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Realizing Community Vision 

Our community's Vision for the future of San Marcos imagines "A City of bold dreams. Recognized for our unparalleled natural beauty, ancient cultural heritage, dynamic university, town character, and crystal clear flowing river." The Vision San Marcos Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2013, is one of the most important tools our fast growing city has to anticipate changes and shape growth in an effective, orderly manner that is consistent with the desires of the community. Establishing a community Vision is important and difficult work but it doesn't end there. Applying and implementing the Vision is the next step. A great example of establishing and applying a Vision is in Downtown San Marcos  
Downtown San Marcos - 2008
Downtown San Marcos 2015
The Downtown Master Plan was adopted in 2008 as a "big picture vision that will direct City projects and involvement for the revitalization of Downtown."  The Plan was written as a reaction to the "unprecedented development that was being seen in other areas of the City while Downtown struggled to maintain its identity and character."  Since that time development codes have been changed to reflect the Vision.  Infrastructure has been updated and improved to support the Vision and in just 8 years revitalization of downtown is beginning to take shape as evidenced in the Google Street View Images above.

Implementing the Vision Through CodeSMTX

The Vision San Marcos Comprehensive Plan  recognizes and anticipates the projected growth in San Marcos and provides a tool to shape that growth. The Comprehensive Plan and Preferred Scenario Map identify different distinct areas of the City where future growth and development should be handled in ways that are reflective of the vision for those places.  

CodeSMTX Goals 

The Land Development Code is being updated through the CodeSMTX process in order to ensure that the regulations that guide growth achieve the policies, goals and objectives identified in the Comprehensive Plan.  Two key objectives from this effort are
  • Moving away from a One-Size-Fits-All Code Approach - Our current Land Development Code provides the same regulations for development types whether they are on IH35 or Old Ranch Road 12. CodeSMTX is developing a regulatory framework that will be able to recognize the desired development patterns in each of the Comprehensive Plan Areas including: Intensity Zones, Existing Neighborhoods, Corridors, and Stability Areas and provide regulations appropriate for those areas.
  • Creating a User Friendly Code - Our current Land Development Code is text-based and limited in the types of tools that are used to regulate development. CodeSMTX is developing tools that are graphics based and easy to understand and navigate, improving transparency and predictability for neighbors, businesses and the development community.
Intensity Zones
Existing Neighborhoods
Intensity Zones are areas of change. Places to accommodate the City's future growth in well-planned areas where people can meet their daily needs within a short walk, bike, transit trip or drive.  This is the only Comp Plan area that CodeSMTX is proposing to implement change through city initiated re-zoning.
Existing Neighborhoods are places that maintain their existing character and follow development and redevelopment patterns desired by residents.  These are envisioned as stable areas where proposed redevelopment should match the existing character.
Stability Areas
A system of Corridors compliment and connect Intensity Zones, Existing Neighborhoods, and Stability Areas across the City.  Corridor classifications guide appropriate land uses and intensities along various corridors identified through the Transportation Master Plan.
Stability Areas are places for low intensity development.  Low Intensity development includes single family and associated uses including some neighborhood retail or office.  Stability Areas range in the degree of environmental sensitivity and impervious cover allowances are subject to analysis under the Land Use Suitability Map developed under the comprehensive plan. 

What's Next

In the months ahead, the City and consultant team will refine the Code and will continue to answer questions and gather input from residents, the citizen committee (Think Tank), Council Members and the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission. Below is a list of upcoming events and meetings:
  • October 19 - Speakers Bureau: SUPO 5:30PM @ ELA #344
  • October 21 - Think Tank Meeting
  • October 22 - Comp Plan Oversight Committee: 4:00 PM @ City Hall 
  • November 4 - Think Tank Meeting
  • November 10 - Open House 10 AM - 8PM @ San Marcos Activity Center
The updates to the Land Development Code are part of our City's Long Range Planning Road Map, which will help us realize the Vision San Marcos Comprehensive Plan and sustain the quality of life we enjoy in our community.

CodeSMTX Speakers Bureau

The CodeSMTX team can visit your small group or organization with a presentation tailored to your interests.  Let us know what your interested in and we'll come share the latest in the CodeSMTX process with your group.
Sign up here and we will contact you for confirmation: CodeSMTX Speakers Bureau
For more information contact the Planning Department at 512.393.8230 or email
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