The Main Point: Residents need to vote for city acquisition of riverside property
From endangered species to tourism dollars, the river is valuable to San Marcos and is worth protecting from unnecessary development at all costs.
According to an Oct. 3 University Star article, November voters will decide whether the city should buy a 70-acre portion of an iconic riverfront property appraised at approximately $5.45 million to be used as parkland and green space. In total, Cape’s Camp consists of 98 acres of land owned by the Thornton and Stokes families.
The property is currently zoned mostly as future land use. Although plans are pending, there is potential for the remaining 45 acres of land to be developed by apartment contractors if zoning is changed.
It will be up to the San Marcos public to ultimately decide the fate of the property after discussion among residents and city officials. Residents and students need to cast their ballots wisely by voting to purchase the 70-acre property. If not enough ballots are cast, the 70-acre plot will not be protected by the city and could also be subject to future multi-family housing development.
With a flurry of tourists each summer, family outings to the parks and the precious nature of the Edwards Aquifer, the San Marcos River is a resource that should be protected for years to come. If huge apartment complexes were constructed near the riverfront, potential runoff could be detrimental to the water supply and the endangered species including the Texas blind salamander and.
There does not appear to be a lack of student housing in San Marcos even with record-high numbers of student enrollment each year. According to a Sept. 6 University Star article, new student housing within The Retreat opened this semester as well as new phases of the Copper Beech and Aspen Heights complexes, which house more than 2,000 students altogether.
Despite current suitable levels of student housing, Dovetail Development proposed plans to build a 1,000-bedroom complex for students within the Cape’s Camp property, according to the Oct. 3 article.
Developers should consider building complexes elsewhere instead of constructing housing units along the river. Contractors can situate development on the uninhabited lands in the city including the area surrounding The Heights II and The Grove apartments, for example. Also, existing complexes can be expanded if more students need to be accommodated in the future.
San Marcos thrives off development and direly requires more dollars to flood in. The editorial board is not discouraging development in the city, as it is needed to sustain jobs for residents and students alike. In the interest of the city as a whole, it is desperately important that citizens vote for the purchase of the 70-acre plot of land.
Protecting the river from runoff and litter is much more pertinent for the city in the long run than multiple unneeded complexes. The river is truly what makes San Marcos unique and attractive to tourists. If citizens do not vote and take a stand to protect the river, developers could easily encroach and potentially destroy the cherished aspects the community enjoys most.