“If desire for goods increases while its availability decreases, its price rises. On the other hand, if availability of the good increases and the desire for it decreases, the price comes down…”
by, Melissa Jewett, Founder & Publisher
The City of San Marcos recently established a Workforce Housing Task Force to assist the San Marcos City Council in developing a “comprehensive housing policy” to address housing challenges faced by working families in San Marcos.
However, local, state and federal economies run best when they use the “supply and demand” concept, and for the second time in a just the last month, the San Marcos City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission denied two small single-family housing developments.
Mystic Canyon developers proposed 137 homes on 56 acres out on Ranch Road 12. When Mystic Canyon was denied by the city council, council member Lisa Prewitt said she could not support new development on the property even under the current zoning.
The property is currently vacant except for a retention pond. According to Jim Ladner, the developer, the pond was designed to collect runoff for 192 lots, which is more than the proposed development is projecting. The developer is planning on 9000 sq. ft. lots.
City staff said that the development would be subject to Code SMTX standards, which will limit runoff and include additional environmental restrictions, not in previous requirements.
While the application was submitted before Code SMTX passed, staff said Code SMTX would address all of the concerns voiced by council members and residents, and the development would be required to follow them.
The Top of the Hill Properties LLC. requested a zoning change from the commission for Spring Ranch Villas in the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) on Springs Road for 27 lots as “cottage” housing building type, including retention ponds on the property and with homes proposed starting in the mid to high $100,000s (starter homes).
City staff had recommended the approval of both developments. (see the Spring Ranch Villas development specifics below).
A few short years ago, the only thing you heard from city staff, council and the commission was “we need more single family, not student housing or multi-family.”
It has been only recently that our city council and p&z commission have decided that we need “workforce housing,” and we couldn’t agree more. Additionally, we believe that every tax paying city resident would agree.
The theory of supply and demand has been around for over 2,000 years. Ibn Taymiyyah, a fourteenth-century Syrian scholar, once wrote: “If desire for goods increases while its availability decreases, its price rises. On the other hand, if availability of the good increases and the desire for it decreases, the price comes down.”
In 1691, John Locke authored Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising of the Value of Money, which includes an early and clear description of supply and demand and the relations to each other.
Adam Smith, a Scottish economist, philosopher and author, wrote An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, generally referred to by its shortened title The Wealth of Nations. The book is referred to as his masterpiece or magnum opus and was published in 1776. Smith’s work has become a fundamental tool in world economies and takes a discerning look at the economy at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Supply and demand has a proven history in the majority of the world and United States economies, and supply and demand has helped the U.S. become the world’s economic powerhouse and largest economy. If supply and demand is good enough for the United States, we believe it is good enough for San Marcos.
In our opinion, local officials have chosen not to use this proven economic tool. Whether for the lack of knowledge or the understanding of how economics work, our council and commission might want to use a little bit of their budget and take a crash course in economics 101.