I recently attended a special neighborhood meeting concerning the renovation of structures on the periphery of Hampton Park.
I was disappointed that the public was given short notice and I would like to have had more information as plans were being made. Nevertheless, I think plans to renovate the stables and superintendent’s house are beautiful.
I do not, however, think that wine and beer should be served at the cafe within the park.
Harry Lesesne and the Charleston Parks Conservancy have done a wonderful job with many of our parks and community gardens. And by raising money, the CPC reduces the financial burden to taxpayers.
But Hampton Park is a passive park and allowing beer and wine sales is contrary to this.
In an Aug. 11, 1976, News and Courier article, Mayor Riley suggested some difficulties at the park were related to illegal drinking during concerts. Even now we cannot control illegal parking, dogs off leash and parties without permits. Who will monitor the beer and wine sales?
In 1981, Hampton Park Terrace and Wagener Terrace neighborhoods agreed that the park should remain passive. Drinking is not passive.
Do we allow drinking in Washington, Waterfront and Brittlebank parks?
Someone at the meeting said that parents could have a drink while their children play. Who will drive these children home?
Under the proposal, the venues will be open the same hours as the park — 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. With a parking lot accommodating 150 cars inside the park (300-plus people at an event), who will monitor traffic and compliance with city ordinances?
I encourage my neighbors to review this proposal and attend their June neighborhood meetings.