San Marcos City Council Postpone Transportation Plan, Approve Purchase Of SMRF Property

In September 2017, the San Marcos River Foundation approached city council asking for help in the maintenance and protection of two properties located in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.

by, Terra Rivers, Managing Editor

The San Marcos City Council returned from hiatus Tuesday, August 7, with a full agenda.

The meeting opened with Mayor John Thomaides announcing Council member Saul Gonzales would be absent due to an emergency at work.

Five public meetings were held to discuss a new transportation plan and thoroughfare plan for the city of San Marcos, the annexation of two tracts of land and the rezoning of properties for a single-family development and a multi-family development.

Council members voted against the passage of the new transportation plan for its first public hearing; the council also made a motion to remove the Craddock extension and hold a public hearing work session in the upcoming weeks to address community concerns for the transportation plan.

Council also received a presentation and held a public meeting regarding the Mystic Canyon development.

The development is located near the Castle Forest, Franklin Square and Bishop Crossing neighborhoods, which is currently zoned as Future Development.

During the public comments, residents expressed concerns about potential flooding and runoff. The property is located uphill from established neighborhoods.

Additionally, council members expressed concerns about the property’s environmental sensitivity; the 56.6-acre property is located in the Edward’s Aquifer Recharge Zone. The developer had requested that the property is rezoned as an SF-6 (single family), which would allow for 6000 sq. ft. lots.

Due to the property’s size and location, the property has a 20 percent impervious cover; if the slopes are greater than 15 percent, there will also be additional impervious cover limits.

According to staff, two neighborhood streets currently dead end at the property, but fire codes will likely require a connection to Ranch Road 12. The developer has the adjacent property under contract in case that is required. There is also a requirement to dedicate parkland or pay a fee.

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.

Councilmember Scott Gregson expressed concerns regarding the development’s access points, which currently consists of two neighborhood streets that already have traffic experience.

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.

Councilmember Lisa Prewitt said she could not support new development on the property even under the current zoning.

Council voted 3-3 to change the zoning with Councilmembers Prewitt, Melissa Derrick and Ed Mihalkanin voting no. The motion died due to lack of majority.

To give the development potential to move forward, Thomaides made a motion to postpone the zoning change until the developer and city staff could discuss the concerns voiced by council members and residents. The vote passed unanimously.

There were 30 other items on Tuesday’s agenda including 20 items on the consent agenda.

Two agenda items, 13 and 18, were pulled from the consent agenda for discussion. Items 2-12, 14-17 and 20 passed with a 6-0 vote.

With a 6-0 vote, council members also approved with consent agenda an approximate $1,270,000 contract with Enterprise Fleet Management Inc. for the lease of 31 vehicles and the purchase of miscellaneous equipment for maintenance.

  • Consider approval of Resolution 2018-138R, approving a contract with Enterprise Fleet Management, Inc. through the Interlocal Purchasing System, TIPS, for the lease of thirty-one light vehicles and the purchase miscellaneous equipment for maintenance in the estimated amount of $1,270,000.00; authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the appropriate documents on behalf of the City; and declaring an effective date.

Councilmember Hughson requested agenda item 13 was pulled from the agenda so that council could suggest.

  • Consider approval of Resolution 2018-132R, amending the City’s Economic Development Policy and the Policy Regarding Use of the City of San Marcos Economic Development Supplemental Fund to provide that the Fund may be used for real property acquisition, land planning, engineering and other activities associated with the development of Workforce Housing, and establishing an effective date.

Hughson noted that staff had followed directions from city council for the agenda item; however, after further thought, she said she was against changing the Economic Development and Economic Development Fund Policies as it would include the entire fund versus just the $200,000 council had decided to put toward workforce housing.

Agenda Item 13 failed 0-6, and council gave staff direction to bring the topic of creating a separate fund for workforce housing into the next budget discussion.

Councilmember Melissa Derrick asked for agenda item 18 to be pulled. Agenda Item 18 read:

  • Consider approval of Resolution 2018-137R, approving the annual renewal of the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement with SHI Government Solutions, Inc. through State Department of Information Resources Contract DIR-TSO-4092for software licenses in the estimated amount of $280,494.05; authorizing the City Manager or his designee to execute the appropriate documents on behalf of the City; and declaring an effective date.

During the discussion, Councilmember Derrick said she had pulled the wrong agenda item; the resolution passed with a 6-0 vote.

City councilmembers considered the purchase of approximately 249 acres of land from the San Marcos River Foundation (Agenda Item 32).

  • Consider approval of Resolution 2018-142R, approving a contract with the San Marcos River Foundation, Inc. for the City to purchase approximately 249 acres of land, commonly referred to as the “Millican Tract,” in the vicinity of Palomino Lane and Country Estates drive for a price of $3,062,700.00 to be reimbursed through a partially forgivable loan from the Texas Water Development Board; authorizing the City Manager to execute said contract and related closing documents on behalf of the City; and declaring an effective date.

In September 2017, the San Marcos River Foundation approached city council asking for help in the maintenance and protection of two properties located in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.

According to SMRF, the organization has been working for the last five years to preserve the two ranches as conservation sites.

The Milican Tract and the Greigar Tract, as the two ranches owned by SMRF are being called, were not rated as the highest of priorities for acquisition in Flood Mitigation by city staff.

There was no discussion regarding the topic, and the item passed 5-0. Councilmember Hughson recused herself from the discussion and vote. Hughson owns property in between both the Millican and Geiger tracks (see map below).

City staff presentation: Flood Mitigation Strategies and Prioritization of properties to be acquired for flood mitigation purposes

City council’s next regular meeting is August 21 at 6:00 PM.

See related coverage

April 17, 2018: San Marcos City Council Meeting To Cover SB 4, Final Vote On Code SMTX & Borrowing $2.6 Million For Purgatory Wildenthal Track

Jan.8, 2018: San Marcos City Council To Spend Two Day’s At A New Braunfel’s Retreat, Debt & Spending Not On Agenda

Dec. 5, 2017: SMRF’s $4.4 Million Property Purchase Returns To Dias This Afternoon

Sept. 20, 2017: San Marcos Passes Budget, Utility Rate And Tax Increases, Moves Forward To Borrow $4.4M For SM River Foundation Property

Sept. 19, 2017: San Marcos City Council Reconsiders Loan For $4.4 million To Purchase Property Owned By San Marcos River Foundation



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