment proposed to run from 35 to Cape Road is built with the apartment project. They have to run across a feeder road of IH 35 where cars are going 50 mph, to get to Rio Vista or other parks. These east side folks need a real river park east of IH 35, not a floodway. Some people also objected to the tiny existing Stokes Park being made into a parking lot as mentioned in the apartment plan. ( I wonder how that can be done on that open space that turns into a mudhole during wet weather, since a spring or ancient river route pours water through that open field at times. The wet spots already killed several trees there.)
I asked that the commissioners look at a flood plain map, and compare it to the land that people’s homes were removed from, in order to make our existing parks. And then compare that to the apartments now being proposed on land very near the river, and mostly in the flood plain. I fear that the commissioners have not been informed about where the flood plain lines are, on this property, and they need to know that in order to decide if rezoning is what they want to do. In the brief discussion after the public hearing, some of the commissioners expressed their deep concern with issues citizens brought up. They will have it on their agenda at their next meeting, but at least some of them do not want to vote on this until after the Nov. 6th election for Proposition 1. Please continue to write them with your thoughts on the matter at [email protected], and you can copy the [email protected] at the same time, since it will go to Council after P&Z. For more info regarding Support for Proposition 1 visit http://savecapescamp.com.
October 23rd – Capes Camp on the P&Z agenda
November 6th – Election Day