by BRAD ROLLINS
The San Marcos Planning & Zoning Commission at its regular meeting Tuesday reaffirmed its support of a proposed mixed-use and residential development on the Buie tract, voting 7-1 to again re-zone a portion of the property after city officials inadvertently failed to notify all the owners of surrounding properties about the zoning request.
The P&Z approved a package of rezoning and land use plan amendments necessary for the first phase of the development on April 13. Some of the actions passed unanimously and a few, those involving the apartment component of the project, on 7-2 and 8-1 votes. A split San Marcos City Council voted 4-3 earlier this month to enact the new zoning and land use designations.
But for one 12.88-acre portion of the larger tract, a vigilant citizen who opposed the project discovered that a handful of property owners were not notified about the zoning request, effectively voiding the applicable rezoning and land use change. State and municipal law requires property owners within 200 feet of a zoning request be notified and afforded the opportunity to protest change, but city officials used last year’s tax rolls for drawing up a mailing list, missing a few homeowners who bought their home in the past year.
Consequently, Craddock Avenue Partners LLC had to resubmit their application for the change from very low residential to mixed use for the 12.88 acres, which is bound by Franklin Street and an extension of Craddock Avenue, now under construction.
Only commission chair Sherwood Bishop opposed the rezoning despite acknowledging that he voted in favor on that particular tract in April. He said, erroneously, the city council’s approval of rezoning allows for up to 453 units and the mixed-use rezoning would allow for even more. A colleague pointed out that a development agreement between the city and developer allows for no more than 453 units on the entire 174 acre tract and those on the second floor of offices and retail stores count toward that limit.
Opposition to the Buie tract development generally falls in two camps: neighborhood concerns over so many apartment units in close proximity to single-family homes and the tract’s environmental sensitivity at the convergency of the Edwards and Georgetown formations of the Edwards Aquifer.
CORRECTION: This story was updated to reflect a 7-1 vote of the planning and zoning commission, not 8-1. The nine-member body has a vacancy following Allen Shy’s resignation.