San Marcos planning commission tables Sessom Drive development request

After midnight May 15, the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission tabled a request that would make way for a five-story retail and student housing development on Sessom Drive.

San Antonio developer Darren Casey is asking the City of San Marcos to abandon mostly undeveloped right of way that had been set aside for new streets on property across from Texas State University. After hearing testimony for and against the request, commissioners decided to postpone deliberation until their May 28 meeting.

"I, for one, need time to assimilate this," commission Chairman Bill Taylor said. "I heard an awful lot from a lot of people."

Casey's project is smaller than the one he proposed in 2011 for the same property, which drew protests from neighbors who said it encroached on established neighborhoods and could harm an ecologically sensitive area near Spring Lake. City Council rejected a rezoning request for that project in January 2012.

Casey now plans to build a 380-unit, 800-bedroom project with 16,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and multiple stories of loft apartments that front Sessom Drive.

"I've worked for 18 months to try to make a better project here, and we feel like we have," Casey told commissioners. "It's been a very contentious project, but in my 25 years of doing this, I've never spent as much time and effort to build a better project."

According to city documents, Casey will also seek to rezone 9.5 acres of the property from single-family to mixed-family use.



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