SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The U.S. Census Bureau states that Hays County is the fourth fastest-growing county in the United States. San Marcos, the largest city in Hays, is bearing the brunt of that growth.
That’s one of the reasons the city commissioned the Sustainability Committee.
The broadly-worded mission of the committee states the committee will “facilitate environmental stewardship and responsibility through education efforts and programs.”
Joca Marquez is on the committee and also serves on the city council.
“The point is not to reinvent the wheel, and not to explore things that are new, rather to work with organizations that are already established,” says Marquez.
She says that a similar effort to the new committee was implemented years ago, but failed to get any traction. Marquez also notes that there is not enough communication between the city, the county, Texas State University, and other organizations in Hays County that address how to handle the growth in population.
Still, Marquez’s commitment to the Sustainability Committee brought her to the City of San Marcos Planing and Zoning Commission meeting — where the big item was the approval of the 700-acre SMART Terminal Watershed Protection Program.
Engineers had to present a plan that address flood concerns of the SMART Terminal. The terminal is built close the San Marcos River and closer to it’s flood plain.
“The residents in this area already get flooded without this huge 700 acres development,” says Marquez.
The Planing and Zoning Commission did approve the Watershed Protection Plan.
“After the project improvements are constructed — the building, the parking lot — the runoff for the two-year, the ten-year, the-hundred year storms, must be less-than or equal-to what it was prior to development,” says Greg Schwarz, an engineer for the City of San Marcos.
It’s issues like the SMART Terminal and its watershed plan that make the Sustainability Committee viable, says Marquez.
“This is great way for us to come together and start putting things into practice.”