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

May 13th, 2010
Back to first step for portion of Buie tract

city hall pic

San Marcos City Hall. Photo by Andy Sevilla.

STAFF REPORT

San Marcos city staff announced Thursday afternoon that the zoning procedure for a little more than one-fourth of the controversial Buie Tract development will have to be started over after it was discovered that some affected property owners weren’t notified of the proposed changes.

The action applies to 12.88 acres that front Franklin Street. The entire tract is 174.24 acres, but only 46.15 acres are projected for development, allowing for 459 units, 453 of which are projected for tract 1. The Buie Tract is adjacent to the Franklin Square, Oak Heights, and Westover neighborhoods in the western portions of the city.

City officials said that, due to a computing error, the city’s 2009 tax roll did not pick up six property owners who had recently obtained their parcels from the original owners. When city staffers verified the error late Wednesday, they invalidated the original proposed mixed use zoning and required the developer to begin the process over again.

State law requires cities to notify all property owners within 200 feet of a proposed zoning change. City staff manually checked the other parcels with the 2009 certified appraisal roles, and they were found to be in compliance with state notification requirements, with all property owners properly notified.

The Buie Tract is within the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone and serves as ranchland. Owners, Edward R. Coleman and Gordon Muir of Craddock Avenue Partners, LLC, want to change the city’s land use map and zoning designations to allow more density. The property owners won three new zoning designations from the city council in a 4-3 vote last week. Each new zoning allowed increased density.

San Marcos residents in opposition to the zoning changes allege that council would be deviating from the Horizons Master Plan by approving the changes, a move some called “disrespectful” to the hard work put forth by the citizenry who helped formulate the plan nearly 10 years ago.

The 12.88 acres in question were rezoned from single family (SF-6) to mixed use (MU) at last week’s city council meeting.

The zoning case will start over with consideration at the city’s planning and zoning commission (P&Z) on May 25.

The land use and zoning decisions made by the city council regarding the other 33 acres of Buie property on May 4 stand approved unless the city council decides otherwise at its May 18 meeting. The council will be updated on the 12.88-acre portion at that meeting and bring forward the other changes for reconsideration, as common procedure requires.

Franklin Square homeowner Joe Schneider said he has submitted a new petition with signatures from Franklin Square homeowners to protest the zoning change proposal. If owners of 20 percent of the property to be affected within a 200-foot radius of a zoning change sign such a petition, then the city council would need a 6-1 super-majority to approve the change.

Schneider submitted a similar petition at the city council’s May 4 meeting against the change, but city staff ruled that he hadn’t gathered a sufficient number of signatures.

Associate Editor Andy Sevilla contributed to this report.

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0 thoughts on “Back to first step for portion of Buie tract

  1. Chris, who would come up with these “ethics”? Afterall, ethics—like beauty and morals–are in “the eye of the beholder”. Who’s to say your ethics, mine, or anyone’s are right? Different people, different cultures, different backgrounds all see ethics differently. There simply is no right or wrong, it depends upon your viewpoint or mine or others and all of us could be wrong. Example: slavery was once considered “ethical” by some. And who would want Dick Cheney’s view of ethics? Do Bush, Obama, Reagan, Nixon, Ford, Clinton, Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt (both) share the same “ethics”? No. The solutions you seek will not come from a group of peope sitting around wasting time and money coming up with some “ethics”, it will be just like the b.s. of political parties “platforms” each year which are meaningless except to make activists think they have accomplished something when in reality they’ve not helped anyone.

  2. The development being placed on a sensitive area that feeds the aquifer is just plain STUPID!
    When is the city going to care about the environment? When it’s too late and Aquareena Springs is polluted?
    I don’t care how “thorough” the development “engineers” are… numbers can easily be manipulated to make it look “responsible”. With just a little common sense, anybody can see that this is a huge mistake to let this development proceed.

    The city managers, planners, P&Z, and the developers have no moral ethics at all.
    Shame on you for even considering pouting our recharge zone.

  3. Anyone and everyone who opposes the proposed development on the Buie tract is asked to come out to the meeting at City Hall on the 18th. A bunch of us have been vocal about our issues with the project but we apparently are not enough in number to actually matter to the mayor and the council. We have to get them to see this is not just going to affect the surrounding neighborhoods it is going to have long term ramifications for all of San Marcos.

  4. Jessica, you are right. It takes a lot of people showing up at Council, not just writing comments at Newstreamz. However, I do enjoy reading all of the articles and comments. Charles, maybe we do need some stinking ethics, but I agree Ethics Commissions have not been able to make a difference in San Marcos. It really takes all of us working on elections to make a difference.

  5. we really need MORE mixed-use zoning for such a sensitive area? really? like MORE apartments? why not just put gas stations or pig farms over the re-charge zone! its ridiculous how the city council REFUSES to listen to the people who live here; just the developers have their ear.

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