Zilker Cafe in Zilker Park
This site is in Zilker Park near Barton Springs Pool and is addressed as 2133 William Barton Dr.
See all permits for this location.
Conditional Use Permit (Case 2021-058117 SP; Reference File Name SPC-2021-0131A)
This is an application for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the sale and consumption of alcohol at Zilker Cafe (2133 William Barton Dr) in Zilker Park next to Barton Springs Pool between the bathhouse and the children's playground. The City case manager is Rosemary Avila (firstname.lastname@example.org; 512-974-2945). At its July 26, 2021 General Membership meeting, ZNA passed a resolution opposing the CUP and the sale and consumption of alcohol at Zilker Cafe.
Public Hearings and Meetings
- Planning Commission Hearing - October 26, 2021, Item B11
- Video of PC Hearing (external link; click on Item B11)
- Email Planning Commission with Comments
- Meeting Backup - Staff Review Sheet (2.0 MB PDF)
- Meeting Backup - ZNA General Membership Resoluction Opposing the CUP (<1 MB PDF)
- Meeting Backup - Dell Children's Medical Center Opposition Letter (<1 MB PDF)
- Parks and Recreation Board Hearing - 28 Sep 2021, Item B1 (motion to recommend denial of the CUP passed, 8-1)
- Video of PARB Hearing (external link; Item B1 starts at 34:15 and ends at 2:04:55)
- PARB Meeting Agenda Items and Backup (external link)
- Backup - PARD Presentation (1.6 MB PDF)
- Article in Austin Monitor Describing the Hearing (external link)
- Parks and Recreation Board Hearing - 24 Aug 2021 (motion to reconsider passed unanimously)
- Approved Minutes of the June 22, 2021 meeting (<1 MB PDF)
- Video of PARB Hearing (external link; see text below for times)
- Parks and Recreation Board Hearing - 22 Jun 2021 (motion recommending to not go forward with the CUP passed, 4-2)
- Video of PARB Hearing (external link) The comments from the public are under Citizen Communications between 0:14:20 and 1:13:50 (59 minutes)
- Backup - Presentation (2.8 MB PDF)
- Backup - Community Meeting Q&A (<1 MB PDF)
- Backup - Revenue Summary (<1 MB PDF)
- Community Meeting - 17 Jun 2021
With only Board Member Nina Rinaldi (District 1) dissenting, the following motion made by Board Member Sarah Faust (District 5) passed 8-1:
"I move that the Parks and Recreation Board recommend to the Planning Commission that the Conditional Use Permit for the sale of wine and beer at the Zilker Cafe be denied. I further move that that recommendation applies to any other City Council or Board that considers this."
This was Item B-3 on the agenda. The action was actually a motion to reconsider the decision of June 22 and bring the Zilker Cafe CUP recommendation back for another vote at a future meeting, not to actually vote on the CUP recommendation itself. This was based on a “ruling” from the City legal department that they needed to first vote to reconsider their previous vote before they could actually vote on it again. These are the relevant parts of the hearing by elapsed time in the video:
starting at 0:10:35 -- Comments were taken from the general public after the speakers were told it would be preferable if those speaking on the Zilker Cafe would wait until the next meeting when action on the CUP would be taken (again). Nevertheless, several speakers did not want to wait and voiced their opposition to the Zilker Cafe.
0:46:45 to 0:56:30 -- Approval of the minutes of the June meeting came up for a vote. This normally mundane task took 10 minutes because of wording in the minutes concerning the Zilker Cafe item. There was concern by one Board member that listing the names of the oral commenters (divided into pro and con) would give a wrong impression on how the public felt about the issue because it did not list the additional pro and con written comments sent to the Board and individual Board members. There were more oral commenters supporting alcohol sales than opposing them. However, apparently there were many more written comments opposing alcohol sales than supporting them. One Board member made a motion to remove the names of the commenters and how they voted, but it failed for lack of a second, even though some Board members seemed to agree with her sentiment. The minutes passed as originally drafted.
1:30:55 to 1:54:00 -- The Board took up agenda Item B-3 on the Zilker Cafe. There appeared to be great confusion on why they were having to have this vote again and exactly what the vote was intended to do. An attorney from the City legal department attempted to explain things, but it was obvious that the Board and legal department were not communicating very well, and the attorney didn't seem to be very helpful to the Board. In the end, the Board voted unanimously to bring the CUP recommendation to a new vote at the September 28 meeting. The attorney said this would be like the original vote never happened.
For the PARD presentation and PARB discussion and vote, scroll down in the video index and click on Item B.3 (61 minutes)
Note: Although PARB had a quorum when they passed their motion opposing the CUP, there was some question as to whether the PARB vote constituted a valid recommendation since Article 7, Paragraph (H) of the PARB bylaws requires a minimum of 6 affirmative votes for any board action. Two of the PARB members that were not present and were unable to vote also expressed their opposition to the CUP in an email according to an Austin Monitor article. It is unclear whether the Planning Commission can take action on the CUP without a valid recommendation from PARB under Paragraph (E)(4) in LDC §25-2-625 regarding Public District Regulations.
- AB+C Webpage (external link)
- CUP Site Plan Summary Letter [15 Apr 2021] (<1 MB PDF)
- CUP Site Plan Application [09 Apr 2021] (1.3 MB PDF)
- Master Comment Report U0 [06 Jun 2021] (<1 MB PDF)
- PARD Webpage on Zilker Cafe CUP (external link)
- Petition Opposing the Sale of Alcohol at Zilker Cafe [this is not a ZNA sponsored petition] (external link)
- Website Article Supporting Alcohol Sales at Zilker Cafe (external link)
- Letter Opposing Alcohol Sales at Zilker Cafe [Heidi Armstrong, Barton Hills Neighborhood] (<1 Mb PDF))
- PARD Zilker Cafe Survey Results (<1 MB Excel file) The survey asked the following questions:
1. Are you a customer of the Zilker Café (snack bar/restaurant) at Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park?
2. How often do you make purchases from the Café?
3. What activities/facilities do you use while at Zilker Park?
4. What time of day would you most like to be able to purchase items at the Café?
5. What types of items do you typically purchase at the Zilker Cafe?
6. What items would you LIKE to be available? (16 of 340 responses wanted beer or wine)
7. Additional comments? (3 of 220 responses suggested the sale of beer or wine)
Relevant City Code and Rules
- Public District Regulations [LDC §25-2-625] (<1 MB PDF)
- Parks and Recreation Board Bylaws (<1 MB PDF)