San Marcos has been growing consistently for nearly 30 years, going from a population of 55,000 in 2000 to almost 100,000 today.

San Marcos has benefited greatly from this growth. Our city is a great place to raise a family, get an education, and retire. However, all this growth has not come without costs. 

Residents continually express concerns about traffic congestion on our local roads, schools that are at or near capacity, and the high price of housing, wondering how young people, hourly wage earners, and students will ever be able to live in the city where they grew up, work, or go to school. Due to the lack of attainable housing the percentage of residents under the age of 40 is in decline and those over the age of 65 increases. 

As San Marcos continues to rise in prominence, its land becomes more valuable and the cost of constructing homes get more expensive. While increasing property values has many upsides – especially for those who own – San Marcos should not aspire to be a city only for the affluent and must provide housing opportunities for people of all incomes and ages. Right now, San Marcos’ housing supply is out of balance and offers little variety to our residents. We need a plan to change that.


The city needs to focus on smaller infill development projects, especially areas close to city amenities such are restaurants and parks that encourage walkability and the use of transit. Encouraging the incremental construction of smaller, more urban style housing in the core of the city will increase access to affordable housing for prospective buyers and renters, and will provide viable options for middle income people and young families starting out. We simply cannot continue building dwellings over 2000 sq. ft. and expect affordability. 

We also need to try and limit the purchase of our housing stock by institutional and other corporate investors. One of the (many) causes for high housing costs is the purchase of houses and condos (usually with cash) by large investors, who in turn make the property a rental, or flip it after making some repairs. In all these cases, a local person or family is prevented from getting in the market.

Every housing project presented to the city for approval will be considered on its own merits, and any individual who wants to build a custom home or a small development will be given every chance. However, it will be the San Marcos’ housing philosophy that the affordability of any housing built for rent or sale will be an important consideration when approving or rejecting a housing project.