The mayor has grand plans for Hemisfair Park, which I will admit is nearly useless as it sits, but for the whole park thing (the claim that there's no park there now is baffling; there's not much of one, but there is a playground and several green spaces). These plans are rumored to include a grocery store, which makes about as much sense as do the whispers about putting an Ikea where Joske's once was. He's a Democrat; he knows best.
Right now, residents would have to vote to approve the mixed-use development. Honestly, given that we happily approved the Pre-K for SA boondoggle, I don't have any doubt they could sweet talk voters into giving them whatever they want as far as that goes.
So why the perceived need for a law allowing San Antonio to bypass state law?
I have a feeling something more sinister is going on here. There are a handful of historical structures within the park. They are mostly pretty run-down, having remained essentially untouched since 1968. I have to wonder whether, under this "narrowly-tailored" law, the city would write itself free to demolish them, especially given the bit in the article about the park gaining green space.
That doesn't exactly scream "mixed-use development", does it?
Now, I could be wrong. And I do hope I am. But I have not been doing very well at that whole 'failure at political prognostication' thing lately. And given the fiasco with the City Council ignoring its own bylaws to change Durango's name, it honestly wouldn't surprise me to see them ignore state law either. City government hasn't been smacked down by the courts in a while.
Oh, also. About that newspaper article. Look at this:
At the top of the list is a proposal that would allow HemisFair Park's master plan to be realized. The plan calls for overhauling the urban park into a sprawling mixed-use area that would be a beacon for all San Antonians.
Way to obviously plagiarize the city's press release there, Mr. Baugh. (It could be mere journalistically unacceptable editorializing, yes, but I really doubt it.)