The Maroon

A Changing Landscape: Lamar Beach Update

Drew Dowell and Brianna Tovar

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Over the past few months, the City of Austin has undergone many modifications in regards to the community. In June of 2014, the City Council passed Resolution No. 20140612-060 to initiate the master planning process for Lamar Beach at Town Lake Metro Park. This plan directly affects the surrounding schools, due to the fact that Cesar Chavez is one of the main access roads students use to arrive at school. If the plan is completed, Cesar Chavez will be extended past the two newly added field areas as well as the rest of the field areas.

The property that is being used for “Lamar Beach” is made up of approximately 65.4 acres of green parkland that surrounds Lady Bird Lake to the south, YMCA of Austin, railroad tracks and various parcels to the north, Austin High School and Mopac to the west and North Lamar Boulevard to the east. This land is currently used for baseball fields, multi-use fields, bikeways, Austin Pets Alive Adoption Center, hike and bike trail and the Texas Rowing Center.

Because this plan involves making huge changes to the land surrounding this parts of the city, there are some major stakeholders of the property. Some of these stakeholders include Austin Pets Alive, Old West Austin Neighborhood, the YMCA, and Austin High. These organizations have a large interest and concern because they aren’t sure of how the changes will affect their property.

“The new plan will highly affect my route to school,” junior Mateo Santos said. “I take Cesar Chavez every morning so changing the turnaround and the street’s location will most likely make me more tardy than I already am.”

A revised draft master plan was completed in September after being reviewed by City Departments and Stakeholders.  Throughout the month of October, the draft master plan was presented to the Animal Advisory Commission, Facilities and Programs Committee of the Parks and Recreation Board, Planning Commission, Downtown Commission, Design Commission, and the Parks and Recreation Board.

Regardless of the outcome, multiple organizations will be affected by the changes. These changes will affect the land and access to these organizations properties. In addition, students and staff will have to take different routes to get on campus. Ultimately, the main goal of the plan is to create more space for outdoor activities and to lessen the heavy burden of Austin traffic.

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A Changing Landscape: Lamar Beach Update