On Tuesday, the San Marcos City Council appointed a council committee to begin negotiations of a Development Agreement with Warner Land Advisors L.P. and voted to approve the 2019 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master plan.
Council pulled the 2019 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan from the consent agenda to address concerns regarding the future trail system.
Drew Wells, Interim Director of Community Services, said the proposed alignment of the trails depicted in the map was “at this point, in the planning stage, very conceptual.”
While the map showed an alignment for the trail, it was not intended to indicate a specified location as to where the trail would be.
According to Wells, the Parks, Recreation and Open Space maps coincided with the maps in the Transportation Master Plan and would have to be pulled from both if Council wanted it pulled from the parks plan.
Wells said, “We will make sure that we have ample opportunity for citizens who will be directly affected because of the adjacent property owner to the trail. We will reach out. We are fully aware of the sensitivity with this council, and we understand the importance of the public input process.”
Once the trails reached the design stage, the staff would adjust the alignment as needed based on resident’s input and more.
Council Member Lisa Prewitt asked staff to add bold text to the map’s legend stating the map was a “conceptual plan only” to reassure residents that the map did not describe the final alignment and exact locations of the trails. Council agreed.
Council member Dr. Jocabed Marquez asked if the city would experience ETJ issues with the trails.
Laurie Moyer, Director of Engineering, said she hadn’t thought about any potential ETJ issues arising with the trail project; however, if the ETJ issues were resolved and a trail was located in Martindale’s ETJ versus the City’s, then those trails would no longer be valid.
The 2019 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan was approved on the second of two readings with a 7-0 vote.
Council also voted 7-0 to appoint Mayor Jane Hughson and Council Member Saul Gonzales to a council committee to begin negotiations on a development agreement for a proposed mixed-use property off of Ranch Road 12.
Shannon Mattingly, Director of Planning and Development services, said there had not been a full analysis done of the property as of yet; engineering and utilities have not looked at all of the different information regarding water, wastewater, and transportation in order to answer many of the council’s questions.
The proposed development is located across from the La Cima master community and abuts the Country Estates neighborhood.
Currently, the property is located in the City’s Extraterritorial jurisdiction; however, the developer has asked for the property to be annexed into the city in phases as the final platts are approved.
The property is owned by the Freeman Educational Foundation and is 831.51 acres. The developer is proposing building single-family, commercial and multifamily on the property and retaining approximately 370 acres in open space.
According to Texas State University’s website, Harold M. Freeman bequeathed 3,485 acres of ranchland to the university in 1981 to be held in a perpetual trust as the Harold M. Freeman Educational Foundation.
The ranch was to be used by Texas State University to farm, ranch, game management, educational and experimental purposes. The portion of the ranch owned by Joe Freeman is managed by Frost National Bank and lies adjacent to the university managed land.
Council Member Melissa Derrick expressed concerns about putting another residential housing development so close to La Cima.
“We have approved so many single-family developments, and none of them have come online yet except Trace is starting to get there,” Derrick said. “This is right across the street from La Cima, and I just worry…there gets to a point where you just have too many neighborhoods.”
Michael Cosentino said the development agreement with La Cima and a development agreement with the property would allow the city to “leapfrog” and annex the project.
During negotiations, the council committee will be able to receive more details regarding the project, such as impervious cover and Edward Aquifer Recharge zone restrictions, sewage, etc. Once negotiations conclude, a development agreement may return to City Council for approval.