Cape's Camp apartments get preliminary approval; other rezoning denied

On Nov. 27, the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission voted to approve a request to rezone property on River Road, traditionally known as Cape's Camp, for the construction of a 306-unit, 1,000-bed apartment complex.

In exchange for approval, the Athens, Ga.–based Dovetail Companies offered to donate 20 acres of riverfront property to the city for public parks, among other concessions. The donated parkland includes much of Cape's Camp and all of Thompson's Island, two large parcels of undeveloped land on the San Marcos River east of I-35.

"It may be floodplain, but it's incredible land, and it's beautiful, and I'm excited that it will be a part of San Marcos forever," Commissioner Randy Bryan said.

The new park would connect the city's extensive network of riverfront parks on the west side of I-35 with the much smaller Stokes Park on the east side.

Commissioners voted 8-1 to approve the rezoning. Travis Kelsey cast the lone dissenting vote.

City Council is scheduled to consider whether to give final approval of the rezoning measure at its Dec. 18 meeting. In a nonbinding referendum election Nov. 6, San Marcos voters cast ballots by a margin of 76 percent to 24 percent in favor of acquiring the entire Cape's Camp and Thompson's Island property for public parks and open space.

Many San Marcos residents spoke against the rezoning at the Nov. 27 meeting, saying the land should be preserved as parks.

Also Nov. 27, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted to deny a developer's request to rezone a pair of properties on West Holland Street for new townhomes.

Speaking before a large audience at City Hall, numerous residents lined up to voice opposition to the proposed development north of the Texas State University campus, saying it would have tarnished the nature of the neighborhood—described as the "Hyde Park of San Marcos."

Commissioner Kenneth Ehlers moved to deny the request, which was approved 7-2 with Chairman Bill Taylor and Commissioner Chris Wood casting the dissenting votes.

Single-family homes exist on the properties. Rezoning the property would have allowed for the construction of up to 26 townhomes.