Selected parks set to open in San Marcos with no 'social distancing police'

The detailed list of the parks that will be reopening May 22 will be released by the city May 20. (John Cox/ Community Impact Newspaper)
The detailed list of the parks that will be reopening May 22 will be released by the city May 20. (John Cox/ Community Impact Newspaper)

The detailed list of the parks that will be reopening May 22 will be released by the city May 20. (John Cox/ Community Impact Newspaper)



Following almost a two-month closure in the wake of coronavirus concerns, officials in San Marcos will be reopening selected river and trail parks May 22.



Interim Director of Public Safety Chase Stapp told City Council members at a May 19 meeting that the decision to reopen selected parks was made after listening to the community’s input and working with regional and state partners.



“It’s become pretty clear that if we continue to keep our parks completely closed we will absolutely be [an] outlier in the state of Texas,” Stapp said.



The parks will be limited for active recreation only. Activities such as walking or “enjoying the river” will be allowed, but sunbathing and group gatherings will be prohibited, according to Stapp.



Parks will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. In addition, an entry and exit plan to access the parks will be put in place.



The parks that are set to reopen were chosen based on their unique access to the river and active recreational opportunities. Stapp told City Council members that the vast majority of riverfronts would be open to some degree.



City Council Member Maxfield Baker echoed his concern with reopening parks without having enforcement of social distancing.



Stapp told City Council members that enforcement personnel would not be the “social distancing police in this endeavor.” Instead, social distancing will be left to the public, with Stapp pleading that they take personal responsibility.



“Our emphasis for this program will be to ask the public to use good decision making, common sense and really take personal responsibility for distancing and things like that, and to not congregate in crowds,” Stapp said.



Though Stapp acknowledged that relying on personal responsibility would not always work, he argued that enforcing social distancing with police enforcement would not work, as national and state trends have shown.



“We all agree it won’t work. It will put them in a very difficult situation and potentially a very unsafe position. They will continue to do what they normally do when parks are fully open and address more serious ordinance violations and things like that,” Stapp said.



The detailed list of the parks that will be reopening will be released by the city May 20.



MOST RECENT

The San Marcos Public Library is located at 625 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos Public Library offering enhanced ID cards to help assist marginalized communities

The new ID cards will feature a person's photo, name, address, birthday and gender.

San Marcos Fuel Express is located at 5403 I-35, San Marcos. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos Fuel Express now open

The new gas station also features a drive-thru car wash and Hunt Brothers Pizza.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida. (Courtsey Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank CEO Derrick Chubbs steps down

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida.

A new rapid COVID-19 testing site is now open in Kyle. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
A new COVID-19 testing site, a dental office and more now open, coming soon in San Marcos, Kyle

See what has opened recently and is coming soon to San Marcos and Kyle.

The school board will consider whether to call a special election to fill the vacancy or make an appointment. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Hays CISD to hold special meeting on resignation of board member; Montgomery approves plan for downtown and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 2.

The completion of improvements and construction to the park was on time for the annual holiday light displays. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kyle celebrates completion of Mary Kyle Hartson City Square Park with ribbon-cutting

Choir performances, the arrival of Santa and more activities were held to celebrate completion of the park project.

Tomball City Council approved a development agreement with Lovett Industrial for 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road Nov. 29. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tomball City Council approves development of 240 acres at Hwy. 249, Rocky Road; JLB Eatery coming soon to Katy and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 1.

The school board will consider whether to call a special election to fill the vacancy or make an appointment. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hays CISD to hold special meeting regarding resignation of school board member

The school board will consider whether to call a special election to fill the vacancy or make an appointment.

Crust Pizza Co. is opening soon in Montgomery and Willis. (Courtesy Crust Pizza Co.)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: 5 businesses coming to McKinney; Crust Pizza Co. to open two locations in Montgomery, Willis and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Nov. 30.

Here is the latest data regarding COVID-19 in Hays County. There are 13 people currently hospitalized. Of those, 10 are unvaccinated, or about 77%. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Hays County reports two COVID-19-related fatalities Nov. 22-29

The county also saw 75 newly-confirmed cases and 10 new hospitalizations with 10 new discharges.