FROM STAFF REPORTS
Protect San Marcos, a group formed in 2011 to campaign against a planned luxury development on Sessom Drive, has endorsed Scott Gregson and Melissa Derrick for city council.
Gregson, who is running for Place 5, and Derrick, who is running for Place 6, “are two clear choices if you are for the preservation of family neighborhoods and protection of the San Marcos River,” said Larry Mock, who maintains the Protect San Marcos website and Facebook page with Patrick Duran.
Facing energetic neighborhood opposition to developer Darren Casey’s proposed high-end, mixed-use complex, the San Marcos City Council rejected related land entitlements in January 2012 and again in June 2013. In recent years, Protect San Marcos also opposed a 130-unit expansion of the Hillside Ranch apartment complex, which opened in fall 2013, and the 306-unit Woods of San Marcos apartment complex on River Road, which opened in August.
Endorsements are “reviewed and approved by an informal core group of people who were initially involved in the protection and preservation of the Sessom Creek area,” Mock said. The group maintains a mailing list of about 120 people who “expressed an interest in getting regular updates on issues involving high density development within and around family neighborhoods,” Mock said.
For the Place 5 seat, Gregson faces former Mayor Frank Arredondo and San Marcos High School teacher Stephen Herrera, who has effectively ended his campaign but whose name will still appear on the Nov. 3 ballot. For the Place 6 seat, Derrick faces incumbent Shane Scott. All San Marcos council members are elected at-large.
My record of working to protect neighborhoods is clear. I am against rent-by-the-bedroom apartment projects in or near existing single-family neighborhoods. I advocated to local business leaders that Capes Camp be a park, showcasing our most cherished natural asset. I opposed other apartment projects such as Sessom Canyon, The Retreat and the Buie Tract. … In stark contrast, my opponent has supported those on council who voted for Capes Camp and has also spoken on behalf of organizations whose leadership spoke in favor of Sessom Canyon and continues to promote these very types of development. Who we elect to city council has lasting consequences. Bad decisions regarding development haunt us for generations. Bad development doesn’t equate to good economic development. Some in our business community don’t seem to realize that there are many of us who live in San Marcos because of the life-style we enjoy, not just the money to be made from irresponsible developments that litter our landscape.
This year’s election is key to the future of San Marcos, as we continue a remarkable period of growth. When elected, I will focus on preserving our river and natural resources, protecting our neighborhood integrity, while at the same time promoting responsibly-managed growth. I will work diligently to ensure that our new Master Plan is followed as our Land Development Code continues to be updated. Following the master plan increases predictability in the development of San Marcos. Predictability instills the trust vital for our prosperity and will prevent San Marcos from becoming just another bedroom community along the I-35 corridor. Our neighborhoods are the backbone of our city and our small town sensibility – derived in large part from families who have lived here for generations.
6:05 a.m. SEPT. 23: The story originally misstated details of an expansion of Hillside Ranch apartments opposed by Protect San Marcos. The complex’s 130-unit second phase, completed in fall 2013, was the subject of a “spot zoning” lawsuit brought by San Marcos Voice, an organization whose leadership overlapped with that of Protect San Marcos. An additional 130 units were added to the original complex during expansions completed in fall 2012 and summer 2013, according to city planning records.