Austin City Council is considering dozens of locations for city-approved camps for people affected by homelessness.
The decision to review the locations follows a citywide referendum that will reinstate a ban on public camping, restrictions on panhandling and a ban on quiet in certain areas of Austin.
On Tuesday, the city council received a list of 45 possible locations as the city rolled out the revived rules in what is known as a “phased” approach over the summer. Late last week, city officials set criteria for suitable locations and said they had 70 areas owned by the city that could accommodate camps.
City officials want every site to have security, storage, access to transportation and garbage disposal, and access to water and electricity. They estimate that each warehouse could cost $ 1.3 million per year for a 50-person location and nearly $ 1.9 million for a 100-person location.
Here is a map of the suggested sites.
And here is a list of most of the websites that are loud a presentation to the city council on Tuesday:
• Walter E. Long Park, 11455 Decker Lake Road
• John Trevino Jr. Metro Park, 9501 FM 969
• Walnut Creek Sports Park, 7800 Johnny Morris Road
• Givens Leisure Center, 3811 E. 12th St.
• Fleet Service Yard, 8401 Johnny Morris Road
• Colony Park, 7201 Colony Look Drive
• 3511 Manor Road
• Tannehill Lane
• Onion Creek Metro North, 8652 Nuckols Crossing Road
• 7720 ½ Kellam Road
• Decommissioned sewage treatment plant, 5400 E. William Cannon
• FM 812 with FM 973
• West Slaughter Lane and 8908-9006 Cullen Road
• Parque Zaragoza Leisure Center, 2609 Gonzales St.
• South Austin Recreation Center, 1100 Cumberland Road
• Roy G. Guerrero Subway Park, 400 Grove Blvd.
• Bolm Road District Park, 6700 Bolm Road
• Edward Rendon Delgado Pavilion
• 4800-4906 Bolm Road
• Levander loop
• 1311 Tillery St.
• Gustavo “Gus” L. Garcia District Park, 1201 East Rundberg Lane
• 7211 North Interstate 35
• 7309 North Interstate 35
• Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park, 907 West Slaughter Lane
• Lakeline Neighborhood Park, South Lakeline Blvd.
• 12101 Anderson Mill Road
• 10900 FM 2222
• Commons Ford Park, 614 North Commons Ford Road
• Walnut Creek / Havens
• Northwest Recreation Center, 2913 Northland Drive
• Sir Swante Palm East Neighborhood Park, 3rd Street
• Duncan Park, 900 West 9th St.
• Patterson Park, 4200 Brookview Road
• Bull Creek Park, Lakewood Drive
• Ryan Drive Warehouse
• Circle C.
• Dick Nichols District Park, 8011 Beckett Road
• 11800 FM 1826
• 9513 Circle Drive
• 4905 Convict Hill Road
• Norwood Tract
• Austin Leisure Center, 1301 Shoal Creek Blvd.
Last week, several municipal departments set the first criteria for the locations. The city wants sites with 50 residents to be 2 hectares while camps with 100 residents should be at least 4 hectares.
City officials stressed that the list was provisional. Some possible locations are in parklands that are heavily used – such as Onion Creek Metropolitan, Mary Moore Seawright, Gus Garcia, Bull Creek, Patterson, Walnut Creek, Roy G. Guerrero, and Palm Neighborhood parks.
Kimberly McNeeley, director of parks and recreation, told the council that the resolution that sparked the review indicated that parkland might be on the table – at least for the first list.
“I have interpreted … that parkland should be part of the consideration … not that it is selected, but that it is taken into account,” she said.
The majority of council members argued that certain locations would not work in their own districts for various reasons.
Some properties are in areas where there is a risk of forest fire. Other locations are already under development, such as the country that used to house a Home Depot Saint John and Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. Another location, 1311 Tillery, is Evergreen Cemetery.
25 of the locations on the original list were drawn because they are in flood prone areas.
Alison Alter, councilor for the 10th ward, said the fact that councilors opposed so many proposals shows how early the city is in the process. She emphasized the resolution in which employees were only asked to deal with the city’s land. There is no guarantee that these websites will be used.
“I think this is just a very tentative list … that this is just a first step to see if we can identify any property in the city that we might want to track as a designated camping,” she said. “But no decision was made here either.”
Alter said locations that are not actively used as parks or nature reserves would be the best fit and asked staff to find the “sweet spot”. McNeeley said two parks that are not fully developed might fit that bill – one on Bolm Road and another 200 acre section on Johnny Morris Road which is part of the Walnut Creek Sports Complex.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Division, Austin Housing and Finance Corporation, Austin Public Works, Austin Fire Department, Austin Resource Recovery, and Austin Water will all play a role Maintenance and management of the warehouse.
The city aims to have at least one warehouse in each of the 10 counties of Austin City Council, using either city-owned or private land.
The Austin Fire Department said warehouses will not be allowed to use pallets or other potentially flammable building materials on structures. Individual campsites are at least 20 feet apart, and cooking and open fires are only permitted in certain areas.
The list of possible locations is not yet final. City officials will return before the city council on June 2 with another update – and a more specific schedule of when they might be assisted.