Ambitious agenda set for Tuesday

Bonds, booze and being able to rent your home to vacationers are all topics on the agenda for Tuesday’s, likely very long, city council meeting.

The council is set to call for a May bond election. On Tuesday, the council will finalize the ballot language, set polling places and times and finalize other details. For now, the plan calls for two propositions, one dealing with public safety, the other a library expansion. Together the two bonds proposals total about $32 million.

Last month the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission voted 5-1 to give Gumby’s Pizza and Wings a conditional use permit (CUP) that would allow the restaurant to serve alcoholic drinks at their planned new location on West Hopkins Street. That location is a stone’s throw from the little H-E-B and across the street from a 24-hour laundromat but it’s also two doors down from the Crystal River Inn and about a block from the historic district.

The new storefront boasts a patio and expanded kitchen. PHOTO BY RUSSELL WILDE.

Inn owner Cathy Dillon appealed the CUP, and now council will hold a public hearing on the matter. The council has three options — overrule the planning commissioners and deny the permit, allow the CUP to stand or modify the permit. P&Z has required the restaurant to limit the hours they’re allowed to serve alcohol, prohibited outdoor music and restricted dumping empty bottles to daylight hours.

Gumby’s owners insist their plan is to be a restaurant first, they also say they are the only non-chain pizza place in town that doesn’t offer stiff drinks and two more alcohol-serving pizza places are expected to open soon in the city. Gumby’s supporters packed the planning and zoning meeting last month and another large crowd is expected Tuesday.

According to city code, if the CUP had originally been denied it would take six of the seven council member to overturn the decision. The permit was approved and this appeal does not contain that same requirement. The item is set as a public hearing so potentially dozens of people could speak for and against the permit.

Another agenda item that is expected to take up a significant amount of time is the city’s efforts to regulate short term rentals. The ordinance is expected to see some major changes before it is voted on. Friday at the council’s packet meeting, where council members typically ask city staff questions about agenda items, the idea of requiring a CUP was discussed. The reasoning was to be clear that the city’s short-term rental ordinance could be changed in the future. Because the CUP would only be valid for one year, it would keep existing short-term rentals from being “grandfathered in” if future changes are made.

Council will also receive presentations from two companies hoping to help the city find its next city manager and the Hays County Hazard Mitigation plan. Appointments will also be made to more than 20 boards and commissions.

Tuesday is the first of three council meetings set for the week. On Wednesday, a second joint meeting with the Panning & Zoning commission will be held at the Activity Center. The Code SMTX workshop will cover new water quality requirements, new drainage requirements, parking, corridor overlays, and parkland dedication. The council will meet again Friday to lay out their goals for the year in a visioning workshop.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666