Being Good Neighbors

The City of San Marcos is home to several colleges and a state university, which brings a unique blend of residents to the community. Students, families and retirees all proudly call San Marcos home, but each of these groups may have different lifestyles.

For example, some students may stay up late with friends to blow off steam, while their neighbors may be a working family who starts their day in the early morning. The key to harmonious neighborhood relations is to find balance and understanding between everyone’s circumstances.

Know Your Neighbor

Introduce Yourself – whether a student or permanent resident, be sure to meet your neighbors. Exchange contact information for emergencies and spend a couple of minutes learning about each other. Let your neighbors know you care about the community you now call home.neighbors

Join Nextdoor – A growing number of Santa Fe Hills residents have joined the private social network, Nextdoor Santa Fe Hills, which is exclusive to only those who can verify their address is within Santa Fe Hills. Nextdoor is a platform that all neighborhoods can use in order to communicate with neighbors about events, crime, safety, garage sales or any you want. It’s a great way to meet neighbors and stay on top of what’s going on in your community.

Share Expectations – Let your neighbor know when you need sleep and the kinds of sounds you hear when you are trying to sleep. Share your experiences (i.e. people throwing loud parties or unruly pets) and let them know what types of activities might trigger a call to the sheriff.

Communicate and Support – Ask for help when you need it. Many neighbors are willing to lend a hand or a cup of sugar. Discuss concerns as they arise and before a situation escalates into something bigger.

Common Courtesy

  • Be friendly and say hello when you see your neighbors.
  • Watch your driving speed through residential areas.
  • Keep landscaping and your front yard free of debris and
  • Keep pets in fenced areas or on a leash and always pick up
    after them.
  • Participate in organized neighborhood activities.
  • Call the police if any activity seems suspicious to you.


A tidy yard and proper trash disposal contributes to the overall beauty of the neighborhood while fostering positive community relationships.

  • Find out whether yard maintenance is your responsibility (typical) or the landlord’s.
  • Know your trash and recycle collection days.
  • Bring in trash cans within 12 hours after garbage is collected.
  • Keep trash cans covered and do not let them overflow.


Inform your guests of neighborhood parking policies to avoid irritating neighbors and to save your guests a parking ticket.

  • Be mindful of curbside parking restrictions in your neighborhood.
  • Do not move your neighbor’s trash cans to make space for parking.
  • Parking on lawns, sidewalks or blocking driveways is illegal.


If you are an early riser, be mindful of your night-owl neighbors who enjoy sleeping in. Also, be kind to your neighbors whose job or family responsibilities mean they get up early every day. Remember, noise at any time of the day is illegal if it is considered a nuisance by your neighbors and could result in hefty fines.

Note: San Marcos quiet hours are between 10 pm to 7 am on weekdays and 11 pm to 7 am on weekends.


It is illegal to:

  • Consume alcohol in public in San Marcos.
  • Furnish alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
  • Possess alcohol if under 21.
  • Be intoxicated in public.
  • Drink and drive.
  • Urinate or engage in lewd conduct in public.

Hosting a Party

  • Talk to neighbors before hosting a party. Inform them of event details and let them know they can contact you if any problems arise.
  • Observe state and local laws regarding alcohol and drug use.
  • Keep the noise down and know the city’s quiet hours.
  • If your party extends after hours, move guests indoors and keep the volume down. Monitor the noise level by going outside periodically to listen.
  • Discourage guests from making noise as they leave your house and the neighborhood.
  • Clean up promptly after your guests checking both the front yard and neighborhood for trash.
  • If your party grows out of control, please call the sheriff’s department immediately.
  • Social Host Ordinance – Anyone hosting a social gathering in San Marcos is required to verify the age of guests, control beverage access to those under 21, control the quantity of alcohol consumed at gathering and supervise minors.

Example of consequences: Several arrests made, Taser used, in wild San Marcos house party

When a Good Neighbor Goes Bad

In the City of San Marcos, penalties for party-related violations are given to both the host and the property owner. Four or more similar violations within a one-year period can land you a misdemeanor in San Marcos.

An extensive criminal record will significantly hamper chances for finding employment, admission to graduate school and financial aid eligibility.

Wild parties are almost always called in by neighbors and swiftly disbanded.

Who to Contact

Emergencies: 911
Violations that need attention: Call the County Sheriff, San Marcos Station (760) 510-5200
Code Compliance Questions: Call (760) 744-1050 x3206
All other questions:  San Marcos Student Neighbor Relations Commission at [email protected].

Common San Marcos Code Violations & Penalties