San Marcos residents and students need to back the San Marcos City Council’s vote to allow a student housing complex on the recently acquired Cape’s Camp property.
According to a Jan. 15 University Star article, city council voted 5-2 to allow developers to build a student housing complex called The Woodlands of San Marcos. The complex will be built on part of the land tract known as Cape’s Camp.
Many residents believe the entirety of the riverfront location should be acquired by the city as parkland and should not become the new site for a student housing complex. The decision has been seen as controversial within the community because of environmental and tax reasons. The protests against the zoning changes and the construction of the riverfront property have the city of San Marcos torn between development and opposition from residents.
According to a Jan. 16 University Star article, Jaimy Breihan was one of at least 15 San Marcos residents who spoke during the recent city council meeting. In the article, Breihan said, “We (protestors) are not anti-development. We’re anti-stupid development.”
Despite any opposition, residents must understand the city is expanding rapidly with the continuous growth of the student population, and developers must construct more housing complexes to adequately accommodate this influx.
The Cape’s Camp property signals a good opportunity to bring in better student apartment complexes. Some student housing options, such as the university-owned apartments, are old and overpopulated. Students deserve to live in nice, new complexes that are affordable. Apartment developers need to keep students’ tight budgets in mind when deciding which complexes to build around the city.
According to the same Jan. 16 article, approximately 20 acres of the Cape’s Camp property is expected for use as parkland. The city should create a tourist attraction within the parkland to help promote the beauty of the land and wildlife. However, as great as the environmental additions would be, they are not likely to bring as much expected profit as the 1,000-bedroom apartment complex.
Flooding is another concern for the complex. Riverfront properties have to be wary of the height of water levels during heavy rains, considering the flood that greatly impacted San Marcos in 1998. Despite this concern, the developers plan to build up the complex to potentially act as a levee, according to the same Jan. 15 article. The developers need to take special care with the flooding zones when planning the scope of the future complex.
It would be nice to have more than the estimated 20 acres dedicated for environmental uses, but the $5.45 million Cape’s Camp property could better serve the city as apartments. The student population will continue to grow as the university and the city expand. Residents and students may like the small-town feel San Marcos brings, but this developing city will not remain little for long.
Not everyone may agree with the city council’s decision to allow the housing facility development, but Cape’s Camp will benefit students in the future. Cape’s Camp may not be the most ideal spot to build within the city, but the new housing project does pave the way for positive development in San Marcos. Student housing is needed in San Marcos regardless of where its foundation is laid.