San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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By BRAD ROLLINS
Managing Editor

Craddock Avenue will be extended to Lime Kiln Road to accommodate a residential subdivision on property recently annexed by the city.

If it is built, 212-acre Windemere Ranch will feature about 200 single-family homes on lots ranging from 15,500 to 24,000 square feet, according to a subdivision concept plan. In addition, the plan calls for 13.92 acres of multi-family development, four two-acre pockets of commercial property and 16 acres of open space.

The city council finalized the annexation with an unanimous vote Oct. 16.

The Windemere Ranch property adjoins the 251-acre Spring Lake Preserve purchased by the city last year with city and county bond funds. The subdivision includes tracts that had been under contract to developer Terry Gilmore for possible use as a golf course and resort planned for part of a hotel and convention center project on what is now the preserve.

It is not clear when construction might start on the subdivision. Austin-based developer Vince Wood, who owns the property, did not return phone calls for comment.

In addition to the open space dedication, the Windemere plan would require about 13 acres in right-of-way dedication for the Craddock extension and new collector streets.

brad@newstreamz.com

COVER PHOTO: A small pond teams with life on the 251-acre Spring Lake Preserve. An adjacent property is slated for development as a 200-home subdivision plus apartments. Courtesy photo/City of San Marcos

DOWNLOADS

Subdivision concept plan [pdf]

Map showing vicinity to rest of city [pdf]

Other documents [pdf]

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13 thoughts on “Project calls for Craddock Ave. extension

  1. If this extension does not continue to Post or, even better, IH35, it will merely move a traffic problem from one part of town to another.

    The reason the extension needs to go in for this subdivision, is because the only way out now would be via Lime Kiln and (I believe) across a couple of low water crossings. So, there is a safety issue.

    The problem is that Lime Kiln is already beyond capacity. Not only will the new subdivision use the extension as a primary exit/entry point, so too will many of those who currently use Lime Kiln.

    If the extension does not go past Lime Kiln, this will mean heavy traffic through this new subdivision and dumping off at LBJ and Craddock, where the roads are not suited to any real load. I hope that your drawings are incomplete and the extension is going all the way to IH35.

  2. Halleluiah! San Marcos has needed this type of forum for years. I live out Hilliard Rd. and wondered why the county is suddenly widening Lime Kiln Rd. and Hilliard Road to Valley View West. I believe this will be the point where the loop will hook up Yarrington Road, the interstate and RR12. The sooner we have another way out of here the better. During even light flooding, we can be totally isolated from basic services. Eventually, MOPAC will come across the Blanco. We are in for some change. Ted has an excellent point about shifting trafic problems w/o resolving anything.

  3. The famlies that moved out here 1/4 century ago, did for a reason. One way out,helped to keep out the whinners. Country boy can survive. A wise man said ” The best way To preserve your resorces is not to exploit them” What did the beast say. BE CAREFULL WHAT YA WISH FOR!

  4. I sent a letter to city planning with many reason why this project should be stopped and rethought. I also submitted it to the san marcos daily news for an editorial. Too big for here I think.

    We looked all around areas near san marcos. Out this “one way out” road is without doubt the most spendid landscape near town. That is why we are here.

    Now this developer who had done luxury developments in Austin want to dump ticky tacky on the best landscape in san marcos. And the city is a willing accompliss to do it right next to the greenspace. This is just sad.

  5. Lime Kiln road has a large amount of traffic now
    as it is a “no outlet” road and there is no other way into or out of this large residential area. In times of heavy rains we sometimes have had two or three days at a time that we can not leave the area.

    As you will note, this proposed subdivision has well over two hundred high density homesites. With over two hundred homesites there would be about another 300 automobiles exiting and entering daily, and that may be conservative. As you can also note on the subdivision plan, all of the traffic exiting the subdivision would merge with the Lime Kiln traffic at the Sink Creek bridge. Then that traffic would move down Lime Kiln to the “T” intersection at Post Road adjacent to the Travis Elementary School.

    It is near unimaginable the traffic jams and congestion that this would causeparticularly during the nine or ten months of school.

    We already have a serious traffic problem every morning with elementary students being delivered by their parents and the buses delivering students. Even worse is the constant traffic on Post Road from Texas State University Studentscoming up Post Road to class making it difficult to turn onto Post Road and exiting Lime Kiln.

    The answer of course, is a loop connecting Lime Kiln with I 35 to give a relief to the congestion and access problem. The answer is not an extension of Craddock to RR 12, as practically no one would venture that direction to work or other activities and that would add congestion in the downtown areas.

    I do not believe this development should be allowed and I do not believe standards should be lowered to appease and relieve a developer that wishes to create a subdivision that will be a continual hardship and problem for surrounding residents and the City
    of San Marcos.

  6. Lime Kiln road has a large amount of traffic now
    as it is a “no outlet” road and there is no other way into or out of this large residential area. In times of heavy rains we sometimes have had two or three days at a time that we can not leave the area.

    As you will note, this proposed subdivision has well over two hundred high density homesites. With over two hundred homesites there would be about another 300 automobiles exiting and entering daily, and that may be conservative. As you can also note on the subdivision plan, all of the traffic exiting the subdivision would merge with the Lime Kiln traffic at the Sink Creek bridge. Then that traffic would move down Lime Kiln to the “T” intersection at Post Road adjacent to the Travis Elementary School.

    We already have a serious traffic problem every morning with elementary students being delivered by their parents and the buses delivering students. Even worse is the constant traffic on Post Road from Texas State University Studentscoming up Post Road to class making it difficult to turn onto Post Road and exiting Lime Kiln.

    The answer of course, is a loop connecting Lime Kiln with I 35 to give a relief to the congestion and access problem. The answer is not an extension of Craddock to RR 12, as practically no one would venture that direction to work or other activities and that would add congestion in the downtown areas.

    I do not believe this development should be allowed and I do not believe standards should be lowered to appease and relieve a developer that wishes to create a subdivision that will be a continual hardship and problem for surrounding residents and the City
    of San Marcos.

  7. Leighton, I agree that there needs to be another exit, preferably in the area of IH 35 and Yarrington and ultimately, a complete northwest section of the loop.

    To that end, the Transportation Advisory Board has made a recommendation that a second exit to Post Road be created, further north, with the widening and improvements to Post Road extending further north as well.

    While this is not ideal and is far from the northwest section of the loop that is needed, it will provide additional inbound and outbound exits for the current residents, the residents of the proposed development as well as emergency vehicles.

    This new connection from Lime Kiln to Post Road is under consideration for an upcoming county bond and I would encourage you to come out in support of this new road at one of the scheduled public feedback meetings.

  8. Below is what I sent to the Planning and zoning commission in response to Windemere’s request for variance on sidewalks and lack or having two roads feeding the development. The request for variance has
    been withdrawn, but these issues remain as long as the people in city government think it is ok to add 200 plus homes out here before building a new road to I35.

    Dear Planning and Zoning Commission Members,

    I am among the thousands of people who live out Lime Kiln/Hilliard would be negatively affected by the proposed consideration. The following are reasons why the development should not be granted a variance and additionally why this is the wrong development in the wrong place at the wrong time:

    – Allowing these variances that are so far off the standard sets a bad precedent. Other developers will come in thinking they can forgo sidewalks and quality road access. They could seek litigation if they did not get the same consideration.

    – The variance to having two points of vehicular access for 75 lots is extreme in this case. Not only is 200 plus lots way above the standard, that one existing access road out is prone to flooding and leads to Lime Kiln road which is another flood prone one-road-choke-point. In addition the one road out is at a dangerous curve and a location where people have already been killed.

    – Allowing these variances will degrade the quality of life of the very people who would buy homes in Windemere. That is not a worthy prescription for “affordable housing”. In addition it degrades the quality of life for everyone who lives out that way. The land development code seeks to prevent such harm.

    – Though I respect land owners’ rights, this well educated and experienced developer bought this land to develop and with eyes wide open to the drawbacks. He could have and should have asked adjacent land owners about additional road easements even before buying the land. Any land developer would know he needed a second access road, yet even well into his planning with the city, he mysteriously neglected to even contact adjacent land owner/s to determine whether they would sell an easement. Indeed neither the developer, or any other party made a effort to purchase an easement or even inform adjacent land owners of his plans. In fact, this was a very “low key” process until the city annexed the land. This perhaps shows a distain for other land owners rights and possibly an expectation that the city would either force and easement or grant a variance. In a very real sense, he created his own dilemma and now expects the city to bail him out. Why would he ever expect that?

    – It is important to note that the developer is not without other options. He has the option to create 74 multi-acre home sites. This would seem to eliminate the need for a variance and lower the transportation impact.

    – The developer also has an offer to buy his land and get out of this.

    – It is reasonable to expect that of 200 plus homes, many families with children would live in this area. I cannot fathom why it should not have sidewalks. When I first moved to San Marcos, I was surprised by the lack of sidewalks. This would be a step backwards.

    – To save money, low budget high-density developers often clear-cut all the lots and plant non-native water thirsty fast growing replacement trees. The unwillingness to wait for decent roads and to build sidewalks seems to me an indication of how the developer will treat the environment. When money/profit is involved, credentials and education of big city developers do not assure a good outcome.

    Additionally — To not grant the variance is to temporarily halt the development as currently planned. The extra time to think about this is good. Below are reasons why this development must be reevaluated anyway:

    – Residents/land owners out Lime Kiln and Hilliard have been successfully kept in the dark about this and now deserve time to discuss it.

    – Lime Kiln road has already exceeded the traffic level it was designed for. With only one exit, it is already a danger during floods, fires, and other emergencies.

    – Most residents who will be impacted are working class people who already face the hardship of 20-minute waits idling $4 a gallon gas by the elementary school. The construction process and additional commuters would place more burdens on these people.

    – Actions by the previous city officials and the school district have already made Post Road a train wreck of a commuting problem. For example, the redesign of Aquarina Springs road made it necessary to cross tracks twice to get downtown. It is time to start fixing the mess before again adding to it.

    – Such high-density development requires far more destruction of native habitat including established Oak and Cedar Elm trees.

    – It is still not clear what construction activity and postage stamp lots will do to the fragile environment near Sink Creek. But 200 homes is certainly worst than 74.

    – It is odd that the side of Sink Creek looking northwest is preserved due to Native American remains, but the side looking southeast which should also have artifacts, is going to be turned into tar and cement.

    – Probably the most powerful statement that can be made to make us pause, is on the homepage of the city website where it says: “Located between the State Capitol of Austin and the Alamo City of San Antonio, the “Jewel of the Corridor” is home to Texas State University and the best outlet mall shopping in the southwest. Visit us online, then come on down!”

    – It is hard to believe the city fathers of the “Jewel of the Corridor” would even consider this. They once deemed the area worthy of a first class hotel and convention center with a golf course and luxury homes. Now they seem willing to relegate this jewel of a piece of land to ticky tacky.

    – Realtors have complained of a lack of luxury acreage homes in San Marcos. One comment I just heard is ‘They are hard to find and as soon as they go on the market they are sold.’ As a result some people who work in San Marcos commute from Austin or other places with quality homes. I personally have seen professionals pass the town by due to lack of luxury hill country housing. This is a last close-to-town good location for high value acreage homes. Being next to the new green-space makes it even more valuable.

    – By allowing high-density home sites, it limits the value of adjacent open land. This is the last pretty hill country acreage area that is close to the city center. Do something different with it. The city has no known reason to rush into this.

    Finally, until the Lime Kiln to I35 part of the Intermediate Term Transportation Master Plan is implemented, it would be irresponsible, inconsiderate, unkind, unfair, and unsafe to quickly add 200 plus homes in this area. It is even more unspeakably wrong to grant a variance in order to facilitate such an obvious mistake.

    Sincerely,
    Tyler Carlson

  9. Well said Mr. Carlson
    The last thing that most of us would want to see in
    San Marcos is the flood of low priced ,”high density”
    tacky houses as Kyle,Buda and other areas have allowed to be built. We can only imagine what those neighborhoods will look like in 10 or 15 years.Some developers seem to use the old Shell game techniques to create illusions before the actual reality becomes evident.

  10. A road to just Post Road is not enough. Post Road is already landlocked by tracks. Students and workers downtown have to cross tracks twice and other commuters have to cross tracks to get anywhere. The city has rushed to permit apartments and other development so now its time to anti-up for an overpass that does not require crossing the one lane low water bridge at the Blanco. That is, the overpass they should have built rather than the “Bridge Too Far” by Yarrington.

  11. It doesn’t matter what anyone things is the “best” route out of this area. If you go to the City’s website and look for the Tranportation Thoroughfare Plan, the Craddock Avenue Extension is required to be constructed as part of this development. The developers are only complying by the requirements of the City. I highly doubt these guys really, actually, and seriously want to build a bridge over Sink Creek to for the fun of it.

    Yes, there needs to be another alternative route out of this area and to IH 35 but you can’t blame these developers for doing what is required by the City. Maybe the City should reconsider their requirements.

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