Sunset Valley: City Moves Forward with Design Plans for Park in Floodway Area
Feature Photo: A preliminary concept plan provided City Council officials with an idea of how Upper Cougar Creek can be developed. Image: Courtesy of Sunset Valley.
by Art Benavidez
Sunset Valley (Travis County) — City Council opted to move forward with design plans regarding the development of Upper Cougar Creek, also known as the Homestead Park, during a meeting earlier this month.
The Upper Cougar Creek area is an 8.18-acre tract of green space located within a floodway between the city’s three shopping centers, and is next to The Brodie Homestead, 5211 Brodie Lane.
City Council had approved $30,000 for a preliminary environmental study and legal review of the potential of a development in 2020.
The city subsequently hired Spring Branch-based Freeland Turk Engineering Group, LLC who in turn contracted Austin-based Cox|McLain Environmental Consulting, Inc. to conduct a Phase I environmental site assessment on the floodway property.
Map of site.
Council members have now received a glimpse of what the potential development of the property could look like through a concept plan detailing the new park.
The concept design currently provided has four wet ponds, Brodie Lane streetscape improvements, a lighted aeration fountain, an interactive art installation area, riparian planting, pedestrian bridge, amphitheater lawn, a playground, a 10-foot wide decomposed granite trail, open space, an observation fishing dock, a butterfly garden/demonstration area, a grand pavilion, berm and landscape buffers, crosswalk and onsite parking.
However, Tom Turk with Freeland Turk said it was way too early in the process for the conceptual plan to become a reality.
“The project needs a lot more input from the council and community,” he said.
Council members discussed beautifying the floodway with a park that would be engaging to the community in a way similar to that of Buffalo Bayou in Houston.
Council member Wanda Reetz said that the park should be engaging, educational, authentic, connected and iconic.
“This could be a really nice location with its connection to the shopping center and serve as an asset (to the community),” she said. “This could be a really fabulous gathering spot.”
Austin-based Luck Design Team rounded out the conceptual project team.
Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, Central Texas) is a seasoned journalist with over 15-years of experience in writing breaking news and in-depth features at the local level. He honed his research and reporting skills in newspapers and magazines throughout South and West Texas along with expertise in crafting digital content as Managing Editor of New Image Marketing Research Corporation. Benevidez is a Texas native and graduate of UT-RGV.