San Marcos City Council approves demolition permit review ordinance

The statue of Jack C. Hays is in historic downtown San Marcos.

The statue of Jack C. Hays is in historic downtown San Marcos.

San Marcos City Council unanimously approved an ordinance at a special meeting June 27, with only one reading, that establishes a waiting period for the issuance of demolition permits for historic structures.

The ordinance states that any buildings deemed medium or high priority in the city’s recent historic resources survey must go through this waiting period, as must buildings outside of the survey area that are 80 years or older. The survey area encompasses all seven of the city’s local historic districts, downtown and an area immediately south of the Texas State University campus.

Although no historic designations have been made based off of the survey yet—which is the first one to be conducted in more than 20 years—state and local leaders will soon consider such measures.

Now, under the ordinance, demolition permit applicants must provide a detailed description of the building they wish to demolish, provide color photos of all of its exterior elements and provide notice to all property owners within 400 feet of the tract of land the building is on. The applicant must also notify, by mail or email, the Council of Neighborhood Associations.

The City Council directed city staff and the Historic Preservation Commission to provide recommendations pertaining to demolition of historic structures, as the ordinance passed at the special meeting is intended to be a temporary measure until the commission comes forward with a recommendation for a permanent ordinance, which is expected to happen in August.
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