There Are 317 Acres of Public Parkland
Near Spicewood Lodge
We've heard the suggestion that the 11 acres of private property designated for Spicewood Lodge could instead be "donated" to the City of Austin as new public parkland. There are number of reasons why this idea is simply unnecessary:
- In northwest Austin, the public can already enjoy more than 317 acres of public parkland and vast areas of open spaces and undeveloped land. (See the parklands in the maps below.)
- The private property designated for Spicewood Lodge is not located in the City of Austin.
- The land for Spicewood Lodge is only 11 acres, and 94% of the property will NOT be developed.
Moreover, there is no extra money in the City of Austin budget to afford to buy the land designated for Spicewood Lodge.
The City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department maintains a park system with 300 parks and more than 20,254 acres of green space, according the City of Austin's 2016 Austin Parks and Recreation Department's Annual Report. Even with an annual budget of $87 million, the City of Austin strains to maintain these parks.
The park spaces around Bull Creek are often poorly maintained. It takes volunteer efforts to pick up rubbish of all types, including bottles and diapers, and to maintain a level of cleanliness. There is not enough parking to accommodate visitors to some park spaces, such as the St. Edwards Greenbelt, and no budget to improve the parking.
Shockingly, cars are allowed to drive through Bull Creek! There is a low-water crossing on Winding Ridge Blvd. instead of a bridge over the water. It is hard to imagine this being allowed through Barton Creek. A bridge at this location should be a budget priority instead of any additional acreage of parkland.