The San Marcos City Council discussed the possible acquisition of Cape’s Camp to construct a new city park during its July 17 meeting.
The 98-acre piece of land is the largest undeveloped piece of land along the San Marcos River inside the city limits. The Thornton family currently owns the land, and is considering rezoning the area for residential purposes. The council decided to postpone the vote regarding the acquisition until the next session.
Jim Kimmel, professor in the department of geography, called the river “an amenity value.” He said he is very much in favor of the city acquiring and maintaining open spaced parkland along the river and other environmentally sensitive places in town.
“It brings value to the entire community, not just to the places on that particular land,” he said.
Kimmel has published a number of books detailing the San Marcos River’s influence on the city’s growth.
The park would be the first river park on the east side of town, said Maggie Hutchins of the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance.
“The east side of San Marcos has a park deficit, which acquisition of this land would help alleviate,” she said. “The Cape’s Camp area is like no other.”
Jay Hiebert, treasurer of San Marcos Voice, spoke on San Marcos’s long cultural history with endangered species in the area and how humans have inhabited the hanks for 13,500 years.
“We are truly America’s oldest neighborhood.”
Angie Ramirez, Blanco Gardens neighborhood representative, said the neighborhood’s residents strongly support the acquisition.
“It’s important to me that (the council) understands how invested the people on the east side are in this idea,” Ramirez said.
Resident John Stark said good stewardship of such a “precious resource” is important.
”You’d go down in history as being good stewards by supporting the expansion of city parkland in the area around the river,” Stark said.