A bill filed in Austin would expand contiguous parkland in HemisFair Park.
The measure would require at least 20 acres of parkland in HemisFair before the city could lease or sell portions of it as part of the redevelopment effort without voter approval.
"Under the current law, we would have to have votes everytime we reconfigure the park, so this eliminates that and allows us to move forward," said State Representative Mike Villarreal.He says his measure increases parkland and makes it more accessible to local residents.
"The shape and accessibility of the parkland is so much better for the public. It's clear that we don't need a series of public votes to make this happen," Villarreal told 550 KTSA News.
The legislation also prohibits the construction of hotels in HemisFair Park.
"I wanted to make sure that voters knew I was being true to them and that we weren't going to use their public land for tourism," said Villarreal. "It's going to be for us."
He said he also heard from owners and operators of smaller hotels who say they don't want another city-sponsored hotel.
State Senator Leticia Van de Putte filed a similar bill in the Senate.
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