by ANDY SEVILLA
Kyle council members are poised to pass standards regulating nonresidential development in the city’s IH-35 Overlay District.
Though the ordinance is still fluid and continuously undergoing amendments by city staff and elected officials, council members approved its first reading in a 6-1 vote Dec. 4, with only council member Brad Pickett dissenting.
“I want just a little more time to look through this and do some comparative analysis,” Pickett said on the dais about his “nay” vote. “I like the changes that have been adopted… I may be able to even approve this, but I just don’t want to vote for it having not looked into every aspect.”
The development standards have been in the works since April, according to planning director Sofia Nelson. But because real changes have been made with some of the ordinance’s requirements, Pickett suggested tabling the matter for further review, as not all updates had yet been incorporated into the law before first reading.
Some of the amended changes presented to council on first reading include tweaks to parking requirements, screening, pedestrian walkways, detentions ponds and design features, among others.
Nelson said those updates were made as a result of continued feedback on the ordinance, which had been coming into the city even as late as the evening before the proposed law’s first reading. Nelson said other changes were still necessary to be made in writing.
Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson said she appreciated the community involvement on the matter, but spoke about displeasure with some of the feedback received from developers.
“I was discouraged to hear talk about how Kyle is not ready for these kind of requirements and that we didn’t have the land values. But we cannot improve land values unless we guarantee and secure that through improving new buildings on IH-35. I don’t think we can really say we’re doing everything as a city to improve land values west or east of IH-35 if we don’t start there, where the heart of our commercial corridor really is,” Johnson said.
Council is slated to take up the matter on final reading at the Dec. 18 regular meeting, when they will also hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance.