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

by SEAN BATURA
News Reporter

A 3,427-home gated community proposed for southern San Marcos in which Carma Development, LP, plans to invest more than $700 million received positive recommendation from the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) Tuesday night after impassioned public comment.

The development agreement approved by P&Z commissioners in a 7-1 vote said the city may create a Tax Increment Refinancing Zone (TIRZ) to reimburse Carma for infrastructure improvements in the proposed Paso Robles development. The city would reimburse Carma from the increase in property taxes within the TIRZ. Carma proposed a $20 million TIRZ reimbursement Tuesday night.

The development agreement now moves on to the San Marcos City Council, which is expected to take it up next week.

Whether a TIRZ should be created was not under consideration by the P&Z, though at least two commissioners — Bucky Couch and Randy Bryan — expressed support for a TIRZ. Bryan said the TIRZ is “very reasonable.”

Carma Austin General Manager Shaun Cranston said none of the infrastructure improvements covered in the proposed TIRZ would be located within the gated portions of the community. Cranston added that Carma is taking the risk if the development were to fail in generating enough property tax value to fund TIRZ reimbursements.


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12 thoughts on “P&Z approves Paso Robles development agreement with TIRZ provisions

  1. Well, let’s hope Carma has better luck with this development than it has with Blanco Vista north of town. Frankly, if this gets built, I’d rather see it become wildly successful than see it fail. Drive around Blanco Vista and you’ll see what I mean. Depressing.

    Every development is a gamble, certainly. But I do wonder if the demographics in San Marcos really support a gated golf course community like this. Where are the jobs to employ these homeowners? Or will the houses be built but remain unsold, and then rented out to students, laborers and outlet mall workers, as has been the case time and again with developments in this area?

    I suppose one argument is that, for career-level employment to flourish here, the people who fill these new jobs need somewhere to live. And it follows that they’re more likely to want to own a home than rent. I guess the “moon shot” factor in all this is to align the trajectory of new home building in Paso Robles with the growth rate of high-paying jobs here.

    If the two don’t coincide, San Marcos may be home to a match set of unsuccessful Carma developments.Then again, the demographers all claim this area is due for a population explosion, and certainly not all these people will work at the outlet mall, will they?

  2. Realistically, which must come first, the job or the “gated, up-scale, retirement-style, upper-income” housing being used as bait. Mall workers, etc., won’t be able to afford anythng inside the gates. They’ll end up in the pre-zoned multifamily part.

    Has anybody mentioned the COST of emergency service extension to this new “jewel” stuck in the middle of our foreheads? Surely, that MUST be a part of the City’s annexation out there. For something that big and that far, perhaps yet another satellite fire station and maybe a Police substation? Button, button, who’s got the button?

  3. the city needs to work on providing services to areas they annexed few years ago, mainly the willow creek neighborhood, they pay city taxes but do not get most of city services, isn’t it time for the city to take care of it’s own citizen now than help ” future” citizen.

  4. I think we have a magician here–watering golf greens and fairways (heavy consumers of chemicals and water) on top of direct RECHARGE features and “sensitive karst areas” without any getting into the San Marcos Springs and Comal Springs Faults. Thought I’d never see the day.

    By the way, now that we boast of having over 50K population, and thus fall under State and Federal Stormwater Abatement Standards (well, laws, actually) and the City Staff is gearing up to proceed, has anybody brought up THAT “tar baby” in relation to the current near-emergency passage of a “deal” out there? WE will be forced to comply, including the parks being offered and the surrounding area. They’re pretty rigorous and expensive, but then they should help shield the River and the Edwards from all the horrors Mr. Bishop laid out last night before he was “shushed” by a colleague.

    I promised, as a biased ignoramus and a pompous loudmouth, that I would shut up and watch. I’ll be mostly protected by the course of time–although water does run from out there to the Springs astonishingly fast. And then I may also be dead. You guys enjoy! I have other diversions.

  5. Just FYI, Paso Robles was hardly rushed through. It has been in the works since December of 2008 with it’s first presentation to P&Z.

  6. I just hope that the lot sizes are much bigger than those at the Blanco Vista subdivision. The lot sizes in Round Rock and Cedar Park (for those subdivisions with homes ranging 150k plus) are much more generous. As for another golf course…San Marcos and the Guadalupe Valley are in much need of one. Plum Creek and Quail Creek are way over priced while the vast majority of golfers go to Austin, New Braunfels and Seguin for our golf fix.

  7. Oh but Rene, you don’t matter since you are of the elite class that plays golf. It is much better to use our park land for soccer fields, tennis courts, and walking trails. No one needs to play golf but everyone needs to play soccer and tennis and walk on trails!

  8. once again Eric your exactly right

    Golf is my recreation and my sport the game is only growing, and this will push more people in the community on to this great game the bandit gets alot of players out there over 200 rounds somedays when im there, so that tells me if its nice and invitable , us golfers support it.. If your a golfer u know Quail creek is getting worse, Plums too far away, and its a shame San marcos has a 1 star golf course now. think of all the visitors who will return to San Marcos, visit outlet malls stick around sm play and stay and spend dollars. Most of the shoppers head on i-35 get the hell out of town, this project will intice people who spend money to stay and visit and love this south part of sm that is beautiful. This project is keeping me in San Marcos and my dollars

  9. The requirement for a golf course is simply to ensure and promote the value of the proposed development. Banks tend to pay more attention (and are more generous with their lending) when a golf course is part of the development. The idea is that golf courses add value. This is NOT because there is an overwhelming need for an additional golf course, or the PGA will flock to San Marcos, etc… it is all about property values and providing the dedicated green space as part of a high-end PUD. It could easily be dedicated and conveyed as a nature preserve and still achieve the same affect.

    A prerequisite of a high-end residential development does not have to be a golf course. There are other ways to ensure the preservation of property values in new developments. Check out the many conservation subdivisions in the central texas area.

    I’m happy that this is being considered because, although Blanco Vista is struggling in this economy, they are a quality developer. I don’t question the idea of the TIRZ and I’m confident the mitigation plans will protect the aquifer, but I do question the need for including a golf course when there are other, more effective, means to make the development attractive. **google Randle Arndt and you’ll see what I mean***

  10. Pingback: QUOTE CORNER - San Marcos Local News

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