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

November 18th, 2011
Council clears way for largest subdivision in city’s history

Paso Robles. Click to enlarge.

Paso Robles. Click to enlarge.


The San Marcos City Council on Tuesday all but finalized a deal that lays the ground work for a 3,450-home gated community intertwined with an 18-hole golf course.

The proposed 1,338-acre development, to be called Paso Robles, is on Hunter Road just south of McCarty Lane and west of Interstate 35. A city planner has said 8,000 people may eventually live at Paso Robles at full build-out, a projection that would increase the city’s official population by about 20 percent. It is, by far, the largest single-family development in the city’s history.

Steve Parker, the city’s finance director, estimates Paso Robles will add $2.5 milllion in city property taxes and $2.1 million in sales taxes to the city’s coffers every year after full build-out, which he said may take 10 or 11 years. Price points on the homes will range between $250,000 and $400,000, Parker said.

“Approximate build-out would add over $900 million in new valuation to the City of San Marcos’ property tax rolls,” Parker told council members on Tuesday.

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19 thoughts on “Council clears way for largest subdivision in city’s history

  1. Remember, this was the same developer who promised full build-out of Blanco Vista in a similar time frame…..and look how that’s worked out.

    I live in a subdivision adjacent to the rearmost part of Paso Robles – I would be shocked to see dirt turned in our area within 20 years.

  2. So, where are the jobs to support enough people to buy 8,000 $300K+ houses?

    The jobs are in SA or Austin and if you’re going to spend that much you might as well live closer to work in a much better school district.

    It’ll be another failed subdivision where prices drop 50% in about 5 years.

  3. We spend 100 million to possibly get 2.5 million a year starting maybe in 10 years if the built out is complete? We “delay” annexation of any adjacent subdivisions for 10 years? We reimburse Brookfield 20 million and 100 million? There will be 3450 single family homes in the range of $250,000-400,000. The estimated median San Marcos, TX household income in 2009: $26,357. Only a handful of people from San Marcos will be living there so are we building a sleeping community? Does market reports show this is feasible? Is it wise to continue building and developing on top of the recharge zones? Where will the city get the water from? Will we need to increase our medical, police force and fire department personnel to provide adequate services? Is this a type of backwards thinking along the lines of “Build it and they will come” for attracting high end employers? Sean, can you clarify what the actual reimbursement will be and how they estimate the 900 million valuation in property tax rolls at the end of the build out? Does this mean there will only be a few of the higher priced homes? Thanks.

  4. Hi Lynny,

    The reason $900 million in valuation doesn’t seem like very much given the amount of homes planned is because valuation — also called “assessed value,” “taxable value,” and “taxable valuation” — is usually much less than market value.

    Mr. Parker didn’t say how he calculated the $900 million valuation.

    He said the *developer* would invest more than $100 million in infrastructure out there.

    Brookfield would have 30 years to get $20 million back.

    Brookfield is estimated to get about $1.5 million back from the city each year at full build-out. That’s equivalent to 40 percent of the taxes generated from the estimated increase in values caused by the construction out there.

    Not sure about the dollar amount of the reimbursement from the county — I just know the county would keep 90 percent of the taxes generated from the increase in values out there. The increase is defined as the amount more than the total appraised value of taxable property in the TIRZ for the year 2012 according to the certified Hays County Tax Roll.

  5. Lynny “We spend 100 million to possibly get 2.5 million a year”. Who is this WE you are speaking of? Do you work for Brookfield or something? The only WE spending 100 mil is Brookfield.

  6. MesquiteMan: “The developer is putting in over $100 million in new infrastructure costs and the city has agreed to reimburse them,” Parker said. I was just asking Sean for clarification on this (since it sounded like we were reimbursing the full amount) and the other reimbursement reference. The we was a reference to the city since that is what Parker was talking about.

    Sean: Thank you for clarifying this. Also,…

    I understood it to be the taxable valuation but I did not consider that Parker may have meant only taxes going to the city not the county or school taxes. I bet Cranston already has a near solid idea of how many of which models they will build and helped direct that estimate. Just curious. Also curious about the materials and build designs but that is another article.

    Again, I am concerned about the range starting too high and the trend to build on the recharge zone rather than east and central of the city. Do you have an answer for that? Yet, another article?


  7. Rehashing some old concerns:
    1. Is the developer still asking for 1.2 MILLION gallons of water a day to water their golf course?

    2. Does the developer still bring in their own builders, thus cutting out our local builders’ access to jobs and the “economic benefits”?

    3. Is the development still geared toward retirees,which would mean high home values with frozen property taxes?

    4. If the project doesn’t take off like planned (Blanco Vista), is there ay provision that protects the subdivision from going to mega apartments complexes?

    5. Are they REALLY putting a golf course in over a recharge zone and with the trend of drought conditions in central Texas and with towns, cities, counties, and states fighting for water ?

  8. Morris,

    1. Yes, they are still needing the water. However, it is treated water from the water treatment plant that would normally be discharged into the SM River.

    2. Unfortunately, yes, they have their own builder that will be doing most all of the building. I believe they have a very small section for custom, though.

    3. I think this is the plan but don’t know for sure.

    4. There is a PDD in effect that would prevent that. They would have to go back and change the PDD in order to have apartments.

    5. The golf course is mostly on non-recharg area. Only 200 of the 1,300+ acres is over the recharge.

  9. Sigh. And what does this do to traffic in that area not to mention water use? Well, at least if the houses cost that much maybe we will get another neighborhood involved in the political process to bolster the voluminous democratic turnout we should be so proud of now…keep pushing that power base south…

  10. So when is the city adding industry & business to this town that will allow residents to be able to afford to buy those homes? Its a shame, we desperately need decent family housing in this community that is affordable within the means of those who live & work here but without actual jobs that pay above the median poverty level I don’t see how this is a good idea. It seems so silly & superficial.

  11. I predict a tipping point in the not-too-distant future where those sick of commuting constitute a workforce significant enough to attract major employers. At the same time there is a chicken and egg scenario with housing where many of our professionals live out of town because of lack of housing options and employers pass on basing here blaming housing. As Kyle, Buda and New Braunfels grow they become sources of employees for businesses that might locate here in San Marcos,central to those workers.

    It would be nice to wave a wand and create high paying jobs. If anyone has such a wand they’re keeping it to their self.

  12. But if the development is still being built as a *retirement* village then bringing in employers is a moot point. As is the idea that frozen property taxes will keep up with cost increases of services the city will offer out there…

  13. Seniors are the best citizens you can attract. The property tax will be set at the market rate when they buy the house so it’ll be much higher than the average home value. Seniors don’t put any kids in our schools yet they’re paying school taxes. And pretty much zero crime. They’ll bring experience and skill sets that will make them valuable on boards and commissions and they have the time to volunteer.

  14. I thought our politicians had a magic job creating wand and now you’re telling me they don’t? Gasp. Isn’t that why we (well, the 3% who bother to get up off their tails to participate in our near-Athenian democratic republic) elect/anoint them? Quick, let’s pay some consulting firm $200,000 to tell us how to tilt the market in our direction in the glorious name of free enterprise…maybe we can get the Enterprise Fund to throw the Racetrack $$$ that has apparently hit a giant snag in SW Austin our way and we can attract some jobs that way…someone send out a SOS beacon to the comptroller…

  15. smsince99- I was responding to your comment that “those sick of commuting constitute a workforce significant enough to attract major employers.” And that’s a pretty broad (but looking on the sunny side) generalization about senior citizens…

    Does anyone know: Is the development still going to be 65+ only?
    Where will they get enough senior citizens to fill those 3,450 homes? I’m thinking they must have opened up membership to the development if it is being promoted as a haven for families wanting to escape the apartment fiasco in old San Marcos.

  16. Morris – I was responding to Jenny’s question of “when is the city adding industry & business to this town…?” In my OPINION there is only so much the city can do. We can create a business friendly climate,etc but we have no wand. That said, growth is coming and one consequence might be that because commuting is becoming more costly and the workforce is growing, a certain flashpoint will eventually be reached where San Marcos has the available workforce, central location and the housing stock to attract major employers. I don’t think it’s critical if Paso Robles is or is not all senior. (I doubt they would do that but I don’t know.) When the demand is there, homebuilders will step in. One thing the city CAN do is take advantage when they’ve got someone with deep pockets who wants to partner in the installation of infrastructure like Brookfield is going to do.

  17. I can’t imagine that it’s going to be age-restricted to seniors but do not know for sure. We’ll ask or invite someone who knows to bring the answer here.

  18. I can’t believe that the City Council was naive enough to really vote this through. No wait…. I do. This has to be one of the more ridiculous things San Marcos has ever done. I know that the City wants to increase its tax base and attempt to compete with the likes of Buda, Kyle and New Braunfels…. but this is really all about Geography. We are outside the distance that most sane people are willing to travel into Austin for a decent paying job, so… bottom line — this City has absolutely no need for 300K homes. Hello!!! It isn’t waterfront property or even the rolling hill country. This is just old pasture that is going to have a golf course. Are you kidding??? With this drought, we are building a a golf course?

    This town is filled with mostly low-middle income families that work in the service industry or for Texas State since those are the only jobs the Council is able to attract. Stop trying to dress up this pig, and think about the citizens who elect you, not the stinking developers. We live here. All you have to do is ready every one of the other posts here to figure that out.

    So disappointed.

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