SAN MARCOS – The Discovery Village development project is well underway in San Marcos with more than 200 residential units expected to be ready by 2022.
The site used to be reserved for a new Scripps Health hospital until the San Marcos City Council voted to turn it into a residential development back in 2018.
The property, which is west of Twin Oaks Valley Road, at the intersection of Bent Avenue and Discovery Street, consists of two separate projects.
Discovery Village North will include stores, offices, eateries, multifamily homes, and could eventually offer a site for a new school. Discovery Village South will be a lower-density neighborhood of 220 single-family homes.
According to City Planner Joe Farace, the residential units are being built by two different developers, Shea Homes and Lennar.
“There’s 131 of them that are supposed to be a more traditional type of single-family homes that are being built by Lennar,” Farace said. “And then 89 of them are supposed to be in more of a motor court configuration, and that is going to be built by Shea Homes. So there are two different developers and they’re all doing a portion of the site.”
John Melson, a resident of San Marcos, told The Coast News that he’s seen some mixed reactions about the development over the past couple of years.
“I’ve seen some people sort of sad to see the development take place,” Melson said. “As cities grow in wide-open areas, to see it get bulldozed and blasted down and buildings coming in… sure, that’s kind of sad to see, but you know, cities get developed and housing gets made and parks get built and schools need to get built. That sort of stuff happens.”
Residents and community groups in past council meetings have also raised concerns about the new development potentially causing overcrowding in the nearby schools. However, Farace said that there is still the possibility of eventually opening a new school on or near the site.
As far as concerns about traffic, Farace said the construction of Discovery Street is part of the project, which should substantially improve traffic conditions in the area.
Melson said that, for the most part, he has seen a lot of support for the project, especially because the city needs more housing, which is exactly what this development would provide.
“The project allows housing and development and the much-needed discovery extension through that undeveloped area of land,” Melson said. “Mostly people are concerned with the noise, which is understandable, but it will hopefully all be worth it.”