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

April 1st, 2010
San Marcos officials announce downtown 'charrette'


San Marcos City Hall.


Drafting a code to guide development and redevelopment of downtown San Marcos, city officials are conducting a series of public meetings next week for input from citizens.

The downtown charrette will run April 6-9, with sessions to focus on developing a specific downtown development code, or “SmartCode” that folds zoning, subdivision rules, urban design and architectural standards into one redevelopment document.

“The process is done in public and in collaboration with all those who have a vested interest in outcomes — including just about everybody who lives, works, and plays in San Marcos,” said San Marcos Director of Development Services Chuck Swallow. “These four days will mark a milestone in the long-range planning of downtown San Marcos.”

Most of the events will be held at The Meeting Place at 400 South C.M. Allen Parkway. In addition to smaller group sessions, three major public sessions are planned:

* Tuesday, April 6 at 4 p.m.: Downtown “SmartCode” presentation and workshop, to be followed by a presentation at the San Marcos City Council meeting at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 630 East Hopkins Street.
* Thursday, April 8 at 6 p.m.: Downtown “SmartCode” open house.
* Friday, April 9 at 6 p.m.: Downtown “SmartCode” closing presentation and public comment.

The public is also invited to “Charrette Studio Open Hours.” The studio will be open for drop-ins at The Meeting Place on Wednesday, April 7, from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m., and Thursday, April 8, from 1 to 6 p.m.

The city council will have a workshop session on Friday, April 9, at 11:30 a.m., at the City Hall conference room to update members on the charrette process.

City officials say that by the charrette’s concluding presentation on April 9, participants will see the framework of proposals to guide downtown’s growth, complete with images to illustrate the transformation over time.

“In 2008, our citizens helped us shape a collective five-year vision for our historic downtown,” said Mayor Susan Narvaiz. “Now we are ready to elevate our planning principles to support that vision.”

For the complete schedule of meetings and presentations, plus background on everything that has led to this point, go to the project website:

For more information, contact contact the city’s development services department at, or call (512) 393-8230.

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