Codes & Ordinances

The City of San Marcos has several adopted codes, ordinances, and design guides which are used to guide development. An overview of past or proposed updates can be found here. Explore the documents below:

San Marcos Development Code

The City of San Marcos adopted a new Development Code on April 17, 2018, which was most recently amended on October 17, 2023. The development code is the result of the Code SMTX process. Code SMTX was a four-year community collaboration that has provided San Marcos with a better toolkit for managing growth that is in line with the Vision San Marcos Comprehensive Plan. An overview of all past amendments made to the 2018 Development Code can be found on the proposed updates webpage. To view an interactive book version of the code, click the image. You may also download a PDF version: San Marcos Development Code - Effective October 17, 2023

Design Manual

The San Marcos Design Manual is an aide in meeting the design related standards of the San Marcos Development Code. The Design Manual addresses topics such as Downtown Design Guidelines, Parklets & Sidewalk Cafes, Historic Guidelines, and the Preferred Plant List. To view an interactive book version of the Design Manual, click the book image. You may also download a PDF version: Design Manual - Last Updated March 6, 2021

Code of Ordinances

The online Code of Ordinances includes the City Charter, and Subpart A, General Ordinances, adopted by the City of San Marcos such as provisions regarding streets and sidewalks, fire prevention, and solid waste. Prior versions of the code can also be explored in the Code Archive menu.

Building Codes

The Building Code guides the Building Permit process of development. Download the Ordinance 2023-09 adopting these codes and local amendments. As of April 1, 2023, the following codes are in effect:

  • International Building Code 2021
  • International Fire Code 2021
  • International Mechanical Code 2021
  • International Plumbing Code 2021
  • International Fuel Gas Code 2021
  • National Electric Code 2020
  • International Energy Conservation Code 2021
  • International Residential One/Two Family Code 2021
  • International Property Maintenance Code 2021
  • International Existing Building Code 2021

Engineering Design and Construction Guide

The Engineering Design & Construction Guide is managed by the Engineering Department and includes various resources for construction including information on Capitol Improvement Projects, Public Improvement Construction guidelines, Site Preparation guidelines, criteria manuals & forms, Standard Details, City of San Marcos specifications, and Standard Product Lists.