New development could add up to 2,000 middle-income homes to area

News Reporter

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The La Cima development, located near the intersection of Wonder World Drive and Old Ranch Road 12, is estimated to contain between 1,700 and 2,000 homes.

A proposed single-family housing development on the edge of San Marcos is continuing plans after a name change and an addition of acreage.

La Cima, formally known as Lazy Oaks, will occupy approximately 2,000 acres off the intersection of Wonder World and Ranch Road 12, according to Bill Ward, one of the developers on the project. Planners have added 600 acres that were previously part of the Freeman trust to the development since last year.

“We’re just amending the agreement to include the additional 600 acres that will give us more range and better access,” Ward said. “Also, the green space, which was previously 410 acres, will now be 800 acres thanks to that addition.”

About 1,750 homes have been approved for the project, and developers are asking for a maximum of 2,400, which Ward said allows for no more than three houses per acre. Developers plan to expand Centerpoint Road from Hunter Road to Ranch Road 12, giving residents easier access to the area.

Ward said the houses will be valued at $200,000 and up. It may seem like too much money for some, but there is a need for such houses, said Hays County Commissioner Will Conley.

“One of our known shortcomings is the availability of middle-income and executive housing,” Conley said.

La Cima will be a work-live-play development where residents can live close to their jobs and entertainment, Ward said. The idea of a work-live-play subdivision makes sense because it is easier for those in the area to have everything within an approximate reach, he said.

A 100-acre portion of the green space will be used for a park while another 700 acres will be given to the county for a bird habitat and hiking and biking trails, Ward said.

Dianne Wassenich, program manager for the San Marcos River Foundation, said she does not agree with La Cima’s development plans.

The property sits on the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, which Purgatory Creek runs through, Wassenich said.  She believes the area is unsuitable because for a development because it is on the recharge zone, meaning wastewater lines will eventually leak into the aquifer and many residents’ wells. The leaks would deteriorate the quality of the water, which cannot be reversed, she said.

Additionally, Wassenich said the Golden-cheeked Warbler, an endangered bird species that breeds in Central Texas and lives in the proposed development area, will be harmed by the development.

Stakeholders and other officials in different fields will be having talks with the community in the following weeks.

The project is planned to cost a total of $750-$850 million and take more than 10 years to complete, with groundbreaking beginning this time next year, according to Ward. The next step for the developers is another Planning & Zoning public hearing May 13.