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

March 10th, 2009
Carma project on hold at P&Z


The San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) ended up not taking public comments or considering a number of zoning changes involved in the proposed Paso Robles development near Wonder World Drive on the west side of Interstate-35.

Ed Theriot of ETR Consulting, which is working with Carma Texas on the development, asked city staff to put P&Z deliberations on hold in a letter dated Monday. Theriot said in the letter that “we are currently working with the City Council to negotiate issues related to the Development Agreement,” asking that P&Z wait until those issues are resolved before going forward with re-zoning.

Carma wants approval for a Planned Development District (PDD) and hook-ups to the city’s water and wastewater services. Carma Texas General Manager Shaun Cranston said in December that he hoped to irrigate a golf course in the development by tapping into the city’s treated effluent lines running near the outlet malls.

About 900 acres of the proposed development site are outside the city limits. Carma said it would voluntarily annex to the city along a time frame roughly corresponding with the availability of city services.

The development would cover 1,338.5 acres to include more than 300 acres of open space, a parks and trail system, an 18-hole golf course and 3,427 homes.

Carma Texas also is the developer of Blanco Vista, a development slated for 2,000 homes just west of I-35 between Stagecoach Road and Yarrington Road. Blanco Vista opened just in time for the housing market to tank. As of December, when Cranston first pitched Paso Robles to the P&Z, only 55 homes were up in Blanco Vista, with about 30 families residing in the subdivision.

Cranston said in December that the first Paso Robles homes wouldn’t go on the market until the Spring of 2011.

In another development, the P&Z is considering a policy change that would stimulate development and defray some of the city’s potential infrastructure costs by allowing developers to collect when they lay pipelines that benefit later projects.

Chuck Swallow, the city’s director of development services, recommended that the P&Z institute a pro rata reimbursement program.

Suppose, for example, a developer worked a project on a tract of land and ended up having to run water and wastewater lines through some other piece that belongs to another owner and is neither platted nor permitted for construction. Under the city’s present codes, the developer laying the pipes would receive no compensation for the value he has added to the outside piece if that piece were to be platted or permitted in the future.

Swallow opened the discussion so P&Z commissioners could start thinking about how long the developer laying the infrastructure would be eligible for pro rata reimbursement, how much the developer would be reimbursed and whether the reimbursement would be due when the land is platted or permitted.

No commissioners spoke against the idea, though questions arose about the fine points. The P&Z will take up the matter at a later meeting.

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0 thoughts on “Carma project on hold at P&Z

  1. People should be aware that the Carma developers have asked to relocate the Southwest section of the loop (in the thoroughfare plan) to McCarty Lane, west of Hunter Road.

    The Transportation Advisory Board has strongly recommended against changing the plans for McCarty Lane, which is already developed. This would mean McCarty Lane would be slated to be something in the order of a 6-lane highway, plus a large median.

    I have no idea if this is part of the negotiations with City Council, as I have not heard back on our recommendation.

  2. this is a bad, bad idea to allow this development to occur. The idea of annexing into the city the additional 1,300 acres or so will devestate home prices in the SM market. Look at carma’s history already with blanco vista development – looks like a barren wasteland with only 55 homes up – after years of building. It looks absolutely terrible as you drive into SM from austin.

    And why is the former asst. director of planning, now a “consultant”, being allowed to represent carma at all? Isn;t there an ethical issue – I would think that person had significant authority to approve carma projects in the past when carma was building blanco vista, and now he’s allowed to represent them before council and city leaders – all of which he worked side by side as an employee? Smells like something is not right

    Also, the TAB has recommended against changing McCarty lane.

    Carma development projects are very bad for our area here because of their size. They should be done in flat open spaces like FT worth area, Ohio or mid-west states, not small college towns like SM.

    This whole thing stinks to high heaven and is ruining SM.

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