By Moses Leos III
A pair of conceptualized master planned communities, totaling a combined 1,400 acres, are taking their first steps toward making their way to Kyle.
But Walton Development, the North American corporation planning to bring Kyle Estates and Pecan Woods to Kyle, is considering creating a Public Improvement District (PID) in both developments.
With bad experiences with PIDs in the past, Mayor Todd Webster hopes the current Kyle City Council can avoid similar issues in the future.
“It’s up to us to learn from that experience and not dismiss this thing outright, just because we had a bad experience,” Webster said. “Things could have gone a whole lot differently.”
Kyle council received its first look at Kyle Estates and Pecan Woods at the Oct. 21 city council meeting.
According to Adam Moore, Planning and Development Manager at Walton, the two developments would provide 1,600 single-family units with lot sizes of 40, 50 and 60 feet.
Elements such as an amenity center, open space and walkability are components theorized by Walton. The developer is also seeking to create a Planned Unit Development and have a development agreement with the city.
But the desire to create a PID led to a plethora of questions from the dais. Several unknown elements led council to ask Walton to set up a workshop for more information on PIDs.
According to Kyle Finance Director Perwez Mowheet, those unknowns prevented him from providing direction to council on the viability of the PIDs.
“We’re not sure what square footage are the homes, or whether they will need public monies,” Mowheet said.
Webster said the workshop could help avoid the problems Kyle endured with the Bunton Creek PID, which was created in 2005.
Homeowners in the Bunton Creek s ubdivision claimed no notification was given regarding PID assessments. They were made aware of the assessments when they learned that liens were placed against their homes when attempting to sell them.
“The first time out, our city wasn’t sophisticated enough to understand how to plan for a PID. We approved it before we were ready. We made a mistake,” Webster said.
He went on to say oversight problems, along with a bad actor, also led to issues.
Those problems forced Kyle to begin crafting a PID policy.
The policy would address several components, including the way homeowners are notified and how the assessments are levied.
But Webster said the focus would cover all developers, not just Walton. He believes a policy could avoid problems like the Bunton PID.
“A PID is just a financing instrument, it’s not evil,” Webster said.
Kyle District 6 council member Tammy Swaton said gaining more information will necessary in the long run.
“I think we need to have a workshop and bring a lawyer to update us on (PIDs),” Swaton said. “If it’s good for the community and buyers and developers, then that’s great. But I can’t say yes or no until I know what’s going on.”
Several other issues were addressed on the dais, including privacy issues with multi-story apartment complexes and single family homes.
Swaton, who lives next to a three-story apartment complex in the Amberwood subdivision, felt limiting complexes to two-stories near homes would alleviate privacy concerns she has.
“We have to work with developers, but I also believe homeowners have some say in it as well,” Swaton said. “I’ve never said no to apartments, but as far as a three story, it would have been much better … (and) I would have felt much more at ease [with a two-story].”
PIDs, MUDs and PUDs – What are they?
Public Improvement District – An economic development tool that helps finance public improvements
• Improvements range from streets, sidewalks, water and wastewater drainage facilities, landscaping aesthetics and park facilities.
• Taxes are assessed on only the land within a certain district. Homeowners know the amount when they purchase their home.
• Value does not change based on value of home.
• Able to be prepaid at any time by homeowner without penalty
• PID bonds are issued; they are controlled by city or county
Planned Unit Development – The development of three or more acres under a single or multiple ownerships that adhere to a master plan.
• Land developed as a whole in a single development or programmed phasing developments
• Includes streets, utilities, lots or building sites, structures and other improvements
• Allows for mixed uses of land (residential, commercial)
• Neighborhoods fall under rules and regulations of Home-owners Associations (HOA).
Municipal Utility District – A political subdivision authorized by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to provide water, sewage and drainage.
• Created by a majority of property owners, which petition to TCEQ to create a district.
• TCEQ appoints initial board of directors, until election is held for permanent board members.
• Boards of directors manage affairs in the MUD, which include adopting charges, fees and taxes to provide service.
• MUD tax rates vary, but decline over time once a MUD is built out.
• Taxes go toward water, wastewater services, irrigation, electrical generation and pays for amenities in the MUD.