Proposed UIW parking lot plan unpopular in Mahncke Park

University Of Incarnate Word planning employee parking on residential street

SAN ANTONIO - A proposed parking lot for the University of Incarnate Word in a residential area of Mahncke Park is not going over well with neighbors.

They've started a petition push and made signs stating "Don't Pave Mahncke Park" in many yards near the proposed site between Burr Road and Perry Court, just off Broadway.

UIW owns the residential lots, and wants to put 33 parking spots in a gated lot for employees. The entrance and exit for cars would be on Burr Road, with only foot traffic on Perry Court.

"The bottom line is no one buys a house with saying, 'Look, there's a great parking lot. Let's live here,'" said Scott Day, who lives in Mahncke Park.

Day said he doesn't care who parks in the lot. He doesn't think cars fit in with the houses.

"People coming and going, car alarms, remote entries, cars idling," he said.

Lou Fox, assistant to the president at Incarnate Word, said the university has worked with neighbors to find the best option.

"We have screened it. We've tried to upgrade the visibility. Right now, it is a vacant lot. It's been that way for a long time," he said.

Some of the neighbors who are joining the movement to keep the parking lot out said they don't want to keep the university out.

Amy Estes, who lives on Perry Court, said she enjoys living near Incarnate Word and the mixed-use developments in the area, but she'd rather live next door to small-scale student housing -- like graduate student dorms -- than a parking lot.

"In the core of our neighborhood, we'd prefer to have neighbors and not cars," Estes said.

The university said there are only so many options for its growing campus.

"We're basically a land-locked university in this particular place," Fox said.

The zoning change goes to city council on Oct. 4.


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