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

September 27th, 2009
Council sets Tuesday morning for second Purgatory reading


The San Marcos City Council has settled on Tuesday at 8 a.m. for a special meeting to take a second and final reading for an extension for the developers of the Purgatory Creek Apartments to gain Texas Department of Transportation approval for road improvements.

The council voted, 4-3, earlier this month to grant the approval on first reading. The item had been placed on the council as an emergency measure, meaning the council could have passed it in one reading with five votes. Because the council approved the extension by only a simple majority, a second meeting before a Sept. 30 deadline is needed to pass the measure.

San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz, ailing from shoulder surgery, sat out all of the Sept. 15 meeting except for that item. Her vote in favor of the extension gave it the majority approval needed to pass first reading.

The council voted, 4-3, in March to grant a zoning change to multi-family (MF-18) from general commercial (GC) so Larry Peel & Company and ETR Consulting could build apartments on 22.5 acres near Hunter Road and Wonder World Drive. The council had voted against the change, 4-2, the month previous.

However, approval of the change was contingent on the developers securing approval from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for the location of a curb cut onto Hunter Road and the construction plans for a center turn lane and a deceleration lane on Hunter Road by Sept. 30.

In August, the developers told the city they would not be able to meet that deadline. So, the council is trying to grant a further extension until next June 30, which would be affirmed with a vote in its favor Tuesday morning.

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0 thoughts on “Council sets Tuesday morning for second Purgatory reading

  1. How about a great big park? Why is it that every green space has to be developed into multi-fam housing? I think families in that area would enjoy the recreation, I know I would.

  2. The proposal to drill a well to the Trinity aquifer so that this development can have a vanity pond makes the entire project suspect. If the water at that spot is good quality it is most likley directly connected to the Edwards and this is sneak around of regulations on the aquifer that protect the river. Most wells drilled east of the “bad water line” produce very bad quality water. very high “TDS” total dissolved solids. Hydrogen sulfide gas. If someone was drilling a oil well in this spot the Railroad commission would require them to have a hydrogen sulfide safety plan in place.

    but the bigger issue here is does the city stick by its master plan for development or does that plan not really mean anything.

  3. A major intersection like this is a lousy place for a park, but a perfect place for commercial, which is what the master plan and current zoning calls for. This apartment complex is not of vital importance to the city, so why is it of vital improtance to the mayor?

  4. It seems like rezoning like this would eventually screw up property values for other property owners.

    Somewhere out there, I suspect there are people who have invested in MF zoned property, who would love to see someone come along and build apartments on their lot. Rezoning like this artificially dilutes the supply of one property type (in this case MF), which makes the existing properties a little bit less valuable. How much less? It is hard to say. How much is acceptable?

    Also, regular case-by-case rezoning would seem to make it very difficult to maintain any sort of a plan for the city as a whole.

    I don’t know that there is a problem with this property being MF, instead of commercial, by itself, but these decisions don’t exist in vacuums. They accumulate and eventually can have a significant impact on the city as a whole.

    Are there no more MF properties available for development? Are we lacking a sufficient number of rental properties for our residents? What is driving the need for this property to be rezoned?

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