The problem item is something called "Neighborhood Districts." These districts are designed to permit more infill on each lot which in turn will open the way to fewer single-home residences and more investor-owned, tightly-packed residential lots. One protection against this is something already within the Master Plan addressed three years ago and that is "neighborhood character studies," or in-depth attempts to define the makeup of existing neighborhoods in the city. Despite the fact that character studies were called for in the Master Plan, they are being resisted at City Hall, but not to do them before adopting Neighborhood Districts is to open the door to apartments, etc. being built anywhere they will fit.
1. Neighborhood districts include smaller lots and houses that are supposed to increase affordable housing and diversity in existing neighborhoods.
2. BUT, these smaller lots and houses have a high probability of becoming investor owned which would drive up rents and therefore not provide affordable housing.
3. Neighborhood character studies should be completed before any neighborhood districts should be considered.
4. Neighborhood districts are not compatible with the character of historic neighborhoods and sites. They will threaten the ability we have to maintain and protect these historic areas.
The San Marcos Daily Record has an online poll regarding this issue. Those who want to complete it can visit the SMDR web site. The poll is simply asking for a yes or no vote:
Yes, in favor of the character studies
No, in favor of the districts
You can vote even if not in the city limits as this has to do with future coding, zoning and development in San Marcos.
--Submitted by Thea Dake, Heritage Life Member