San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

April 6th, 2009
'Host responsibility' back on San Marcos council docket

STAFF REPORT

The city council in San Marcos will again visit the “Host Responsibility” ordinance on a second reading Tuesday night. If the ordinance passes Tuesday, it will become law.

The council tabled the host responsibility ordinance for public input in January and passed the first reading last month. That passage came with the establishment of an ad hoc council subcommittee to develop criteria for a “prudent party host” at the insistence of Councilmember Chris Jones, who asked for provisions that would defend hosts against prosecution.

The committee is composed of Jones, Councilmember John Thomaides and Councilmember Kim Porterfield.

The ordinance revisions are intended to make guests at a gathering responsible for their own actions and give a more enforceable definition of what constitutes an “unreasonable noise.” The proposal also defines “unruly gathering,” authorizes police officers to disperse an unruly gathering, makes it unlawful to own or maintain an “unruly gathering place,” and prohibits guests from causing a party to become unruly.

The council also will pass a resolution in support of the 2010 Census, which will be conducted next year. The census bears on all manner of political boundaries for purposes of apportioning representation. The resolution pledges City of San Marcos support for the 2010 Census and encourages public participation in the Census process.

In another item, the council will consider an ordinance to update the rules for irrigation systems to comply with state laws and rules adopted in January 2009 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). In 2007, the Texas Legislature amended Chapter 401 of the Texas Local Government Code to require a city with a population of 20,000 or more to regulate the installation of irrigations systems within the city’s corporate limits as well as its extraterritorial jurisdiction.  Properly installed irrigation systems can conserve water by avoiding wasteful use.

The meeting will begin with Mayor Susan Narvaiz and the city council honoring the championship Diamond Line Dance Team from San Marcos High School. The council also will present proclamations for Fair Housing Month, the Teen Parenting Program at SMHS, and A+ Federal Credit Union.

Following the proclamations, the council will hold a workshop to discuss the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) of major infrastructure projects and discuss the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for the coming year.

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