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City council discusses city comprehensive plan, outreach campaign

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Star file photo

At its Jan. 16 meeting, San Marcos City Council held a discussion over “Vision SMTX Comprehensive Plan” and how its outreach campaign will be conducted.

The “Vision SMTX Comprehensive Plan” is a visionary document that will guide the housing, environmental, economic, transportation and land-use decisions in San Marcos for the next 20 years.

Mayor Jane Hughson said the plan does not only benefit wealthy neighborhoods.

“We’re looking at protecting all neighborhoods, but honestly the higher dollar neighborhoods aren’t going to need such protection because they’re built out and planned for,” Hughson said. “What I’m looking for is to protect neighborhoods who don’t have those options, like Sunset Acres, Blanco Gardens and those near the university are often in danger of change the neighborhood doesn’t want.”

The second reading and adoption of the plan was postponed from Jan. 16 to an undetermined date after the public outreach campaign has ended.

The public outreach campaign will include a survey for citizens with which questions regarding specific items, changes, comments and plan preference will be responded to.

The survey will be available through a written response, an online form or Konveio, an online direct communicating platform and is set to open from Feb. 2 to Feb. 23.

Through Konveio, responses can be seen and liked or disliked by other participants. Council decided against allowing participants to comment on other responses in a 3-2 vote.

Councilmember Mark Gleason opposed the open comment system raising concerns about potential debate between citizens discouraging people from participating in the survey.

“Someone might hold back on a comment knowing that it’s going to get called out online, they should free to say what they want without worrying about a back and forth,” Gleason said.

Councilmember Alyssa Garza advocated for the open comment system in favor of open dialogue and discourse between participants.

“High school and college students use similar [communication] methods and generally speaking people behave themselves,” Garza said. “Having an open dialogue is part of being an adult and healthy.”

The San Marcos City Council meets at 6 p.m. every first and third Tuesday of each month. For more information, visit the City Council website.

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