The Austin City Council recently passed a resolution that directs the City staff to draft a new ordinance that would allow businesses to use park parking lots at neighborhood parks, district parks, metropolitan parks, special parks, and urban pocket parks. If this ordinance were approved by the Council, park users throughout the city will have to compete with businesses to use park parking lots designated under this resolution.
The resolution specifically allows businesses located within 1,000 feet of city parks to use park parking lots to meet minimum parking requirements. Businesses would pay for use of the park parking lots by providing "amenities" to parks, and while almost anything could be regarded as an amenity, in fact, these businesses would be gaining parking at taxpayer expense. Over time, city park parking spaces needed for park use could be designated for use by businesses; thereby, limiting public access to those parks.
The City Council is pushing the City Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) to allow one business across the street from Butler Park baseball fields to use a park parking lot to meet minimum parking requirements. Neighborhood families, local baseball leagues, and park visitors will have to compete for access to that park parking lot, if this ordinance is approved.
Mayor Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Cole, and council members Riley, Spelman and Martinez voted for the resolution and have supported increased commercial use of our city parks. Council members Morrison and Tovo voted against the resolution and are fighting to increase funding for city parks.
Please sign this petition and tell the Austin City Council to increase funding for our city parks and stop selling our parkland parking lots.
Mayor Leffingwell 512-974-2250 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Pro Tem Cole 512-974-2266 email@example.com
Councilmember Spelman 512-974-2256 firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Riley 512-974-2260 email@example.com
Councilmember Martinez 512-974-2264 firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Tovo 512-974-2255 email@example.com
Councilmember Morrison 512-974-2258 firstname.lastname@example.org
Austin city parks are consistently over-utilized and chronically underfunded as indicated in the 2012-2016 long range plan for city parks that was approved by the City Council last year.
Allowing businesses to use city park parking lots will reduce parking spaces for park users and increase commercial use of parkland. Over time, thousands of city park parking spaces could be designated for use by businesses; thereby, limiting public access to city parks.
Allowing businesses to meet minimum parking requirements by using city park parking lots will encourage more businesses to locate near parks and is unfair to other businesses.
Essentially "selling" city park parking lots to make up for chronic underfunding of parks is short-sighted and will alienate public access to and use of city parks.
Please increase funding for our city parks and don't allow businesses to use parkland parking spaces.