San Marcos postpones river rule changes


by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and Photojournalist Michael Moore

Bio | Email | Follow: @JimB_KVUE

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 3 at 10:41 PM

San Marcos, TX-- Folks in San Marcos have a little more time to have a drink on the river bank.  Council members were scheduled to vote Tuesday night on sweeping changes to the city's parks rules. Instead they voted to wait and see. 

That vote now will take place during the May 1 meeting, and city leaders plan to solicit more public input before making that final decision.

Tuesday night, one council member was absent due to a death in the family and others decided more research from cities such as New Braunfels was necessary.

A leisurely day floating down the San Marcos River is especially inviting since spring has already felt like summer in Central Texas. However it's not just people heading downstream, styrofoam cups and other debris do too. 

So the city council is considering doubling the fine for littering and banning alcohol altogether from city parks and even every bridge or dam crossing the San Marcos River. 

Tuesday night council heard from residents. Many who support the ban, said it is mostly alcohol related businesses that oppose it.

"Their decision is based on profit," said Gaylord Bose, of San Marcos. "How much money they can make? They do not care about the behavior of the people or the behavior of what they leave behind."

Some who oppose the ban said a good compromise may be to make some, but not all of the rivers and parks, off limits to alcohol.

"With the the Retreat overshadowing my neighborhood and new apartments going into my backyard, as my property values plummet, and single family neighborhoods are constantly being rezoned to multi-family," said Melissa Derrick, of San Marcos. "Now you are telling me I can't even go down to the river and cry in my beer?"

San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero said the proposed changes may be necessary after a boost in visitors exposed flaws in the city's existing policies.

"Over the last 18 months or so we have seen an increase in different behavioral activities," said Guerrero. "We are trying to do our part not only to address the needs we have for our community, but also to address some of the changes that have taken place in neighboring communities as well."

One of the other park items council is considering , you would no longer be allowed to use a spear-gun without a permit.