CUP for Gumby’s would disrupt nearby environs
Dear Mayor Thomaides and Members of the San Marcos City Council:
San Marcos is my hometown. My family moved there in 1974, and although I have lived in other cities, states, and countries, San Marcos will always be home to me. I grew up swimming in and floating down the San Marcos River, walking through the Heritage District admiring the old homes, and spending my pocket change on stickers and little boxes at Heartworks/Paper Bear. I attended every public school in San Marcos, read and learned at the library, and participated in summer camps on the university campus. Although the city has exploded in population in the last decade, I can still see the charm that attracted my parents so long ago.
I realize that the City Council must balance the needs of the citizens of San Marcos with the business interests of local merchants, many of whom cater to the wishes of university students. As long as I can remember, there has been tension between the long-term residents of the city and the growing number of students who stay for only a few years. However, short-term, short- sighted decisions often lead to a lower quality of life for those who plant roots in a place. The small-town charm that attracts tourists, new residents, and students could easily be destroyed by misguided decisions made by this City Council.
It has come to my attention that the property at 312 West Hopkins St., ostensibly a pizza parlor, was granted a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) by the Planning and Zoning Commission to allow hard liquor and beer to be sold on its premises. The 300 block of West Hopkins St. already has a bar, Zelicks Icehouse, and does not need another business that sells alcohol, especially since it is so close to the downtown area which is nearly overrun with bars. Other establishments on the 300 block would suffer from yet another liquor-serving business, namely the Crystal River Inn and The Right Step, a sober living rehabilitation center. The fact that a kindergarten is housed just across the street is another reason to block the pizza parlor from serving alcohol. In addition, the proposed pizza parlor is only a few blocks from the Heritage District and three churches.
I urge you, Mr. Mayor, and the members of the City Council to overturn the CUP granted by the P & Z Commission to the owners of the 312 property. It is within your power to deny the sale of alcohol, which would help preserve the charm and small-town feel of San Marcos and actually attract tourists to town. One more bar squeezed onto the 300 block of West Hopkins would only drag down property values, clog traffic, and harm residents and other businesses.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely, Kristen Davis Kline