Update on Local Developments (SMRF)
SMGA promotes responsible development. We do not object to new development in general; we live in a growing area and maintaining dense growth in town will reduce pressure on outlying areas to develop. But we do object to development that seriously impairs the ecology, the watershed and recharge zone, and the habitat of endangered species. We encourage the citizens of San Marcos to be aware of the issues and to voice suggestions, revisions, and thoughts at public input sessions.
Thanks to SMRF for keeping the community informed with the information below. We encourage you to subscribe to the SMRF newsletter so you can read their updates first hand and play an active part in shaping our community. Subscribe by emailing [email protected]
P&Z TUESDAY NIGHT, Sept. 28, tomorrow, starting at 6 p.m. Go a few minutes early to sign up to speak. Two major recharge zone developments are on the agenda, Buie Tract, Windemere, plus the developer of Paso Robles is up about their other development, Blanco Vista. At Council last week, many people FOR Paso Robles stood up to read a very flawed letter from the geologist of Paso Robles which the city has posted on their website. They read from it, in series, each reading a paragraph to refute SMRF’s concerns about the aquifer. The newspapers said that there were an overwhelming number of people FOR Paso Robles speaking at the meeting, and they were right. However, we let them know that Dr. Longley of the EARDC would be sending them the SA golf course requirements for their recharge zone in San Antonio, and SMRF was going to stand firm with the aquifer scientists and oppose using wastewater for irrigation on recharge, contributing and transition zones of the property, as well as oppose the pesticides and chemicals that would harm the wells in the aquifer. Thanks to the few of you who came to speak as well, making very good points…Email [email protected] with your thoughts. We urge you to be there Tuesday.
BLANCO VISTA: The Blanco Vista subdivision built by the same developers as Paso Robles is now asking P&Z to approve 900 apartments that were not in its original plans. This change is for financial reasons since lots are not selling at Blanco Vista. Also they are proposing some commercial or retail to be scattered throughout what was supposed to be a single family master-planned community. This is going to be quite controversial among those homeowners who have already built, I would imagine, and relevant to Paso Robles since it is the same developer. But P&Z has total control on whether this happens; we hear it does not go to Council normally afterwards for this kind of “minor” change. See P&Z meetings online or on TV, they are on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings at 6, each month. But it is best to attend.
WINDEMERE: We were finally able to get the plans for Windemere’s new road concept from the city, showing how Windemere will try to get a variance at P&Z on Sept. 28 to build a narrower entrance road than required. The entrance is on the very border of the 100 year flood plain of Sink Creek, for the 75 homes they plan to build on part of it. Sink Creek flows to Spring Lake. They are saving part of their property for later for commercial and apartments (shown on earlier plans), in hopes that the city will extend Craddock to their property across the huge canyon of Sink Creek. Since this bridge costs many millions, it may not happen right away. Their variance, if P&Z grants it, will allow them to have an entrance road right of way that is 47 ft wide instead of the 60 required in city ordinances. They will eliminate the bike path and also the space between the sidewalks and the pavement, in order to get by with this narrow right of way. There will still be sidewalks but they will be right on the curb. They will raise the road slightly because a part is in the flood plain. This road will still be a problem in case of a big flood or a fire, as it will be the only entrance for the 75 homes, and we will point that out to P&Z. To write to P&Z, use [email protected]. Sign up to speak before the 6 p.m. meeting on Sept. 28, and this development is also on the recharge zone, like part of Paso Robles.
BUIE TRACT: Our engineer’s recent study of the Buie Tract geologic assessment approved by TCEQ has found many deficiencies besides the ones we already pointed out in our protest of this third project on the recharge zone. We have been trying to get maps of the watershed plan the Buie Tract is almost finished with, since they have worked on it with the city for several weeks. Our open records request made about two weeks ago was lost at city hall but we finally got the map Friday. Meanwhile, the P&Z meeting on Sept. 28 will see the developers come back to try to change the zoning on the small 2.2 acre tract that they left out last time, in order to cut out part of the homeowners who had signed a petition against the development. The city accepted this maneuver as legal, and so the citizen’s petition was just barely short of enough signatures to require a supermajority at council to vote for the rezoning. It would likely have failed last time if the 2.2 acre tract was not cut out in that very unusual maneuver. Now this 2.2 acre tract is coming back, to be rezoned to Mixed Use so commercial uses can be placed up against the existing single family homes on that corner of Craddock and Bishop down to Grant Court. To express your views, email [email protected] or show up the 28th.