By Luke Baker
Long-debated San Marcos City Development Code SMTX passed April 17 in a 6-1 vote by San Marcos City Council. The plan is nearly four years in the making and many drafts of the code have been discussed and amended before the final plan passed.
The plan will serve to rezone certain districts, as well as implement procedures that will protect long time San Marcos residents as the city gets bigger. New city ordinances will be replacing the ordinances last passed in 1995 and include a Rental Registration Policy to those who wish to participate. The Rental Registration Policy is modified from the original ordinance that would require all property owners to register with this policy.
“[Code SMTX] nly affects rental properties that have existing citations,” said Jeff Caldwell, neighborhood service director. “The ordinance seeks to meet with the property owners and discuss why the disturbances keep happening and how to fix those.”
The Registration would go into effect January of 2019 and property owners will have 12 months to register.
“These measures were not done to punish rental property owners, but to assist them in protecting their investment,” said councilwoman Lisa Prewitt.
Apartment complexes and areas outside of residential zoned areas are not subject to the new ordinance.
Along with the Rental Registration Policy, Code SMTX establishes a new standard for Environmental, zoning, and development regulations. These serve to protect the character of San Marcos by implementing regulations as to how new developments are integrated throughout the city. Specifically, the zoning laws incorporate “hybrid” zoning designations that allow the use of four new zoning designations. Special districts, character districts, neighborhood districts, and conventional Ddistricts each have their own place around the city and special regulations that come with them.
After passing the code, the council received applause from the majority of citizens attending the meeting. Abby Gillfillan, planning and development manager, said that she is happy for the community.
“[Passing Code SMTX] is not a finish line, but a starting point and [we] have the tools to manage this growth as a community and in line with our community values set in the comprehensive plan,” said Gillfillan.
You can find more information on the new Code SMTX online at sanmarcostx.gov.
Featured image by Luke Baker.