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

February 19th, 2013
Neighborhood panel calls Hughson Heights meeting

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The San Marcos Neighborhood Commission will host a workshop to discuss neighborhood issues in the Hughson Heights neighborhood on 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the Seventh Day Adventist Church gym, 1523 Old Ranch Road 12.
Sabas Avila, the city’s Public Services assistant director for transportation and transportation engineering manager Ning Zou will be available to discuss and answer questions regarding overflow parking and seek input from residents.
The Neighborhood Commission meets quarterly in various neighborhoods. For information, contact Neighborhood Services at 512-393-8470 or Public Services-Transportation at 512-393-8036.

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13 thoughts on “Neighborhood panel calls Hughson Heights meeting

  1. Overflow parking…….Bad developement practices coming home to roost, AT YOUR HOME! End the madness, please! 🙂 jlb

  2. It seems that there is a pretty straightforward solution: Neighborhood parking permits. Each house gets 1 (2?) parking permit for guests. On-street parking should require a permit between 8am-5pm. Permits are only valid for that neighborhood. That way, anyone parking in a neighborhood has to have some connection to a resident of that neighborhood. Every college town I’ve ever lived in has had some version of this, at least around campus. I can’t believe it hasn’t been done in San Marcos.

  3. Parking is not the only issue. Let’s have city council along with planning & zoning attend and walk the neighborhood on a weekend night to see what went wrong for this “family neighborhood.” Let’s at least learn from this instead of re-creating this problem all over town. When I was looking at homes in 2003 and I had a choice between a bigger cheaper house on Chapparal St and a smaller home on the cul-de-sac I live on now, I am so glad that I listened to my realtor! He had been in SM for awhile and was well aware that the Sagewood duplexes had been passed and not yet built and that the apartments along Bishop had not been as well maintained as some of the others around town. My house has been a much better investment and a much easier place to raise a family.

  4. Drive through at night after 10p. Students parking all along Hughson and up along Sierra Circle then walking across RR12 to go to The Retreat. It is not only a nuisance & very crowded for homeowners, but dangerous for the students running across RR12 in the dark and for the people driving. Any given Thurs through Sat night has cars bumper to bumper along homeowners’ front yards and next to their driveways with people dodging traffic to run across to the Retreat. The Retreat does not have sufficient parking to “accommodate” their guests.

  5. All of this would require the permission of Texas State University. Well, not really but Texas State is the de facto ruler of San Marcos and it shows in a not very positive way.

  6. Certainly, parking isn’t the only issue and maybe some areas of town need additional solutions, but it seems that there are ways to deal with it that protect the homeowner’s and resident’s right to have guests and reduce the amount of overflow parking. But then if the city really cared about this they wouldn’t have approved the Retreat in it’s current form…

    Charles, this doesn’t really have anything to do with Texas State. This is the city spot-zoning, going against the master plan, and approving a development in a bad location without considering the consequences to the surrounding area or requiring any sort of mitigation from the developer. Quit perpetuating the University-is-the-evil-overlord trope. The town and the university will continue to grow. We need to start giving more than lip service to long-term planning.

  7. I enjoyed Charles quip, you have to read between the lines to see his point. Daytime parking passes and nightime passes, what have homeowners been forced to deal with now??? I wanted to attend the meeting, was too tired from previous night of jausting at city hall though…Yes,bad developement practices by the City Of San Marcos are at the crux of almost every substantive problem facing homeowners now! Allowing projects to be built by BARE MINIMUM standards in locations abutting established neighborhoods,,,,,yep, same song we have been playing for them over and over since i joined the band 16 months ago now! Maybe they are DEAF perhaps???? Hmmm, lawsuit against city/ university/ etc, wonder if the homeowners of San Marcos would have grounds for class-action proceedigs???? Hate to have to consider these things, what must one do though????? 🙁 jlb

  8. Jesse, a problem is that Texas State has grown and rather than create remote campuses it has chosen to grow, engulfing adjoining neighborhoods. Yes, I know, Round Rock etc. but the problem, as I see it, is that the City has allowed the University and all that goes with to grow without respecting who it hurts and how it changes the character of the neighborhoods it pushes students into. New Braunfels did not allow Schlitterbahn to destroy the character of that city. Instead, it created a partnership that has its growing pains but is not as one sided as what we have here. Yes, Texas State does pretty dictate what happens in our town/city.

  9. TxState:Schlitterbahn = Apple:Oranges I’m pretty sure TxState has the power of eminent domain. Also, you can look at the edge of campus in any university town and see the same problems. An interesting study would be to look at how Texas towns with colleges over 10,000 students enforce the Texas Property Code. San Marcos does not. At all. Out of state property owners are allowed to operate a business (a rent house is a business) in a single family neighborhood with pretty much no regulation. When I have turned in properties for violation of grass ordinances I’m told “the owners have been notified and we don’t have the staff to go mow the lawn and bill the owner”. That’s SOP in many towns. If you tighten up on enforcement you’ll see the owners either come in line or sell the house to someone who will. You may not be able to fix every problem but we can work on the issues where we do have some authority.

  10. I think property owners who don’t live on their property should be required to maintain a contract with a local mowing service if they fail to keep it mowed. One violation, then require the contract. The mowing service could decide how often it needed to be mowed and then bill the owner. If the contract is unpaid, file a lien against the property. Same for other code violations.

    Several people brought up this same issue at the Blanco Gardens neighborhood commission meeting. There are several vacant lots (total of about 8 acres) at the end of Sturgeon that get overgrown every spring. The process of citizen filing complaint and city notifying owner (2-3 rounds, 30 days apart) means the grass would be 4-5 feet tall by the time the city forced the owner into any action.

    Some of the problems that we face as a city are complicated and hard to fix but this is not one of those problems. It would require additional manpower in the marshall’s office for code enforcement but you can build a fine/penalty schedule that will make it revenue neutral. Fund it, fine them, and be done with it.

  11. I live in the Hughson Heights subdivision and I think the City trusted The Retreat Developer to absolute extremes. How could they approve such a development in this locality? Surely the exact same parking problems will also arise at the Capes Camp development. Please remember which City Council Members have sold the river and us down it.

  12. I feel that Council and especially Staff should work on trying to make our community better instead of always falling for the developers desire to make a quick buck with some scheme. That’s pretty general sounding but unless you have and follow a long term plan you’ve got nothing but more Retreat’s in a town that is quickly reearning it’s 80’s reputation as the premier party school in the state. Between Matt Lewis and Jim Nuse there is no protection for the city. I am more critical of Lewis because he is only looking out for his future employment opportunities. Mr. Nuse is only doing what he has always done and that is grow a town. Personally, I don’t want to live in a town that looks like Round Rock. San Marcos has it’s problems but having the University tear down neighborhoods so that buildings, apartment complexes can be built is not a solution. turning a quaint downtown into a Sixth Street scenario is not wherenour Main Street project encisioned us going. most importantly, Round Rock is not like San Marcos. For those of us that knew Round Rock years ago, it was a beautiful community, small but pretty. Today, it is gone replaced but what San Marcos is becoming. Ours is a diverse community and that used to be its beauty. As usual, not edited or spell checked.

  13. Overflow parking is a big part of the solution, but not the only part. It appears to me that the University needs to step up and help, not that they will, since this problem is caused almost exclusively by their students. I think a Texas State bus or two should run from a central parking area (the stadium, maybe?) and shuttle kids to The Retreat or other complexes that have a lot of weekend “gatherings.” We’re not going to stop the parties, but getting the kids safely there and back and keeping kids that have had an adult beverage or 12 out of neighborhoods may be a good idea.

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