According to, director of Development Services, an estimated 33,000 people will move to San Marcos by 2035. Lewis discusses how the rapid growth will affect everything from housing to transportation, and how the City of San Marcos plans to accommodate for the increase in citizens.
MG: What changes need to be made in the city’s infrastructure to accommodate for its growth?
ML: What we’re doing right now is updating the Comprehensive Master Plan and allocating the population to appropriate areas as determined by the citizens of San Marcos. After that Comprehensive Master Plan, what we’ll do is go back and realign our Capital Improvement Program to make sure infrastructure goes in the appropriate growth areas.
MG: How is parking and traffic going to be affected by the population increase?
ML: Parking and traffic is going to be something we have to be conscious of with the university. One of the things we are trying to do is diversify housing around theuniversity area and make sure we accommodate for appropriate housing. If you diversify the housing around the university, hopefully what you can do is create a more walkable environment. Then, people will opt to walk. They can reduce the traffic demand in the peak hours, and then also provide more bike structure. You’ll notice around town there’s a lot of bike lanes being added. The safer we make bike facilities, the more riders will be using them. Those are two of the things we are looking at doing as well as enhancing our transportation network to accommodate for the growth.
MG: What are the biggest challenges you think the city is going to face as more people move to San Marcos? What can be done to offset those problems?
ML: Accommodating for the future students is going to be a challenge, and making sure that the citizens and the university work together to create that environment for the community—that’s really important. Also, diversifying the middle class here. We have a pretty much missing middle class in San Marcos, and one of the ways to offset that is to create diversity of jobs here and also capture some of the students. You know, we have a great educated population coming out of the university, but there’s not the job force for the infrastructure here to support young entrepreneurs to capture that. They’re going to Austin where they can live in a creative environment. What we want to do is provide that creative environment here in San Marcos to capture that young entrepreneur looking to do a startup here that can grow their business in San Marcos. We’re looking at doing various programs for that.
MG: Do you have a vision for the future of San Marcos? Are there any projects in particular you are most excited about?
ML: The master plan we are working on. That is going to determine where and how San Marcos grows in the future. The one we have now is going on 18 years old, and it’s hard to plan a city off an 18-year-old document. Getting an up-to-date document with new, fresh ideas from the community, good planning practices, good urban design principles, it all leads to a really great city. That’s the biggest project we’ve been working on that will be everlasting to the community, and integrating the university into that as well is one of our main focuses.