No common ground found at public meeting over proposed parking restrictions near North St Mary’s Strip

Next meeting scheduled for October 8

The proposed program for the St. Mary's Strip would grant street parking in designated areas only to homeowners during certain hours.

SAN ANTONIO – District 1 Councilman Mario Bravo held a public meeting Saturday to update the Tobin Hill community about a proposed program aimed at easing traffic problems during late-night hours.

Bravo’s Overnight Residential Permit Parking Program would grant street parking in designated areas only to homeowners from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M..

In a statement, interim president of the Tobin Hill Neighborhood Association, Alfonso Robali said, “The Tobin Hill Association is in favor of the Residential Parking Program. The residents have experienced disturbing behavior including fight, urination, defecation, sex acts and shootings. We seek for the neighborhood to be safer than it is today and feel the Residential Parking permit is a potential solution.”

However, others fear the impact it would have on the businesses that make up this entertainment district.

“It will absolutely have a negative impact on businesses,” Chad Carey said.

Carey owns several businesses on North Saint Mary’s and serves as the president of the North Saint Mary’s Business Owners Association.

“The reality is that the N St Mary Strip has been a lively, important cultural center of San Antonio for a long time… It’s going to be something where you risk losing, frankly, the only area of San Antonio where you have a concentration of independently owned, you know, venues, bars, nightclubs, things that are really, really important to the fabric of this city,” said Carey.

In regards to the complaints made by several Tobin Hill homeowners, Carey said bars in the area have addressed some of those concerns for over a year.

“Over the last 18 months, we have engaged in good faith with the Tobin Hill Neighborhood Association and with the District 1 Office,” Carey said. “We have made multiple concessions on how we operate our businesses. We don’t let patrons into the bar after 1:15 A.M.. We make last-call 15 minutes earlier than we are legally required to do. We send our crews into the neighborhood streets to collect trash off of (the area). These are all things that we have done in an effort to demonstrate good faith with our neighbors.”

Business owners said they were promised an outline but have yet to receive one.

The exact details of the plans have not been provided by the office of Councilman Bravo.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 8.

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About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.