Parks and recreation board rejects plan to sell beer and wine at Zilker Cafe for second time

Barton Springs Pool was empty during March's stay-at-home order. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Barton Springs Pool was empty during March's stay-at-home order. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Barton Springs Pool was empty during March's stay-at-home order. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

The Austin Parks and Recreation Board shot down a proposal to allow the sale of wine and beer at ZIlker Park.

On Sept. 28, the advisory board voted to recommend the Austin Planning Commission not move forward with a proposal to allow alcohol sales at Zilker Cafe.

The board previously voted on the issue in June with the same outcome but decided to bring the idea forward again as two members were absent and three seats were vacant from the 11-member group.

Prior to the board’s discussion, several community members, including current staff, spoke against the potential sale of alcohol at the venue, citing concerns about possible dangers of drinking before swimming or supervising children.

“I’m having a hard time understanding the motivation in the first place,” board member Lisa Hugman said.


She went on to express her appreciation for the community members who have either spoken to the board or written them about this issue.

Parks and Recreation Director Kimberly McNeely said the proposal to seek a conditional use permit—essentially seeking permission to allow the ZIlker Cafe to sell alcohol when it is normally not allowed in parks—began several years ago and had support at the time.

She also expressed frustration with the process, which has brought her—and community members wanting to weigh in on the issue—in front of the board again.

Most of the board members agreed that alcohol sales were either too dangerous or not needed at the park with only Nina Rinaldi expressing any interest in the proposal.

Ultimately, the board voted 8-1 to recommend against seeking permission for the Zliker Cafe to sell alcohol.


MOST RECENT

Photo of Austin Community College pharmacy students preparing vaccines
Austin Public Health ramps up COVID-19 booster shot offerings, prepares for pediatric vaccines

High-risk individuals who received Pfizer are Moderna doses six months ago or more are now eligible for boosters—as are most recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

Rendering of the UT Leona Child Development Center
UT Austin set to open new Child Development Center east of I-35

A new university child care facility is headed to 2216 Leona St.

Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey briefed City Council on Austin's spending of more than $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding on homelessness Oct. 21. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Officials share outlook of 3-year plan to house 3,000 homeless people in Austin

Although the path to build more than 1,000 new spaces for those without shelter will take time, officials believe the goals are achievable.

Photo off APD sign
Austin police cadet academy review notes positive strides but says instructors lack buy-in to 'reimagined' concept

Reforms at the Austin Police Department academy are mixed so far, while the department and outside evaluators agree on several potential improvements going forward.

Franklin Barbecue in East Austin closed its dining room in March 2020. (Courtesy Franklin Barbecue)
Franklin Barbecue to reopen dining room on 11th Street in Austin

The dining room will reopen just before Thanksgiving.

Cumby Group is planning development for three adjacent multifamily projects on Manor Road in East Austin, including The Emma apartments. (Courtesy Cumby Group)
3 years in, Austin is falling behind on goals in affordable housing plan

From 2018-20, the city only reached 12% of its 10-year goal to build thousands of new homes and rental units.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

The Austin Transit Partnership is exploring above- and below-ground options for a transit center at the East Riverside Drive and South Pleasant Valley intersection. (Courtesy Austin Transit Partnership)
Project Connect plans to explore above-, below-ground options for East Riverside/Pleasant Valley Transit Center

After hosting a community design workshop, the group overseeing Project Connect designs is moving forward with options for both an underground and above-ground station at the intersection.

A calculator created by the Rocky Mountain Institute looks at the environmental impact of TxDOT's proposed designs for I-35 in Central Austin, one of the most congested roadways in the country. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nonprofit's tool says TxDOT I-35 expansion proposals would have profound environmental consequences

The tool says that the proposal would create between 255 and 382 million additional vehicle miles traveled per year.

Photo of the Travis County administration building and sign
Travis County hears update on process to reassess master plan for aging correctional facilities

The process comes after county commissioners opted to pause all activities of the master plan over the summer.

Photo of a row of houses, with one under construction
Central Austin home prices decline for second month but still tower over previous year

Homes prices in the Central Austin area are up 15.5% from September 2020.