Here is a summary of local issues adapted from information provided by the San Marcos River Foundation, SMGA board members Sherwood Bishop and Maggie Hutchins, and San Marcos Local News.
- The proposed 564-acre shooting range/park east of San Marcos would include TPWD hunter headquarters; a Ducks Unlimited educational trail, facility and 40-acre wetlands tank; and a river park. One end of the roughly 1/2 by 2 mile strip would be river frontage, and the other end fronts on 621 almost at Scull R.
- The 25-acre shooting range would be near the middle where a hill provides a natural berm to dampen sound and bullets. Additional berms would contain bullet lead and noise. Much of the shooting would be under a type of baffled cover to contain noise and ricocheting bullets.
- The Texas Shooting Sports Complex has been working with the county for the last two years to plan this project and will use EPA standards for design and lead clean up. They hope to capture most of the tank water from rainfall.
- The group wants the county to use parks bond funds that are left to buy the land followed by a long term lease to operate the range. They will return a portion of their user fees to the county; park access will be free. They say their use as a range, wetland, and hunter education facility will disturb less land than development would, plus there will be a river frontage park for public picnicking and camping.
- At a neighborhood meeting, attendees expressed concerned about a river park without law enforcement in an area that is already overrun with drunks, people threatening land owners, and drifts of plastic bottles and other trash piling up at various sites.
- Neighbors also brought up the concerns about lead washing into the river, noise pollution that would devalue their property, ricocheting bullets, disturbing wildlife, and noise from large events. Some did not want to spend parks bond money on land for the shooting range.
- Gated development on 1,338 acres south of McCarty Lane and west of Hunter Rd with about 4,500 planned dwelling units, an 18-hole golf course, hike and bike trails, and commercial development along Hunter near Centerpoint Rd.
- After public outcry, Loop 110’s future section from IH35 west to RR12 was removed from the city’s transportation plan after it was shifted from its location through the middle of Paso Robles to McCarty Lane.
- The developer, Carma, has offered parkland dedication of 7+ acres on the headwaters of Willow Springs Creek and 10+ acres on the headwaters of Cottonwood Creek, and a couple of other small “trailhead” parks totaling 37.5 acres in parkland dedication, 18 acres of which are located in the 100-year flood plain. These allocations do not meet the minimum required by the Land Development Code. Carma has also committed to about 380 acres of permanent conservation easements on their golf course and other open space land.
- Carma plans to locate the golf course over the aquifer recharge zone and water with reclaimed water, raising a concern that pharmaceuticals and other chemicals that can not be removed during the reclamation process will enter the aquifer and pollute wells in the area that draw water directly from the aquifer, including homeowner, commercial, city, and federal wells. The latter is located at the San Marcos National Fish Hatchery, which maintains a refugium for four federally-endangered and two threatened species on McCarty & IH35. Testing for and/or preventing pollution from building up in the aquifer over time as a result of the water cycle would be an expensive proposition for the city and could be required by federal regulators.
- The developer has asked the city to consider a $20 million tax rebate in the form of a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ). More details on the TIRZ and the developer’s financial commitments – San Marcos Local News
- The San Marcos Parks Advisory Board unanimously followed the Parks and Community Services staff recommendation to accept the parks plan Tuesday night after the developer agreed to pledge up to $300,000 to help acquire 289 acres around Purgatory Creek. The property would add to the reserve and help it grow into a regional park.
- The city council approved annexation of the Paso Robles acreage at a public hearing on August 23. Future council meetings will address the development agreement and TIRZ.
- Windemere, the development on Sink Creek above Spring Lake, has withdrawn its application for a variance to allow over 75 units with only one exit/entrance road. We hear they plan to re-apply at a future date for a development of 75 or fewer units, so they will not have to ask for a variance.