On June 28th, the City’s joint Parks Board and Environmental Board subcommittee on Barton Springs pool improvements recommended south (back) side gate and fence projects that are more than necessary but scaled back from previous proposals.
Specifically, the committee voted to recommend against a large, ostentatious iron gate and in favor of a more modest gate and new see-through wire mesh fence across the back side. They recommended an ornamental iron fence in the wooded areas where there is greater concern for vandalism even though the wire mesh fence was preferred by virtually everyone who provided input. The Barton Springs Master Plan specifically calls for a see-through (but secure) wire mesh fence.
On a 3-to-2 vote the committee supported stone columns framing the gate. Although not as bad as a stone“gate wall” option, the large columns conflict with keeping the trees, water and natural feel as the overriding back gate experience. The “back gate” should be just that – a back gate, not another front (or, as some suggested, cemetery) gate.
The committee also recommended expanding the fenced in area to include the row of large pecans currently located along and just outside the back fence line. The committee ignored citizen requests to retain the existing ticket booth – voting in support of a new and larger pop-up pre-fab booth that has none of the charm of the existing booth.
The previous weekend, SOS representatives gathered over 600 signatures from south gate swimmers on a petition to keep the south side undeveloped and to spend our limited city funds on protecting the water and the trees and maintaining the grounds. Virtually everyone we spoke to recognized that common sense priorities call for preventing pollution and excessive pumping and taking care of what we already have on the south side.