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Sunday, April 14, 2024

On April 9, the industry website com showed 2,711 vacant apartments in San Marcos.

These apartments are move in ready. Additional apartments are under construction. Do we need to approve more? Not in my opinion.

The City Council is considering an apartment complex at the intersection of North Street and Lindsey.

I ask the Council to reconsider the complex and deny it – for the following four reasons.

First, this is an older area of town. This area currently has affordable housing in the form of older, small apartment complexes with surface parking lots. The older houses in the area are also reasonably priced. Why demolish affordable housing to build something new that will NOT be affordable?

Second, this area has narrow streets. Congestion is an issue. If tenants park on the street, as happens near other apartment complexes here in San Marcos, how will emergency vehicles get through?

Third, I’m told that this area already has drainage problems when it rains. The older, small apartment complexes and their surface parking lots allow rain water to flow freely. Large new buildings, each with a huge footprint, could concentrate storm water and make drainage problems worse. People at the bottom of the hill and beyond from this new complex could have more serious flooding issues. Do we want to make flooding worse?

Fourth, storms, floods, and wildfires are becoming more severe. Another aspect of new development is the nature of American law. It evolves as our society evolves. The legal lens through which our society views storms, floods and wildfires is evolving. Private companies and governmental entities around the country are being sued because of harm related to storms and wildfires. These lawsuits address various aspects of storms and fires. Here in Texas the first lawsuit about the Smokehouse Creek fire was filed before the fire was even out. Some cases concern damage done by floods. If you don’t believe me, please do an Internet search on lawsuits and Hurricane Harvey. Do we want lawsuits against the city about damage done by floods?

In 2012 and 2013, scores of residents begged the Council NOT to approve an apartment complex near the river. The residents feared that this complex would worsen flooding. In 2015 their fears came true. Two terrible floods happened in one year. No one sued the city about those floods.

In 2024 the mood of the U.S. is much more combative, much more aggressive. Would people sue the city if new apartments worsen flooding in this area of town? Very possibly. Better to protect people and property!

For these important reasons, I urge the City Council to deny the application for apartments at North and Lindsey.

Best, Camille Phillip

San Marcos Record

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