Following a “rough” first meeting last month, the city’s second public meeting to address concerns surrounding the Brackenridge Park 2017 bond project, which park officials have said will require the removal of heritage trees, will be held Tuesday evening.
This time around, said Assistant City Manager David McCary, “We’re going to listen.”
McCrary also confirmed that a fourth meeting will be added to the original three, as he suggested at the end of the first meeting. He might even add a fifth, he told the San Antonio Report Monday.
“We’re gonna make certain that we don’t miss any details,” McCary said. “However long that takes, we want to get it all turned in and documented.”
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Witte Museum.
Staff will also share changes to the project based on the input of those residents who attended the first meeting, said Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez (D2). He acknowledged that there was “a lot of resistance to the format” of the first meeting.
At that meeting, city staff attempted to start off with a 30-minute presentation on the project, but attendees complained that they felt silenced. Staff quickly changed gears, moving on to the second part of the agenda, where and use sticky notes on various poster boards to note the changes they’d like to see to the project.
Subsequent meetings will have different formats, McKee-Rodriguez said.
This series of meetings were scheduled after the city manager delayed the project last month following weeks of protest from some local environmental advocates.
In February, the San Antonio Planning Commission approved changes to the project that would allow for the removal of 104 trees — including 10 heritage trees — that city staff say are threatening protected historic structures within the park.
Although the plan calls for the trees to be replaced once the work is completed, some activists say none of the trees should come down, regardless of their health or location. Others view the trees’ removal as another front in the city’s ongoing “war on birds.”
Members of the public are invited to submit comments or concerns about the project to the city at SASpeakUp. The third meeting is scheduled for May 24 at 6 p.m., also at the Witte Museum.