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


The San Marcos Planning & Zoning Commission voted, 8-1, on Tuesday to allow construction of a nine-floor mid-rise near the heart of downtown.

Two weeks ago, the panel voted to table San Marcos-based Carson Properties’ request for a “warrant” certifying that their project, a mix of retail and residential uses, complied with the downtown redevelopment ordinances, called the SmartCode. The code generally limits new construction to five floors but allows developers to appeal to build higher if architectural and aesthetic standards are met.

On a motion from commissioner Chris Wood, the body voted 8-1 to grant the height warrant. The lone holdout was commissioner Angie Ramirez who conceded that the Carson projects meets one of the community’s core planning objectives of encouraging higher density downtown, but that she remained uncomfortable with a building of that height in the context of the existing two- and three-floor buildings typical of the Central Business District.

Developer John David Carson has said construction will start late this spring with a projected completion of late summer 2015.

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Fast Facts

The proposal: A nine-floor mid-rise with an inner courtyard and a three-level parking garage concealed from view of the street by the building. Proposed uses break down like this:

Retail and restaurant space 4,000 square feet
Outdoor patio, commons area 1,250
Community center 3,250
Residential 95 units, 344 beds

The developer: John David Carson, a principal of San Marcos-based Carson Properties

The next step: The San Marcos Planning & Zoning Commission will consider Carson’s request for a “warrant” at its meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28.


City planners’ analysis of Carson proposal [pdf]

Carson downtown mid-rise site plan [pdf]

Carson downtown mid-rise artists’ renderings [pdf]

Added 01/28/14 Letters received from the public [pdf]

Added 01/28/14 Q&A from downtown coffee talk [pdf]


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One thought on “San Marcos P&Z approves downtown mid-rise

  1. I love the idea of this mid-rise building downtown. Better to go up than out. I’m tired of watching apartment complexes go up that have a shelf life of 10 years. The Carson’s project looks great and would be great to live in, whether your a student or young professional. You can walk to the university, down town or the river. Makes sense in my book.

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