Stepping in the MUD: Kyle awaits creation of new east side development

By Moses Leos III

Moves made during the 84th Texas Legislative session could see Kyle’s first Municipal Utility District (MUD) take shape.   

That decision, spurred by a letter of support from the Kyle City Council on Jan. 6, could allow the Crosswinds MUD to be granted necessary road powers to begin placing infrastructure.  

According to State Representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), MUDs like Crosswinds could provide relief for a growing IH-35 corridor. 

“I would imagine like most MUDs, you are going to have residential development close to I-35 to meet the needs of the incredible growth of Hays County and the Kyle area,” Isaac said in a phone interview. 

Crosswinds would lie inside of the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). It will be located south of Windy Hill Road and north of Goforth Road and span 445 acres. 

It would be the city’s first MUD, and the second in the area. The Sunfield MUD in Buda was established in 2005. 

Jody Hanson, spokesperson for Crosswinds developer Allegiant Realty Group, said the group acquired the development in mid-2014. 

She said Allegiant “tweaked” an already in place land plan from a previous developer. Currently, Crosswinds remains in the preliminary development stage. Hanson estimates the development phase taking place in 2015, with a preliminary opening in 2016. 

According to Hanson, Crosswinds would feature 1,400 single-family lots. A small commercial area will be developed near the main entrance in the future. 

Homes in the area will have 40, 50 and 60-foot lots. In addition, the development will have four lakes in the property and will have land dedicated for a Hays CISD school complex. 

While homebuilders have not been announced, Hanson estimated a price range from $180,000 to $320,000. 

Crosswinds passed as a Senate Bill (SB 1862) during the 83rd Texas Legislative Session in 2013. Isaac and State Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) co-sponsored the bill. Isaac said there was no opposition to the bill during its time in the legislature. 

However, per the Texas Constitution, laws that are not deemed an emergency can be only be introduced for debate 60 days after the start of the session. According to Isaac, the earliest he could introduce the changes would be in March. 

Those changes would grant “road powers” to the Allegiant Realty Group, which acquired the property in mid-2014. Utility and limited eminent domain powers were established when the MUD was first created. 

With approval from the legislature, the MUD could begin issuing bonds to begin building roads. 

The process in creating the MUD began in 2012. Isaac said the previous development group approached him to help develop the MUD through the legislature. 

Isaac then was granted a letter of support from the Kyle City Council to approve the development of the MUD. In addition, the city hammered out a development agreement where the city would provide water and wastewater services. 

However, city spokesperson Jerry Hendrix said in an emailed response that Allegiant would need to pay for the infrastructure, which includes extensions, pumps or elevated storage tanks. 

Hanson said Allegiant would install approximately two miles of water pipeline. She said the MUD would not need to build a wastewater treatment plant. 

Kyle Mayor Todd Webster said he isn’t a fan of MUDs, but said, “They are something you deal with in Texas.” 

Ensuring the MUD is “done right” is Webster’s priority. He said Allegiant is working in collaboration with Kyle. 

“Support is contingent upon the idea that this thing is going to be done in such a way, where in the future it would be appropriate to annex them,” Webster said. 

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