A controversial measure was passed at the San Marcos City Council meeting Tuesday expressing support for a new development that would bring middle-class, single-family homes to San Marcos.
The council approved a resolution of support for the La Cima development project with a 6-1 vote with one council member abstaining.
Before the decision was made, there was outcry from environmentalists during the citizen comment period who claimed the city doesn’t have the means to support additional growth.
“We don’t have enough city staff to clean up the river,” said Lisa Marie Coppoletta, San Marcos resident. “We don’t need any more of these sorts of infrastructures.”
The La Cima development will cost the city “millions of dollars” in expenses due to upkeep, said Melissa Derrick, San Marcos resident.
“(Future La Cima residents) are going to be coming in and driving on our roads, using our parks, using our library- it’s going to cost us money,” Derrick said.
One of the more contested aspects of the La Cima development is the proposal of creating a $90 million Public Improvement District (PID). In a PID, property owners pay an annual “assessment” to repay the debt service on the bonds issued to make improvements.
“We have development, we have homes, we have people that are doing this over in Willow Creek,” said Rob Roark, San Marcos resident. “We have developments all around that are doing this and are not having to go through PIDS or the county.”
Jeff Barton, a representative of La Cima Development, addressed critics of the project at the meeting.
“For a project of this size and complexity, it’s not unusual to have all these differing opinions and important issues to work through,” he said.
Barton pointed out that the development could help foster economic development in the area.
“La Cima will bring first rate executive and middle class homes and single family homes to the San Marcos community,” Barton said. “It really is a game-changer for San Marcos economic development.”
The city council wanted the land to be annexed to the city, but the developer did not originally propose annexation. As part of the measure, the council approved a revised development agreement that called for annexation upon construction of La Cima. The resolution gives the city manager authority to execute the agreement if the developer, Lazy Oaks Ranch, accepts it.
“I think we’ve reached a fair compromise that will be beneficial to the county and be beneficial to the city,” said Councilman Wayne Becak, Place 4.