San Marcos housing task force will host open house on draft action plan Aug. 14

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San Marcos residents are invited to an open house hosted by the city’s Workforce Housing Task Force on Aug. 14 to learn about an affordable housing action plan for that will be presented to City Council in October.

The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the San Marcos Activity Center, located 501 E. Hopkins St.

As part of the event, the task force has scheduled a presentation at 6 p.m., along with a school supply drive that will benefit San Marcos CISD students. The open house is part of the task force’s community outreach plan, which seeks to gather public opinion on the draft of the housing group’s action plan.

San Marcos planning and zoning commissioners are also scheduled to hear a presentation on the draft at their Aug. 13 meeting.

Commissioner Maxfield Baker told Community Impact Newspaper that he believes the city will have to find a balance between attracting developers and attending to the concerns of residents when discussing affordable housing.

“I think the main concerns are how much we might be giving away to just building more dense, and finding the right balance there,” Baker said.

Commissioner Mark Gleason said housing will continue to be a major focus of the city for “some time.”

“I totally supported the idea of creating a task force because we needed a diverse group to sit down and try to hash out some concrete ideas to try to alleviate the situation,” Gleason said.

Both Baker and Gleason have filed to run for the City Council Place 1 seat in the November elections.

In January, the San Marcos City Council named affordable housing as one of its top priorities for the second year in a row.

The housing task force was created in September 2018 to come up with recommendations to city officials about increasing affordable housing in San Marcos. A three-member workforce housing committee made of council members Lisa Prewitt, Melissa Derrick and Saul Gonzales was also established.

A total of 19 local stakeholders contributed to the action plan, which was published as a draft on June 17.

The draft includes goals and strategies, along with 23 action plans, that the task force deems necessary for bringing more affordable housing options to San Marcos.

In addition to the open house, the task force is asking residents to take part in community round table meetings with city staff to share their thoughts and concerns about affordable housing.

On Aug. 29, the task force will also host an informational meeting on “land banking,” the practice of governments and nonprofits buying up land for future use or development. Land banking has been included in the draft of housing plan as a recommended action.

The task force will meet on Sept. 12 for its final meeting before their scheduled presentation to City Council on Oct. 15.

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