Proposed changes to Code SMTX include new land-use map designations

San Marcos hopes to fill more than 20 positions from volunteers in the community.

San Marcos hopes to fill more than 20 positions from volunteers in the community.

Planning and zoning commissioners got an update Tuesday on when the city's new land development code, Code SMTX, is slated for adoption and what proposed changes the code underwent since the last time they saw the draft.

According to city staff, City Council will vote on whether to approve Code SMTX—which has been in the works since 2014—in January following two public hearings.

Officials are working on the third and final draft of the new proposed code.

The city’s land-use map, which was renamed the “preferred scenario map” in the city’s 2013 comprehensive plan, currently labels areas of the city as "high intensity," "medium intensity" and "low intensity."

The proposed changes eliminate those intensity zones, instead using "areas of stability" that include "existing neighborhoods" and "low intensity."

Existing neighborhoods means established, primarily residential areas intended to maintain their existing character, while low intensity means areas generally made up of undeveloped tracts where preservation, flood hazards and agriculture should be considered as part of any development proposal.

"The change that happens [in existing neighborhoods] should be in line with what’s already there and with what’s envisioned for the area," city planner Abby Gilfillan said during the presentation to commissioners.

Under the proposed changes, the high intensity and medium intensity zones as well as the employment area zone fall under Growth Areas, and land-use corridors are now labeled as conservation, mixed-use and employment.

Areas like East Village, located in the eastern part of the city near Centerpoint Road, have expanded under the medium intensity label. The boundaries of the employment area have also expanded farther south along I-35.

The preferred scenario map and proposed updates can be found here.

Staff is also recommending amending the city's comprehensive plan, Vision San Marcos, to reflect the changes in the preferred scenario map.

The city code is also proposed to be changed to require all rental properties to be registered. As it stands, property owners may voluntarily register their rental properties with the city.

The planning and zoning commission will hold a public hearing and give a recommendation to the council on whether to approve the new land development code on Nov. 14. The council is expected to vote on adoption of the code in January.


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