Future goals and plans for the city were tackled during the San Marcos City Council’s Nov. 20 meeting.
After a lengthy discussion, the council unanimously voted to approve the Comprehensive Master Plan’s final goals. The goals will be used to draft a new master plan. The final draft is scheduled for council consideration in 2013. The big-picture goals intend to shape the city’s approach and give direction to several entities including environmental protection, transportation and housing.
“This is a full realignment of city processes,” said, director of Development Services.
The environmental protection section of the master plan will encourage public and private sectors to collaborate to protect water quality and development around the San Marcos River, including the Edwards Aquifer.
Councilman John Thomaides, Place 3, said several residents were upset that the plan could reduce the amount of impervious cover allowed over the Edwards Aquifer from the current 20 percent to 10 percent. Thomaides said the 10 percent rule was not part of the original proposal. He said it came from previous deliberations.
“It is not happening. It is not part of the plan,” Thomaides said.
Several San Marcos residents and business owners, including Commissioner Will Conley, Hays County
Precinct 3, and former State Rep. Patrick Rose, spoke during the citizen comment portion of the meeting. Most who spoke shared their concerns with the master plan.
Conley and Rose, along with other business owners in San Marcos, submitted a letter detailing their own goals for the city.
Rose said the letter was written to make sure the master plan is a “living document—and not cast in stone,” and will allow for future councilmembers to amend the plan when they see fit. This would also allow the plan to accommodate the growing city, he said.
Rose said those who signed the letter do not believe the master plan is an “appropriate place to tighten restrictions west of Interstate 35 when it comes to growth and development.”
Conley said he is glad the city is being inclusive to residents and business leaders during the master plan drafting process. Conley said he hopes he can get a “seat at the table” and further share his concerns and ideas that would benefit the master plan.
Rose said the master plan should encourage Texas State students to live near campus.
“It’s better for us because they are driving less on our roads,” Rose said.
Rose said he dislikes hearing negative comments about Texas State students, and the city should encourage the community and students to live together harmoniously.
The master plan will not go back to the Vision San Marcos committee to develop more specific objectives. Councilmembers asked the committee to read and take the letter into consideration.
Thomaides said the goals in the letter presented to council are consistent and similar to the city’s ideas.