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City Council approves Lindsey Street Housing propositions, hears calls for ceasefire in Gaza

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Star file photo

At it’s April 2 meeting, San Marcos City Council held public hearings to vote on the propositions for a new housing development in downtown San Marcos around Lindsey Street.

The developer requested city council to vote in favor of an amendment to change the designation of the area for the Lindsey Street project from “Existing Neighborhood” to “High Intensity-Downtown” for the development of the project. The Planning and Zoning committee unanimously recommended to deny this amendment while staff recommended to approve.

Jared Chumsae, a San Marcos resident and volunteer for the Tenant Advocacy Group, gave a public comment opposing the amendment and project.

“Purpose built student housing in this city is overbuilt by over 8000 beds already” Chumsae said. “Let’s call this project what it is, a private for-profit dorm with very shady leasing language.”

Councilmember Saul Gonzales questioned the developer of the project on how affordable the housing will be.

Matthew Kenyon, the developer on the project, said he would possibly offer a couple affordable units as a concession but said the housing would not be considered affordable.

“I’m not going to stand up here and lie to you,” Kenyon said. “If anyone thinks that anyone is going to build affordable anything right now that’s going to be a stretch”

Council voted in favor of changing the designation to “High Intensity-Downtown” in a 6-1 vote with Gonzales voting against it. The final vote will occur on April 16.

City council also responded to the potential of voting on a hypothetical ceasefire resolution for Gaza.

Amanda Rodriguez, a San Marcos resident, asked councilmembers for a response regarding signing a ceasefire resolution for Gaza during the Question and Answer (Q&A) session with the press and public.

“Hypothetically speaking if a resolution was in front of you today, to take a vote on, would you [vote in favor of a ceasefire]? And if your answer is no, that you would not vote in favor of that, then why?” Rodriguez said.

Councilmember Alyssa Garza criticized the way past meetings have handled press and public questions while expressing that she would vote in favor of a hypothetical ceasefire resolution.

“We pick and choose when we are going to be strict when it comes to answering questions from the press and public when analyzing whether it’s on the agenda or not,” Garza said. “I would vote yes.”

Councilmember Mark Gleason criticized the question itself as being outside the scope of city council.

“Short answer is no,” Gleason said. “I’m not going to sit here and waste time discussing something of international matters. You want to put something on there that says world peace, go ahead, but I’m not gonna be spending time discussing it.”

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

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