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PARD puts off Hancock golf course meetings

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 by Jo Clifton

After receiving more than 185 sign-ups for two community engagement meetings about the future of the Hancock Golf Course, the Parks and Recreation Department postponed the meetings scheduled for Monday and Thursday nights. According to a press release from PARD, “In order to maintain a mutually respectful environment that cultivates and supports inclusive public engagement and honest dialogue between and among participants and city representatives, PARD will be adding additional options for participation, focusing on small group meetings. PARD will reach out to neighborhood and community groups to schedule online meetings regarding the course operation proposal.” The large number of potential attendees, coupled with news about last week’s meeting of the Hancock Neighborhood Association, indicates that neighbors will not easily agree to turning Hancock over to private developers, as PARD proposes. At the Hancock Neighborhood Association meeting, the group’s parks committee put forth a proposal for half park, half privatization, which was “shot down three to one,” according to Adam Sparks, a spokesperson for the Hancock Conservancy, which is dedicated to turning the property into public parkland. Sparks told the Austin Monitor that his group was “incredibly happy that PARD heard the voices of Austinites who want to have more of a say in the future of Hancock Golf Course. We’ve been blown away by the support of the local Austin community. It seems like momentum is now on our side.” Sparks said his group has a lot of leads on raising money for a public-private partnership. The Hancock Conservancy will be hosting a community engagement meeting with the Hancock Neighborhood Association and planning a vote on a pro-park resolution on Nov. 18. View the responses PARD received about its proposal.

This whisper has been corrected since publication. Though Hancock Neighborhood Association and Hancock Conservancy may hold meetings on the issue in the future, they will not be holding an outreach meeting together in the near future.

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