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City council approves final motion in SMART Terminal development

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City council approves final motion in SMART Terminal development

March 19, San Marcos residents opposed the SMART Terminal at the City Council meeting.Photo by Sierra Martin

March 19, San Marcos residents opposed the SMART Terminal at the City Council meeting.

Photo by Sierra Martin

March 19, San Marcos residents opposed the SMART Terminal at the City Council meeting.

Photo by Sierra Martin

March 19, San Marcos residents opposed the SMART Terminal at the City Council meeting.

Photo by Sierra Martin

Christopher Green

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San Marcos City Council approved an economic development incentive agreement with Texas Transportation Alliance that provides standards and guidelines developers of the SMART Terminal must follow.

The motion was one of three that were needed to allow the development of the SMART Terminal. The council also approved the annexation of 734.6 acres of land for development within the site of the terminal.

The first motion that was passed was for the incentive agreement, which requires developers of the terminal and potential companies within the terminal to follow guidelines from code SMTX and Transportation Master Plan. Some of these guidelines include flood control requirements, run off from on site development and noise control.

Council member Ed Mihalkanin said he supports the development because it will bring jobs and economic opportunities for the city through tax revenue.

“We have been struggling for years in not being able to provide jobs and economic opportunities for our citizens and this council is committed to workforce development and housing.”

“There’s still going to be a substantial increase in the taxable value of this property if the zoning and annexation pass.”

Other council members supporting the development included Lisa Prewitt and Mayor Jane Hughson.

Mayor Jane Hughson said she supports the development because of the jobs it will provide.

“I believe it’s a good opportunity for our city and our residents who will have jobs provided by this project,” said Hughson. “If I thought this was a bad project, I would vote against it.”

Citizens of San Marcos voiced their opposition to the SMART Terminal during a citizen comment period.

San Marcos resident Jordan Buckley said he opposes the development because of the lack of transparency.

“All of the SMART Terminal property is within the Martindale ETJ,” said Buckley. “If Martindale were to sue it could be detrimental to San Marcos. The lack of transparency is actually quite galling.”

San Marcos resident David Fergi said he thinks there are issues that need to be worked out regarding the annexation of the land.

“The city of Marindale has a claim to almost all of the property. So, before you vote on this issue you need to resolve that issue with the city of Martindale, said Fergi. “I would ask that you table these proposals until that issue is resolved.”

The San Marcos River Foundation is currently not opposing the development. Diane Wasseneich, director of the river foundation, said the development agreement abides by environmental codes.

“We waited until we saw the development agreement in the agenda packet. We’re afraid people aren’t understanding this is a different council dealing with different flood regulations.”

The next two motions were for land annexation into San Marcos county limits. All three motions were passed with a six to one vote with council member Jocabed Marquez as the single vote in opposition.

Other council members voted in favor citing that the development will bring jobs to San Marcos and a significant increase in tax revenue, which according to city council can be used for affordable housing and lowering the poverty rates in San Marcos.

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City council approves final motion in SMART Terminal development