by BRAD ROLLINS
After its attorney pointed out an obscure provision in local codes, the San Marcos City Council on Wednesday postponed until early next year consideration of a controversial upscale $63 million apartment and retail campus above Sessom Creek.
Opponents and supporters of San Antonio developer Darren Casey’s efforts were locked and loaded for a marathon city council meeting on the project proposed for 14.3 acres across Sessom Drive from Texas State University.
But before the meeting got underway in earnest, the council went into executive session to hear advice from City Attorney Michael Cosentino. When they re-emerged later, they voted 6-1 without discussion to postpone consideration of Casey’s planned development district until the next regular council meeting. Council member Ryan Thomason cast the lone vote against waiting.
Council members told The Mercury their private discussions centered around a provision of the city’s Land Development Code that specifies, “The city council may vote only on a specific proposed [zoning map] amendment that has been recommended for approval or denial by the Planning and Zoning Commission.”
According to several people familiar with the closed door portion of the meeting, City Attorney Michael Cosentino told council members it would be questionable for the city council to vote on a rezoning request without an up or down recommendation from planning and zoning. Meeting the night earlier, on Tuesday, dueling motions to recommend approval and recommend denial failed to secure a majority.
“We want to get this right. We need this to be transparent,” council member Jude Prather said.
Casey and his crew left the meeting shortly after the vote to postpone but San Marcos attorney Charles Soechting stayed behind to “convey [Casey’s] deep disappointment at this delay.”
“I think we’re getting motion sickness trying to adhere to the rules. Mr. Casey has played by the rules that have been established by the city and has done a good job of it. … We have to adhere to the rules. We can’t let emotion rule,” said Soecthing, who said his first ancestors moved to the area in the 1850s.
Jaimy Breihan, another lifelong resident, told council members the health of the San Marcos River “needs to be strong on your conscience and strong in your minds.”
Beihan said, “I don’t feel like [Casey’s] being dissed. I feel like the people of this town are being dissed by them. They thought … that this was just going to go through in a big hurry and they were just going to bring in the bulldozers and go to work. But that’s a jewel up there.”Email | Print
wow – so what happens now?? it goes back to P&Z and the tie must be broken…lobbying?
Lobbying, from either side, is not going to do it, at least not for me.
Curtis, what would do it for you?
Thank you Mr. Seebeck. I whole heartedly support your position on this matter and I appreciate you holding firm. Thank you for caring for our river and our neighborhood.
Just wait till the University gobbles up the property, puts parking garages there and doesn’t have to pay property taxes. Whats the lesser of two evils? Private development or the University? The University is growing quickly and they are already looking beyond their sphere.
We’ll see what happens.
Curtis, thanks for your vote to deny approval at the P&Z meeting! You’re reasoning for doing so, as well as the other commissioner’s is beyond appropriate reasoning for your vote.
Onto what happens now, it is my understanding that Mr. Casey indicated he would abandon the project (for the foreseeable future) if there were any delays beyond last night’s vote.
It feels like a squeak of a victory, but a victory nontheless. With the location and sensitivity of that property, I think anyone invloved in decisions concerning it and other tracts should always start a decision process with this, our city motto: San Marcos, A TEXAS NATURAL.
Shawn, you seem to share the foregone conclusion that this property will inevitably be developed, privately or by the University. If it is, that is because a CHOICE was made.
Another choice is to respect the Master Plan protecting the residents of that single family neighborhood, and NOT REZONE. Or we can choose to actively protect this very fragile and important watershed and thus the river, and NOT REZONE. Maybe in the future we can choose to make this into a park/buffer zone. Green spaces like that are found in and around campuses all over the country – I’ve seen them.
It all boils down to *choices* – development here is NOT inevitable! To present it is such is defeatist and a scare tactic. I and many others are choosing to fight this project because it is clearly in the wrong place for San Marcos.
Just to clarify a little…I did not vote to deny the project. I voted against the approval of the project at this time. I am very uncomfortable with the engineer’s report given to us right before the meeting by The San Marcos River Foundation.. There was a motion to deny and I voted against that motion. I am on the fence on this development and felt that with the information we currently have, especially the engineer’s report on the river, that I could not, in good conscience, vote in favor for approval at this time. If the developer makes changes that address the concerns for the river, I may possibly change my position.
I know the neighborhood does not want this project and that weighs heavily on my mind as well. However, after living in San Marcos (actually the ETJ) for 43 years, I have no doubt whatsoever that TSU WILL buy up this property and do whatever they want at some point in time. That would be bad since they are not subject to COSM rules or regulations. The property would also then be taken off the tax rolls as has much of the other properties I have seen them buy in my time here in SM. Less taxable property equals higher taxes for all.
To clarify my previous post…TSU is not subject to our rules, regulations, or zoning! They do not have to come before P&Z to have a piece of property re-zoned. They can build what they want, where they want with absolutely no say by the city.
The prospect of going against what seems to be vast majority of the citizens’ will — well except those that have a financial stake in the matter, it seems (loved that “public” comment from all the SA developers at the P&Z meeting) — because of what TSU “might” do in the future because then we have chosen the lesser of two evils strikes me as very akin to the US decision to occupy the Philippines after the end of the Spanish-American War because well, if we didn’t, Germany or England or some other of our enemies would then do it instead…so we chose one bad option that turned out to be pretty much an unethical nightmare for all parties involved because of the fear of a potentially other bad option.
How about we do what is right according to the facts on the ground now — and I think it is clear that the bulk of the community does not want this to happen — and then cross the bridge of fighting the apparently omnipotent University behemoth when and if that day comes. TSU is a state entity, right? It seems that a groundswell of the people might hold some sway when and if that day came that there would need to be that fight…I certainly hope we have not come to the point where we the people have no say whatsoever in the institutions that supposedly work for us. If not, then we have way bigger problems on our hands I suppose. At any rate, I am not willing to concede this piece of property to a development that will harm the neighborhood I want to leave for my grandkids and might very well damage the river that is the soul of this community all because of some potential threat that might very well be a will-o-the-wisp.
And I am still waiting for a logical response concerning why the same people on P&Z (and whomever that lady was who works for the city that gave her recommendation before the votes in question) denied a TWO HOUSE request for changing from single family to mixed use because it would damage the neighborhood around Craddick and Alamo (yeah, I know, miles and miles from the Sessoms project), yet were perfectly willing, ten minutes later, to approve this monstrosity on Sessoms. I guess the fear of the impending TSU dragon again, eh? Or, is there a money trail to be followed. Nothing else seems logical to my mind…
If TSU is for sure going to get it, then the city should buy it first and turn it into a park. Except for the improvements necessary for parkland, this action would forever protect that area and keep the zoning the same. The developers would lose out, but let’s face it- they will find another project. They can’t afford just to stop developing in a growing city such as ours. Please save that land.
The problem with turning it into a park is that also takes this piece of property off the tax rolls. That and the fact that the city already has more parkland than most in the area per capita and can not even develop or maintain the parkland that we have. That and the fact that the land is expensive, selling for around $7 mil from what I have heard. This is just the number on the street so don’t quote me on that.
Well then, if taking properties off the tax rolls is our ultimate concern, why not sell Children’s Park and City Hall? Surely they are valuable real estate, wasting valuable money for the city at the expense of intangible benefits for the plebs? Shouldn’t we view our policy with the cold positivistic eye of an accountant? Now that I think of it, if we are all about getting the maximum tax value out of our properties, why do we offer abatements for businesses then? How does that help in this effort?
And on one last serious note while we are on the subject, can someone in the know explain to me why the Byzantine-esque Outlet Mall doesn’t provide us enough tax revenue to make it so funding is not much of a problem for our city? What happens to all that $$$? Shouldn’t our municipal coffers look like those of Saudi cities?
The P&Z members who voted to deny did the right thing. There was still way too much unknown and unresolved to vote on this, one way or another, regardless of how they felt about yay or nay.
However, what really should have happened is this: As soon as staff started talking about the developer changing the detention pond concept, changing the retail footage, or when the River Foundation provided the report from their engineer, there should have been a motion to postpone with an 8-0 vote.
Keith, all that outlet money went into building turrets and tiny Venetian canals.
Hisorically, the City has only allowed the University to have their way only because we want that to happen. We do not have to allow the University to have water, sewer and electrical connections to any place they deem fit.
Jane, not sure if you were at the meeting or not, but first, there was a motion to approve. This failed due to the deadlock. Then there was a motion to deny, which failed 5-3. I voted against the motion to approve as well as the motion to deny. I was not ready to kill the project and really wanted it postponed until more information was available. Then there was a motion to postpone which failed 6-2. I voted in favor of it but was not in the majority! I think most of the commissioners felt the pressure of Council taking it up the very next night and felt they had to do something. Instead, we get to deal with it all over again! Not sure what will happen if we deadlock again!
The thing that stands out in my memory about that P&Z meeting Tuesday night was the color-coded map that showed current zoning, accompanying each agenda item, one map from each area that was up for a rezoning vote. The two lots on Holland were across the street from the University but surrounded by single family lots. There was NO color-coded map of the zoning presented about the Sessom project, though we all know it is surrounded by single family lots and across the street from the University, just like the two lots on Holland. What is up with that?
I’d like to see unassailable storm-water controls for this project before construction starts and I wonder if the developer could fund stormwater filtration projects at other run-off points. There are many places developed before the implimentation of filtration ponds, etc that pollute the river. Many of these are on public property but the city has no money to construct BMP’s to clean the water before it enters the river. Some examples are the Lion’s Club Tube rental parking lot and up Ed J. L. Green from Saltgrass. Every time it rains a plume of silt enters the river. Perhaps DArren Casey could fund projects at some of these points.
Oops…I meant Holland Street, not Craddick when I was referring to the denied projects above. I am still really curious about the possible logic of approving one but not the other…I hope the officials can explain themselves at some point because it sure looks suspicious or insanely illogical from here…
I have a question, does anyone know where all the run off from apartments on N. LBJ goes? Directly to the river through the lower section of Sessoms Creek. I can understand how all of the opponents feel about this issue,I grew up in San Marcos in one of the houses on the property where development is planned, my parents still live there. With TSU campus closing in on their property, the actual marketability of their property has decreased due to that ever increasing incrouchment of university property. My grandfather built that house back in the 40′s when the unversity was much smaller. Across Sessoms used to be several homes as well as homes around Live Oak, they are now gone swallowed up by the university, My parents do not want that to happen to them, nor do I. If this development is not apporoved the university will eventually take over. People have noted recently that the property is not in TSU’s 5year plan. Maybe not 5 years, but it is in there plan. My father is very happy that this current development retains the majority of his property as “green space”, as a park when it is completed. If the university takes the land there will be no opposition from community that will stop them, and that “green space” will be a 6 story wall of a dorm in the backyard of some residents. I urge residents to look at this from all sides with the facts, not propaganda. Listen to the current property owners that currently reside there as well and look at there side as well. Take your time and look at the proposal yourself, look at the reality around the area, see what is across Sessoms from Loquat now, and what could be there this development or 6 story dorm like the one across Sessoms. Make YOUR own conclusions by YOUR own research of the facts.
What if all the property owners on Loquat and Sessoms decide to cut every tree down on their property because of this?
And block off Canyon road which turns out is privately owned?
Also the map image shown is incorrect. Plan does not include space between Sessoms and Live Oak. That is a WALL of a dorm being built by TSU.
Sorry my second post stated Canyon Road, it should have been Canyon Street.
Why doesn’t the city propose to Mr. Casey that the almost defunct Springtown center be the focus of his development? I would, like most residents in San Marcos, love to see a development similar to what Kyle has developed around the HEB Plus.
Then 100% of the 1,000 or so residents will have to drive to class. Talk about adding to the traffic issues!
Besides, the city has no say in the sale of that piece of property (springtown). The city does not own it and who even knows if the current owner is willing to sell.
BTW..I have personally seen this land begin to erode at fast pace since the water tower was renovated several years ago. About 25-35% of the trees on the property have fallen down or died due to run off and drought. My parents carport now floods into kitchen on occassion with heavy rain fall. That used to not happen, but now they have a raging river in the front yard during rain fall. The soil is already heading to the river with each storm due to lack of vegatation to soak it up. And that will get worse in the near future. I have personally been a part of that land for the last 35 years since I was a child. This something we should not pass on. The tax revenue alone should be a huge motivator, how many teachers will it pay for, how many police and fire personel?
If you cut down all the trees it would be ugly and vindictive. Probably a bit childish as well, but that is your right as the property owner. It is also well within your rights to sell. However, when the person you want to sell to is planning on building something that would infringe on the rights of those around you that is where your — or their — rights end. How about I go next door to you and open a racetrack or strip club? Would you be fine with that? Or would you put up a protest about something that was going to HARM the place you call home and that which you would like to leave for your kids and which you invested hard-earned money and years of toil to make a home? Please do not act like the traffic nightmare and change to the single family neighborhood is something us living over here should just get over so you can have your way, collect your money, and then go live somewhere else not impacted.
The Angels Of San Marcos,Texas: Nature wildlife and educational Preserve LLC will address the issues of errosion,runoff, etc. properly as soon as Mr.Casey releases the pending offers on the land, as I have said from the very beginning, the land will be obtained and protected here forward with loving hands, just as the Scheib family has done for so many decades! I want to also be a good steward of this wonderful jewel, with all of my heart and soul, so that our descendants can see what God made, in its untainted beauty. Jaimy L. Breihan
@ Curtis… Did you know that TSU-SM has a wonderful bus system? I think it works quite well, no doubt! Jaimy L. Breihan 🙂
@ Shane… The ad valorum taxes are the weakest argument one could ever possbly make for this project! they will disappear within 2 years most likely, when Mr. Casey does as he typically does, and flips this property to the university possibly. No, the best solution is to make this a pernmanent, privately managed preserve that the world can marvel at, yes, that is what the plan is. Hopefully, civility will prevail, and the preserve can begin aquiring the land as soon as it is allowed to. Jaimy L. Breihan 🙂
@ Jane… Yes, instead of acting like a cheerleading ( Taxpayer funded no less) squad, i think it is high time that the Planning and Zoning group start doing their jobs, planning and zoning master plans that are adhered to , and not spot zoning promotions like so many as of late! Peace 😉 Jaimy L. Breihan
@Jaimy L. Breihan, do you, or the Angels I mean, have the money to purchase the property? I do not know what will happen to the property but I know it is not likely to end up ‘a privately funded preserve for all the world to marvel at.’ We have heard promises like that on other parcels around town more than once, and the only parks we have added we have paid for as a county or city with money we borrowed from others and can hardly afford to pay back. I am not trying to discourage you; just letting you know that I need more than a smiley face to believe you.
@Keith, what rights do you have that the development infringes on? We don’t provide the right of peaceful tranquility or undisturbed views with property purchases in Texas, nor are we guaranteed the right to a five minute commute. I think you should at least acknowledge that you are seeking to limit the rights of the property owners, rather than projecting upon the irritated Mr. Scheib.
@ Skeptical… If one does not ever reach for the stars, he will certainly never grow any closer to them by being a ” Doubting Thomas” and spreading apathy, discontent, and general negativity around when a good idea presents itself. Time will certainly tell, and believe me, no one is trying to negate the property owners rights, only to provide a better way of honoring them! Happy Friday, yee Haw cole slaw ya hoo bar-b-que, Jaimy L. Breihan 🙂
I’m guessing most of the students living at a hypothetical place in Springtown would actually take a bus to class rather than deal with the headache of parking…
Skeptical: We have zoning laws for a reason, right? I never said I had a right to views or any type of commute. However, when I bought my house and moved here I was not planning on having a mall/giant apartment put into a spot that would totally change the traffic dynamic of the area.
And I am acknowledging that we ARE limiting property rights to an extent when it comes to WHAT you can build on your property. When you build something that potentially hurts other property owners that is where your rights end. That is the very reason we have laws and codes and stuff like that in a civil society. You know, in the same sort of way that I have freedom of speech until I start calling you up and being threatening. The same way I have the right to get drunk if I want, but do not have the right to put you at risk by driving afterwards. It is a pretty important concept for a civil society to function.
As a property owner who very much believes in the sanctity of private property for our very system to work — trust me, I really do — I also believe we must do so within the bounds of not infringing upon other property owners’ rights which are just as sacred. Lord knows I could probably make a lot of $$$ turning my house into a chemical factory or gun range. Its MY property, who can tell me different? But, should I be able to do this when my land has been zoned to prevent this from happening? Would that be fair to others who in good faith bought and paid for their land thinking this sort of thing would not happen? Its not like I bought a house next to the Outlet Mall and then turned around and complained about the noise and traffic. No one over here dreamed that something like this could be built there.
And although I agree that I wish it would be turned into a park, I would not be opposed to something on a very much smaller scale that would not utterly change the dynamic of the place many of us call home. You say Scheib is irritated. I am sorry about that. But, as a father with two young kids I am pretty irritated myself that the city would even consider shoving this down our throats because it would make our lives over here worse. And I believe our rights to dwell in the houses we bought over here under the rules the city had in place when we bought trump the developers’ rights to make money in a manner that would in effect break the contract the city had with the people over here who have made decisions about where to live based upon the old rules. So, by all means sell the land to whomever you want for as much as you can get it. That is your right. No one is telling you you cannot sell. But, that doesn’t give the new owners the right to do with the land whatever they want…
Yes, students will most certainly take the bus to campus from wherever they are living. The tram system is very well utilized. Maybe the families who live there could sell their homes to other families who want to live there. Or maybe they could find a group who would like to buy it who will preserve it. Yes, there are other locations around town that cause problems for the river, but just because poor decisions were made in the past does not mean we should keep making them now. And yes, Planning and Zoning need to start focusing more on what the master plan calls for and on preserving single family neighborhoods. Right now, P&Z is essentially a slave to the U and a slave to developers, constantly trying to find a place for students to live, incessantly worrying about what the U will or won’t do, and crazilly catering to the needs of wealthy developers instead of the citizenry or environment. Planning staff need to grow a pair and learn to say NO- city staff in the planning office recklessly approved this project and referred to the neighborhood as “a neighborhood in transition.” Hey guess what- its not in transition! With the exception of the rental homes (that city staff allowed to become that way because they don’t enforce the policies we have), no-one in that neighborhood wants to leave. IF YOU DON’T STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING, THIS CITY WILL SOON BE ONE GIANT APARTMENT COMPLEX WITH A POLLUTED RIVER RUNNING BESIDE IT. Is that really want you want?
Nice debate. The concern for community, neighborhood integrity, master plan, taxes, environment, and traffic congestion, are all good points to really consider when looking at rezoning.
What is really disturbing is the seeming ease at which the Sessoms project almost got passed. If it weren’t for the River foundation’s engineering report, we might have woken to bulldozers. This is interesting to me that the city, who is willing to change the workload around for Darren Casey and Carter Morris at the planning office, is interested just to keep the project on a fast time schedule.
Why do citizens have to hire outside engineering to get an objective survey of the project? Why doesn’t the city do due diligence with an accurate engineering survey? What are they doing up there in the city planning dept.? And what about an overall comprehensive traffic study and plan to handle all of the proposed zoning changes before you at the city ask for traffic bonds later (probably in the millions). What is that number that you at the city are obligating us to? The current city council will be gone and off the hook, but we who live here will have to pay for the traffic mess! Now, what about all of the properties already rezoned on Chestnut St. Is the drainage of the two rezoned proposed up to real standards? I have to wonder about everything the city approved now. And finally what about taxes? Do we gain with more tax revenue with the add’n of lots of apartments or do we lose revenue with traffic and drainage oversite disasters?
Is it the cities’ job to be a business, or is it their job to build community, protect the neighborhoods integrity, and honor the covenant with community (master plan)?
“This is interesting to me that the city, who is willing to change the workload around for Darren Casey and Carter Morris at the planning office”
There was no workload changed. The developer submitted his application and it got put on the schedule just like any other project that comes before P&Z. We then had a hearing 2 weeks ago to discuss the project and it coming back to us 2 weeks later for a vote. This is the same way it is done with every project. After it has been heard and voted on by P&Z, it goes before Council on the next scheduled Council meeting. The next meeting was scheduled for Dec. 20 but was rescheduled to the 14th months ago (due to the holidays), long before this project came ready.. There was no “fast time schedule”, at least not any faster than normal other than the holiday schedule change up that had nothing to do with this project.
I watched the Dec. 13 P&Z video from our city’s web page to refresh my memory of a specific citizen’s remarks , but I was not able to find the footage of citizens’ comments. Does anyone know why that part of the meeting is not recorded or downloaded?
Anyways, the comment I was looking for was by a woman who works in the water quality control engineering regulations(or something like that) and mentioned that she does NOT work in San Marcos because our city,well, doesn’t have water quality control specs in place. Can anyone help me with this woman’s comment? It felt like a answer to whats missing in San Marcos P&Z decision making process.
I had the same question as Dianne about the city staff person’s recommendation maps. Regarding the rezoning of the 2 homes on Holland, she had very clear, color-coded maps, supporting her argument that this was primarily a single family zoned area, which should be protected.
For the Casey project, approximately 1/2 mile away, we got treated to black and white, blurry maps with no obvious zoning codes. In addition, the staff member called this is a “transitional neighborhood”, which in my book is her *opinion*, not a fact, and thus should be disregarded in the argument.
I surely hope that city staff rectify this problem before the P and Z meeting in January.
I remember the lady you were talking about. She also spoke in favor of the Zelicks (sp?) CUP renewal if it is the same person. I believe her name may be Meagan or something like that.
As I recall it, she did not say we do not have water quality control specs but rather that ours we not nearly as strict as Austin’s. I may be remembering wrong, though.
Also, from what I know, we do not have specific water quality control standards for the city. We follow what is required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Curtis-Thanks for your help with my question and clarification.
@Curtis… Should success be achieved by a private preserve, such as I created with legal documents as an LLC, all this land will remain on the tax rolls, just as I intended. This is all part of the plan (1) owners can agree to sell when they are ready to the preserve (2) The City of San Marcos does not spend one red cent (3) The canyon can be properly managed and STUDIED by professionals of varied disciplines, etc (4) Youth groups will have a great oppurtunity to participate and reap immeasurable experiences (5) The canyon will remain just as it is, with minimal infrastructure enhancements to accomadate learned visitors and students for a safe visit. SO , this may just be a dream to some, or many, however, only those willing to dream can ever effect positive change in our society, as free thinkers. Peace to all. Jaimy L. Breihan
Really? You have to be kidding, this is ludicrous. City counsel and Mayor Guerrero himself have to remember the meetings about the Retreat project at RR12 & Craddock. After passing that atrocious project, Mayor Guerrero said something to this effect; the city and city counsel have to look long and hard at the amount of apartments being approved and to slow down, even put a moratorium on the building of apartments. Has he and the city counsel forgotten this already or are they just going to back-pedal and not adhere to their own words?
San Marcos is not going to be a city for single families to live anymore, it is turning into one big, huge, ugly apartment complex.
Why do greedy developers & city counsel members feel the need to crush the established, quaint, family oriented neighborhoods?
as a long time resident, the university needs to be kept in check with the business plan of city of san marcos being the priority, and the council should behave in the same fashion.
you can see how well the city supports its citizens, by the following numbers. The median income for a household in the city was $25,809, and the median income for a family was $37,113. Males had a median income of $25,400 versus $22,953 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,468. About 13.8% of families and 28.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.1% of those under age 18 and 15.1% of those age 65 or over.
when the college was smaller the footprint the students represented enhanced our city. today they walk all over it and leave when they graduate. our city does not benefit in the long run by the universities priorities but by the long term investments (outlet mall) which benefit the city and the residents, they provide employment, tax dollars for those who choose to live here. industries provide for long term benefits to the full time residents of san marcos giving us a better standing, a sense of worth and opportunities of giving back to the community.
the city is not what it used to be. you could visit downtown and it was not filled with smoke shops but family run business, you could swim in the river with water deeper than 8 inches, the downtown was not filled with bars and drunk patrons but by inhabitants with a long term commitment of their own to support the city and its people. the city was enjoyable at one time. growth should enhance the city for its full time residents
whos to blame?…Trauth for pushing to increase the schools reputation and footprint or the city of san marcos for allowing it to happen?
@the other cole: i get where youre coming from, but Texas State is by the far the most important single component of the San Marcos economy. With over 2,600 employees and well above $1 billion generated annually in local impact, i’d suggest you ask any city in the region whether or not theyd like to have their own large university.
if smoke shops and rowdy drunks are the problem, that’s easily remedied at the council level. stepped up enforcement of public intoxication laws and greater distances required between seedy establishments and schools/churches, etc.
$400 million in local impact. $1 billion statewide.
It would be great to see some efforts to understand how we could capture that other $600 million, but that is another matter. It probably involves getting more professors to live here, and getting more employers serving the university to open/relocate here.
Interesting point, Ted, but would profs want to buy a house here, knowing their property value could be gone tomorrow when an apt. complex is built next door?
Very few city employees live in San Marcos. Perhaps we should direct some of these ‘incentives” toward encouraging city employees to live in San Marcos. This might give them a vested interest in the well being of the entire town.
Charles- remember the city gave professors a $4,000- $5,000 “incentive” to buy locally. Guess what? I know of 1 firsthand that did and then turned it into a rental.
If anyone at the city is reading this, please, please, please do not accept the argument that it is a good idea to take my money and use it to incentivize certain types of “desirable” people to move here. First off it is quite arbitrary to pick one class of person over another and subsidize them because they fit someone’s criteria of what makes a good neighbor. I actually live near a few profs and some of them are nice and some are actually kind of self-centered asses. They certainly don’t qualify as what I would consider good for this community, unless you think egotistical elitists who water their lawns during droughts are more of what we need here. But, then, like I said, who gets to pick? My subsidies would certainly go in a different direction. Too bad I cannot play Oz.
But, I am against this concept primarily due to the fact that as a homeowner I can already barely pay my property taxes as they are now. If there is enough money for our city fathers to play social engineer, I would much rather they ship it back to me as a refund so I can spend it myself, rather than use my money to subsidize someone else who in all likelihood makes more money that I do.
I like to think of myself as a good citizen for this community who would like to stay here. Maybe the city could economize itself so our taxes would go down and it would help those of us who are already here…heck, I bet it would actually even attract other “desirables” and more businesses to boot and we’d no longer feel the need to take one person’s $$$ and give it to someone else for someone’s pet project…
Or maybe we could all pitch in and send out city leaders to a basic economics class at one of the area colleges. I’d even be willing to lend them my Adam Smith to read…