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Plans for Lamar Beach? New Council Says: Not So Fast

Austin Aquatic Center/flickr
Renderings of former plans for the Lamar Beach area.

The area around Lamar Beach, along Cesar Chavez near MoPac, is beautiful but hard to redevelop. It floods, and there are utilities running under and over it.

But the YMCA, the animal shelter now run by Austin Pets Alive and a sports organization are still able to use it.

The previous city council left a sort of blueprint for what it wanted at Lamar Beach. But the new city council is reconsidering that plan.

A master plan is in the works for Lamar Beach. It's still not ready. What the previous council did was give the organizations there sort of a commitment to use the land, in some cases, for the next 50 years, with the possibility of extending that commitment another 25 years.

District 10 council member Sherri Gallo had a lot of questions about the agreement. So, she asked Assistant Director of Austin Parks and Recreation Cora Wright. Gallo wondered, "Why [was the council] talking about doubling the term of the agreement that we've had in the past?"

Gallo and other council members believe the agreement was rushed by the previous council to ensure those organizations would stay at Lamar Beach. And the council believes the agreement needs to be backtracked.

Gallo wondered if sending the plan back to one of the new council committees would be appropriate.

Assistant Director of Parks Wright said it "would be appropriate." She also said "the master planning process will contemplate first of all existing users, as well as potentially other park users."

With that in mind, the Austin City Council agreed take a look at a new master plan for Lamar Beach sometime in May. 

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.