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Who benefits from Lindsey Hill?

Letter to the Editor
Sunday, August 12, 2018

Editor,

My name is Don Neese and I live at 416 Blanco St. which is approximately 1/2 block from the proposed Lindsey Hill development. Simply, I enthusiastically support this development. I live practically next door and as such will have to either endure or enjoy whatever happens on that property. As such I feel my opinion and desires far outweigh those of people from other neighborhoods who may never encounter this property again. They come to the meetings and protest, disrupt the proceedings and in general hijack the meeting without once ever producing data or fact to support their obviously baseless opinions. Their objective is not to simply protest but rather to disrupt the process and create fear and confusion. Again, please give significant thought, support to my own and my neighbors’ desires for this project to move forward without further delay, for we are the ones who will feel the direct impact. Below are facts related to the development:

Lindsey Hill is a “check off the boxes” response to Vision San Marcos. Among other things, it allows the city of San Marcos to achieve the following goals:

  • An expanded range of housing and lifestyle choices
  • Encouragement of walking, biking, and use of public transportation (i.e., putting people at the center of their daily activities, and not forcing them into their cars)
  • A gentler environmental footprint (through elimination of sprawl and reduction of traffic)
  • Community connectedness (physical and social)
  • Concentration of development in already developed areas with existing infrastructure
  • Avoidance of municipal financial burdens associated with new development in far flung areas (roads; utilities; police and fire support)
  • Re-energization of downtown and new support for downtown merchants
  • A substantial new tax ratable
  • Strengthening of existing neighborhoods through new, permanent residents who will become invested in those areas and eventually look for home ownership opportunities
  • Graceful transition among three distinct neighborhoods (heritage, downtown, and university)
  • Free public park space (provided at no expense to the taxpayers)
  • Because jobs follow people, Lindsey Hill enhances San Marcos as a place for new economy employers

Who benefits from Lindsey Hill? Everyone. Front-line neighbors, who enjoy dramatic enhancement of the residential character of their immediate neighborhood by the addition of highend apartment homes and condominiums. Extended neighbors, who enjoy stabilization of their neighborhoods by proximity to a graceful transition zone dedicated primarily to high-end residential use. Nearby property owners who historically may have leased their residential properties to students, but who now — because of rising property values triggered by the Lindsey Hill project — have compelling new economic opportunities to sell those same properties to people seeking to make their permanent homes out of those properties. Downtown merchants, who acquire new permanent, year-round customers (not just students) for their goods and services. Environmentalists, who celebrate and encourage growth and development that does not require sprawl, disturbance of previously undeveloped areas, or generation of new impervious areas. Art galleries and art organizations, who depend on close proximity to and frequency of patronage by people who appreciate and support the arts. The community at large, through the creation of a very significant new tax ratable and the creation of Poet’s Corner, a park and community gathering space available to the public. Faculty members at Texas State University, less than 40 percent of whom currently live in San Marcos because of the absence of attractive, flexible living opportunities in close proximity to campus. Economic development officials, who now have a unique competitive asset to present to 21st Century, “new economy” employers who want to locate where their employees most want to be: walkable, connected, environmentally responsible, high quality of life communities. City staff and elected officials, who seek to avoid costly and inefficient expansion of municipal services (police, fire, and utilities and roads) into far-flung areas of the city. The city as a whole, who can realize the stated goals of the city’s Master Plan: Vision San Marcos to achieve high-quality, intelligent, economically efficient growth without sprawl. All of San Marcos, who can enjoy the distinction, prestige and bragging rights that come from showing the Central Texas corridor how high quality small city life and economic growth can be managed simultaneously, and who, in the process, can create meaningful career and employment opportunities for the residents of San Marcos now and in the future.

Thank you,

Don Neese