Engaging the Community in Drafting a Development Code

APA Texas Chapter


Friday, October 19, 2018
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. CDT

CM | 1.50

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The City of San Marcos was named the fastest growing City in the Nation for City's with a population of 50,000 and greater during 2012, 2013 and 2014. In response to rapid change and growth the community embarked on a six year planning process that included a new Comprehensive Plan and most recently the adoption of a new Development Code. This session will discuss the coordinated public planning processes, events and efforts that have led to a new planning framework shaped around guiding both how and where we grow as a City. The public participation process in San Marcos asked meaningful questions that were accessible to all and tailored for each stage of the project. The feedback received during events was tracked and communicated back out to the public before incorporation into the final product. San Marcos used an innovative approach to each and every public event making sure to incorporate many different forms of communication from print materials to digital and in person communication to virtual. The design and implementation of the public outreach and participation process surrounding planning efforts in San Marcos resulted in widespread community buy-in and commitment to the City's overall planning framework for how and where we grow as a City.

The purpose of this session will be to explore:
1) How the public participation process led to a new planning framework for directing growth in San Marcos.
2) How the public participation process changed from the comprehensive planning process to writing a technical development code.
3) The importance of establishing a vision first before embarking on writing development codes.


Abby Gillfillan

Abby Gillfillan is the Planning Manager for the City of San Marcos and has a graduate and undergraduate degree from Texas State University in Public Administration. Most recently she has successfully led a four year project to re-write the City’s Land Development Code. What she enjoys most about Planning ... Read More

Shannon Mattingly

Shannon Mattingly, AICP, is currently the Director of Planning and Development Services for the City of San Marcos, where she oversees the Planning, Building and CDBG Divisions. Formerly, Shannon was the Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of New Braunfels where she oversaw the Planning, Building, Health ... Read More

Contact Info

Barbara Holly, rholly@spamarrest.com