About the Update to the Downtown Design Standards and Guidelines
In 2012, the City contracted with Winter & Company to develop and adopt Downtown Design Guidelines and Architectural Standards to regulate the look and feel of new buildings in the downtown area. As presented in 2012, the purpose of the design standards was "to enhance the effectiveness of the Smartcode in downtown by adding context-sensitive design standards, supplemented with design guidelines for special cases, and revising the signage standards for the downtown area." The standards and guidelines adopted in 2012 were carried over into the new San Marcos Development Code
in 2018 and into Appendix A of the San Marcos Design Manual.
Both standards and guidelines are utilized when reviewing new development in the downtown area.
In January, 2020, the San Marcos City Council provided direction to update the design standards and guidelines using the guidance of the previous consultants, Winter & Company. The year-long project included community input, policy guidance, and stakeholder expertise to create new standards and guidelines for Downtown San Marcos. The update to the design standards and guidelines was adopted by City Council on March 16, 2021.