Editorial: Are We About To Relinquish Property Rights And Control To San Marcos City Council?

However, their idea of making solid legal decisions leaves a lot to be desired, as doing this could very likely create a legal precedence for anyone, including any local homeowner who would like to lease their home…

Tomorrow evening, the San Marcos Planning & Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing and discuss an amendment to the Land Development Code to include Student Built Housing Regulations.

According to the background (see below) on this item, the council requested to amend the Land Development Code to add a paragraph to include Purpose Built Student Housing applying for a Warrant or a Conditional Use permit.

The potential amendment to the Land Development Code will require city approval of leases issued by Student Built Housing complexes when requesting additional zoning decisions.

Our city council is creating a new ordinance to govern apartment leases in private businesses.

We all know that there are issues in San Marcos with Purpose Built Student Housing, but in the free market, government should not be able to limit legal or financial ability of any business.

However, their idea of making solid legal decisions leaves a lot to be desired, as doing this could very likely create a legal precedence for anyone, including any local homeowner who would like to lease their residence to anyone—not just a student.

On August 1, the city council passed and adopted the Short-Term/Home Share Rental Registrations Program. The application for the Home Share program includes giving the city copies of  “Proof of possession of the premises being registered, either by warranty deed, or valid lease.” 

Additionally, the City of San Marcos can turned down your application and if you do receive approval, you are required to re-register for their program on a specified basis.

If Tuesday nights item passes, City Council could potentially push additional amendments through for all residential leases as well without anyone paying attention.

This means if a homeowner in San Marcos decided to lease their property, for whatever reason, a local real estate agent would be the one to inform them that they had to submit their potential lease to the city for approval.

On its own, it may not seem like a big deal. But what if the council decided swimming pools are a waste of water? Potentially, the council could make demands of a homeowner to have the pool filled in if they wanted the lease to be approved.

Now what? Pools add value to a home and could be a key feature for a potential renter. Losing the feature not only reduces the value of the home, but reduces how much homeowners could charge for rent. And then there is the money spent to remove the pool in the first place.

By that point, it would be more favorable to the owner’s wallet to sell the property versus lease it.

We all lead very busy lives nowadays. Life is busy. Kids need to get to sports practice; someone has to cook dinner, and then there is the homework. No one has time to scrutinize every item on a city council or planning and zoning agenda.

But it feels like someone has to. Government does not belong in the free market, or in your wallet, much less your home or investments.

Neither the federal, state, county nor any municipal government should be allowed to interfere in your business or your private life—as long as everything is legal and above board.

This P&Z item does not make sense and not just for Purpose Built Student Housing.

If this item had gone through the cities legal department before being added to Tuesday’s agenda, I would like to think, that legal would have nixed it.

And—if it did go through the cities legal department, San Marcos has some bigger issues on the horizon.

~ Melissa Jewett, Publisher

To view this week’s agenda click HERE.

Read full amendment below.

BACKGROUND: City Council provided direction during the September 5th City Council meeting to pursue an amendment to both the Land Development Code and the SmartCode in order to include a required condition on all Warrants or Conditional Use Permits for Purpose Built Student Housing.

Download (PDF)


 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Alex M.

    Although I have always been a “small government” advocate, there are times when good intentions are not enough, and regulation is required. After spending 13 years in SM, I gave up trying to enforce zoning ordinances in my neighborhood and moved away. While I agree that a private citizen should have the right to rent their home to anyone they want, I also believe it is incumbent on that home-owner to make sure their renters are adhering to zoning laws — in particular, the regulation that no more than two, unrelated people can be living in a property in a Single Family zone. After 13 years of loud parties, trashed lawns, and street fights, I gave up. Too many investment homeowners and profit driven realtors have put us in the situation we’re in.

    Reply

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