San Marcos awards contract to update general plan

SAN MARCOS — City Council voted 4-1 to go forward with a complete revamp of the city’s General Plan on April 28.
Most cities have a General Plan, a comprehensive policy document that defines the type, amount and location of future growth and development within the city. EDAW Inc. was given a $1.35 million contact to update the document, which was first drafted 22 years ago.
Two factors drove the council’s push to revise the aging plan. The first is San Marcos’ almost doubled population since the first plan was written.
EDAW representative John Bridges said he planned a series of community workshops to ensure the residents had a voice in guiding the plan’s creation.
Environmental and economic sustainability was the other big issue. Mayor Jim Desmond and several council members insisted that the new plan be able to meet even the most conservative state standards.
Councilman Mike Preston opposed the plan update, citing unclear and changing environmental standards. He also said that, given City Manager Paul Malone’s assessment that city staff costs would be considerable, the price tag would be too high now that the city was in a recession.
“I think it’s a great project,” Preston said. “The only problem is timing … good idea, bad timing. We should hold off and do this in a couple of years when we know what our budget looks like, when things are better.”
“The time to do this is now,” Councilman Chris Orlando said, echoing the sentiment of the other council members. “We could hide under a rock until the recession’s over or we could position San Marcos to be a leader for the future.”

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