GALVESTON — The Park Board of Trustees will have a special meeting later this month to help determine what direction it will take as it determines the future of development of the Stewart Beach area.

The workshop will focus on developing a framework of what the Park Board wants to see Stewart Beach and East Beach become in the future, said Patty Knudson Joiner, the consultant hired to help construct the plan.

“You have beautiful assets, you have growing demand, you have great opportunities and we have financing ideas that are going to help open up these seven beach parks,” Knudson Joiner said. “What is that we could do, in addition to what we’re already doing? How do we maximize our assets?”

As inspiration, Knudson pointed to the work done in Houston in two small urban parks there, the Discovery Green and the Market Square Park. Knudson said part of the planning process would be coming up with 10 things to do at each of the parks.

The meeting will include a time for people to tell the Park Board what they wish to see done with the properties.

During Tuesday’s Park Board meeting, a pair of audience members commented on a decision made by the Galveston City Council earlier this year to change the zoning of a group of lots on the beach side of Seawall Boulevard. The change, requested by the owners of the properties, could allow the construction of buildings of five stories or higher near the east end of Broadway Boulevard. The developers who sought the zoning changes in January said their future developments would fit into the future plans for the Stewart Beach area. However, at the time, the Park Board had not hired a consultant.

Beach park admissions generated more than $2.9 million in revenue for the Park Board in 2013, according to its 2014 annual report.

“We have refrained from making any comment in regards to what our neighbors have solicited permission for until we have this study to have a better understanding of where we stand,” said Park Board Executive Director Kelly de Schaun.

Contact John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or john.ferguson@galvnews.com.

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