In the next 20 years or so, more than 30,000 people are expected to move to San Marcos, but just where those new residents will live is up for debate.
"We’re working through design scenarios for the ultimate growth for the city of San Marcos,” Director of Planning and Development Matt Lewis said. “We're trying to allocate the next 33,000 people coming to the city by 2035."
Residents and city planners are grappling with how to deal with that growth while maintaining the river and the other characteristics that brought the people to the city in the first place. Transportation, housing, maintaining the city's character and ways to avoid urban sprawl are all being discussed.
"I know that the population is increasing and I want to know what our options are to deal with it," San Marcos resident Graham Daly said.
So far, plans have included increasing density downtown and pushing new developments to the east.
"Dense development in the center,” Texas State University student Alix Scarborough said. “Probably staying out of the west side of San Marcos which is very ecologically sensitive and a little bit more development east of I-35 which, I think, ultimately is going to be good for residents and good for students too."
When finished, the plan will be used to guide the planning and zoning of the city—hopefully creating a San Marcos in 2035 that current residents will still want to call home.
"Now is the time to plan for the growth rather than the growth planning for us," Lewis said.
The San Marcos Design Rodeo will continue Thursday and Friday at the San Marcos Activity Center.
The final recommendations will be used to develop the city's master plan, which will guide future development.