SAN ANTONIO -

A town hall public forum addressing the future of Alamo Plaza was filled with accusations, outbursts and disagreements with very little resolved in regards to the next step for the area.

The forum, held at UTSA's downtown campus, began with the first public speaker claiming a private event in front of the Alamo was "criminal activity."

The overriding theme appeared to be that no one was ready to agree to disagree, agreeing only that the Alamo Plaza are is a mother lode that should be preserved as a historic site rather than mined for the millions of tourists it attracts every year.

"We're looking at space that's so rich in history. There are thousands of locations that would love to have one-tenth of what San Antonio has," said historian Gary Foreman. "When you go to the Alamo or go to Alamo plaza, what is it that makes it unique? We fail to answer that question."

"What we need to do is get a group of people together to create a better way to use the space as it exists today," said Davis Phillips, who owns several businesses across the Alamo including Ripley's Haunted Adventure and Guinness Book of World Records.

Concerns raised ran from protecting the consecrated burial ground, to honoring the Native Americans who helped build it as well as focusing on other aspects of Texas history.

Many in attendance spoke of their disappointment of years of talk and no action. District 1 councilman Diego Bernal addressed the crowd and informed it of a plan to create a panel that represents a wide array of interests to formulate a 20-30 year plan for the area.

"People are going to walk away from the process both happy and not completely satisfied, but we have to create a common vision, a plan that we stick to and operationalize and that we fund," said Bernal.

He did not give a timeline for when that group might start getting formed.  

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