According to a memo to the council, the city’s communications department was looking for ways to “engage residents and attract visitors to League City that also allow for social distancing while promoting the city’s family-friendly, small-town atmosphere and charm.” The events will include booths where residents can learn about city services and programs.
When presented with the idea Feb. 23, not all League City City Council members were on board.
“... We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and I think it’s wrong for the city to put together any gathering where we think we’re gonna have 50 people or more. I can’t support it because of that,” Council Member Larry Millican said.
Mayor Pat Hallisey said Millican’s concerns were “reasonable.”
“However, this community has been locked up tighter than a drum over the last year. I think people are looking for an outlet,” Hallisey said.
The events are not likely to draw thousands or even hundreds of attendees, and masks and social distancing will still be enforced, he said.
“I think people need to make up their own minds whether they can come out,” Hallisey said. “You can only hold people down for so long.”
Council Members Nick Long and Hank Dugie agreed, citing personal responsibility and a downtrend in cases.
Dugie said health care officials believe 55% of those who want the COVID-19 vaccine will have it by April to June. The county is about one-third through that 55%, which is evidence the county is headed in the right direction.
Additionally, local schools are continuing to host indoor after-school events with hundreds of people, so a small event outdoors should not be an issue, Dugie said.
The motion to approve the events passed 7-1 with Millican opposed. Hallisey added the city can cancel the events if there is an uptick in cases by May.
In other business
League City City Council on Feb. 23 was scheduled to have the second and final reading on a proposal to rezone a parcel of land near Big League Dreams from mixed-use commercial to multifamily residential. The proposal garnered controversy, with dozens, if not hundreds, of residents voicing opposition when first brought before City Council on Feb. 9.
Hours before the Feb 23 meeting began, the item was pulled from the agenda to allow the developer to finalize plans for the property.
On Feb. 9, City Council passed the first reading of the rezoning under the condition the developer make one piece of the development a retail space open within 18 months.