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


The city’s Planning and Development Services department will host an open house on Wednesday, April 30 on proposed design standards for new multi-family development in San Marcos.

The open house will be held 4 to 6 p.m. this afternoon at the San Marcos Activity Center, 501 E. Hopkins, as a come-and-go event to invite public review and comment on proposed standards being considered as additions to the city’s Land Development Code.


Proposed changes to design standards for multi-family development [pdf]

Fire marshal’s memo on new safety standards for multi-family development [pdf]

“Both the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council have directed our staff to pursue higher standards to improve the quality of multi-family developments, to ensure they maintain their appearance and value over time, and to create multi-family projects that are compatible with the community,” planning manager John Foreman said.

More than 1,800 new apartment units have been completed in the last two years, with about 1,300 more under construction. Combined, these new units contain about 8,500 new bedrooms.

Staff has reviewed existing multifamily development in San Marcos and surrounding cities, examined standards in other cities in Texas, and researched best practices in other university communities across the country.

The draft standards are intended to improve the quality of new multi-family development through:

  • building improvements including attractive building materials and design
  • site design requirements that create quality places
  • process updates for student-oriented complexes
  • fire safety improvements in the building code

At the open house, the public will be invited to review the first draft of the standards and offer suggestions on how effective they would be.

“We will use comments from the public to revise the draft standards, which are scheduled to move forward to P&Z in May and City Council in June for adoption,” Foreman said. Future updates on the project will be posted at

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