The Memorial Park Master Plan envisions a large natural land bridge over Memorial Drive, improved amenities and an ecology that’s more resistant to the Texas climate.
There is no official price tag but some estimate it could be in the hundreds of millions.
Council member Mike Laster said he likes the plan but questioned whether that much money should be spent on just Memorial Park.
“I just don’t think we can find that kind of concentrated investment in parks across the city as we have in this particular area,” Laster said.
Other council members agreed, although Mayor Parker pointed out that the vote is just on the plan itself and not its funding.
Some residents have also expressed concerns about increased traffic and parking in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Parker suggested the city do a traffic study to ensure residents won’t feel a negative impact from the changes. But she also said many who live on the park’s north side simply don’t want change.
“They’re going to see more things happening in the park, they’re going to hear more things happening in the park,” Parker said. “Yet at the same time, it allows us to create a quieter, more natural area on the south side of the park, which we also desperately need in this really big urban area.”
The master plan will be paid for by the Uptown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone and private donations.