With property situated in the picturesque Texas Hill Country just 5 minutes west of I-35 and San Marcos, developers of the La Cima master planned community have worked with Hays County to create a 700-acre perpetual habitat conservation preserve. This addition brings the total acreage of contiguous parkland in this area to over 1,800 acres, making it one of the largest urban preserves and trail systems in the nation. Officials from the County, City of San Marcos, and the La Cima Development Group celebrated the creation of the preserve at a ceremony last month.
San Marcos has been named the fastest growing city in the country for the past 3 years in a row. “This preserve allows us to strike the right balance between important conservation and environmental goals and our economic development goals,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley said.
Hays County created a Regional Habitat Conservation Plan (RHCP) in July 2013 to allow the County to work directly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to obtain fast tracked certification and mitigation credits for Endangered Species Act compliance, rather than going through the historically lengthy process with the Federal Government. This easier process has allowed the County and real estate developments to save a significant amount of time and money. The La Cima 700-acre preserve is the first property in the County’s RHCP. County officials say the conservation bank credits from the RHCP will enable them to create a perpetual fund that will last at least three decades, allowing for the purchase of additional preserve lands in the future.
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