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April 6th, 2010
Downtown San Marcos ‘charrette’ ongoing this week


With the visioning done and recent meetings to focus next steps, Downtown San Marcos is ready to turn the preparation work into a plan.

For four days from April 6 to April 9, City officials and staff, business leaders and residents will work with a team of consultants to draft key components of a code to guide development and redevelopment in the Downtown.

“In 2008, our citizens helped us shape a collective five year vision for our historic downtown,” said Mayor Susan Narvaiz. “Now we are ready to elevate our planning principles to support that vision.”

The four-day workshop is called a “charrette.” By its concluding presentation on Friday, April 9, participants will see the framework of proposals to guide Downtown’s growth, complete with images to illustrate the transformation over time.

The sessions will focus on developing a specific downtown development code, or “SmartCode” that folds zoning, subdivision rules, urban design and architectural standards into one redevelopment document.

“The process is done in public and in collaboration with all those who have a vested interest in outcomes–including just about everybody who lives, works, and plays in San Marcos,” said Chuck Swallow, Director of Development Services. “These four days will mark a milestone in the long-range planning of Downtown San Marcos.”

Most of the events will be held at The Meeting Place at 400 South C.M. Allen Parkway. In addition to smaller group sessions, three major public sessions are planned:

* Tuesday, April 6 at 4 p.m.: Downtown “SmartCode” Presentation and Workshop. This will be followed by a presentation at the City Council meeting at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 630 E. Hopkins.
* Thursday, April 8 at 6 p.m.: Downtown “SmartCode” Open House
* Friday, April 9 at 6 p.m.: Downtown “SmartCode” Closing Presentation and Public Comment.

The public is also invited to “Charrette Studio Open Hours.” The studio will be open for drop-ins at the Meeting Place on Wednesday, April 7, from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, April 8, from 1 to 6 p.m.

The city council will have a workshop session on Friday, April 9 at 11:30 a.m. at the City Hall conference room to update members on the charrette process.

For the complete schedule of meetings and presentations, plus background on everything that has led to this point, go to the project website:

For information, contact Development Services- Planning at or call 512-393-8230 for more information.

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