The San Carlos Ecozone – A Special Economic Zone (SEZ)
North of the town center (CBD) is a 212-hectare Special Economic Zone duly approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as an industrial estate with some residential and commercial uses.  This is one of only 100 such sites in the country allowing businesses locating here special incentives under the law. In particular, the SEZ, as part of a larger plan to move the economy away from the dying sugar industry, will be courting a variety of agro-based manufacturing industries.

First phase of development within the special economic zone is illustrated by this concept plan.  The zone will be accessed from the Circumferential Road 2 (C-2) and the National Highway via a grand roundabout.  The total area in phase 1 is 25 hectares including roadways.  The intention of the illustration is to show how a variety of parcel sizes might be integrated together yet allowing flexibility in both size and configuration.

Detailed Design Guidelines are being developed to help structure the overall development and ensure that the quality of the environment within the eco-zone is maintained.  Some preliminary guidelines which are illustrated on the Plan include:
• Major roadways (Collector Roads) should be heavily landscaped with trees and shrubs and a wall should help separate the industrial uses from these roadways.
• A variety of parcel sizes should be available with the minimum size at 1,250 sq. meters and the maximum one hectare.
• One hectare parcels could be a consolidation of 2,500 or 5,000 sq. meter parcels.
Consolidated one hectare parcels shall be made available for industries requiring large areas.
• Buildings should be situated along the roadways with parking and service functions behind.
• If parking and service functions front the roadways a wall should separate service areas from the roadway.
• A light rail station should be located at the entrance to the SEZ to facilitate transportation for the workers.
• Design Guidelines regarding height, massing, service/loading, landscaping, lighting and signage should be developed to ensure a high quality work environment.
• The smallest lots might be consolidated providing an opportunity for traditional shop-house style mini-industries.