Throughout this year, the Downtown Association (DTA) Board, led by the efforts of President Jean Baggett, has sought to clarify changing requirements for Health Code compliance in San Marcos and to communicate the issues those changes create for much of the DTA membership and other businesses and organizations in San Marcos. The policy changes have already resulted in the modification of many downtown events and contributed in part to decisions by some businesses to close or relocate.
In late October, following numerous informal conversations without any change in policy from the City, the Downtown Association Board sent a letter to the City Manager’s office specifically regarding Temporary Event Food Permit Requirements and Fees. The DTA expressed frustration with the changing requirements, high fees, and difficulty in obtaining consistent responses. The DTA has requested significantly lower fees and the re-evaluation of City policy for requiring event permits for small community events where light refreshments and snacks are offered to customers, typically complimentary.
The DTA letter is attached below, as is a letter from the City in which multiple health code matters are addressed. Notably, the DTA continues to dispute many of the conclusions and responses in Staff’s response letter.
The City Health Department has discussed taking the adoption of the 2015 Texas Food Establishment Rules (and staff’s interpretations and local implementation thereof) to City Council for over a year, but to date has not yet brought this matter before Council. The City has a dedicated website, including FAQs on the matter, which can be accessed at this link.
The DTA Board encourages all parties with concerns on this matter to reach out directly to the Mayor and Council, which can be emailed at this link. It is important for your voice to be heard on this issue either with your letter or in conversation with Council members.
The Downtown Association of San Marcos will stay actively involved in this matter and expects to address Council directly once the item is placed on a future agenda.