The innovative process that led to the creation of Vision San Marcos: A River Runs Through Us was characterized by its compressed schedule, non-linear nature and emphasis on citizen participation (Vision page 21).
Visioning: Visioning began with the Dream San Marcos visioning process which was comprised of 3 parts: the crowdsourcing exercise, the Core-4 Collaboration Report, and the visioning workshops. The Visioning Documentation can be found in the Addendum (PDF).
Education: The City of San Marcos hosted a series of education sessions. Professionals spoke to interested citizens on the topics of Comprehensive Planning, Economic Development, Environmental Protection, Housing, Land use, Neighborhoods, Public Outreach, Social Media, Stormwater Management, Transportation, the University, Zoning, etc.
Growth Preservation Allocation (GPA) Exercise: This exercise allowed citizens to create their own growth scenario for the City assuming a 2035 population increase of approximately 33,000 and a retail square footage increase of 1 million. Also known as the "chip exercise," these two half-day workshops provided participants with maps of San Marcos and LEGOs which were scaled to the map and represented different land uses and development intensities. Areas for preservation were identified and the LEGOs placed in areas preferred by the groups to represent small and large scale developments (Vision page 28 to 29).
Design Rodeo: 3 growth scenarios were created from the Growth and Preservation Allocation (GPA) Exercise and were presented at the Design Rodeo to be tested in terms of their environmental, transportation and fiscal impacts. The three scenarios were: Urban Core, Multi-Center and Trend. Public input was gathered daily, analyzed and used for the next day’s work. By the end of the week, testing, refining and public input resulted in a Final Preferred Scenario Map (PDF) (Vision page 28 to 29).