By Moses Leos III
A standing room only crowd watched Tuesday as the Kyle Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) denied a developer’s application to rezone land that could have allowed a truck stop in the space.
The Kyle P&Z denied a request from PGI Investments, LLC to rezone 47.74 acres of land from agricultural (AG) to warehouse (W) by a 5-2 vote. Chairman Michael Rubsam and commission member Michele Christie cast the dissenting votes.
PGI, which saw two previous attempts to develop a truck stop fail, returned to P&Z after withdrawing an application in October 2015 to rezone the property to retail services (R/S).
According to city documents, Terry Irion, a representative for PGI, wrote on Jan. 4 the property is “ideal” for warehouse zoning. He wrote it could allow a variety of uses including transportation related services, such as a truck/travel center.
Irion said Tuesday Kyle is a bedroom community and there’s no place “for small businessmen to have business.” He cited plumbing and heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) businesses that could fall under warehouse zoning.
But Irion didn’t deny that his client was seeking a truck stop.
“I can’t stand here and say that they don’t want to build a truck stop,” Irion said. “It does. But not on 47 acres, but about 28 acres if they had their druthers.”
The request drew vast opposition as over 20 people, many from the Blanco Vista subdivision, spoke against PGI’s plan.
Comments centered on safety concerns over increased crime, as well as drug and prostitution issues.
One resident with environmental concerns said devastating the nearby El Camino Real trail due to the truck stop “is an insult to this state.”
Others feared 18-wheeler traffic would conflict with residential traffic. Several residents spoke about the negative image it could bring to Kyle.
“I don’t think this is what we really want,” Kyle Fire Department Chief Kyle Taylor said. “We can do better.”
Commission member Dex Ellison said truck stops are necessary, but voted no as the property “is not the right place for a truck stop.”
Commission member Irene Melendez said adhering to what is allowed for the property, such as R/S zoning, was important.
Rubsam favored the rezoning to allow construction manufacturing and the ensuing employment district in the area. Rubsam believed the area will be zoned warehouse anyway and he “didn’t see a reason to postpone it.”
Commission member Timothy Kay said warehouse zoning “is not attractive or welcoming to our city,” and listed alternatives for the area.
His motivating reason against it was the overwhelming dissent.
“One person spoke in favor, the applicant. Twenty-five spoke against it and probably 90 to 100 people applauded it,” Kay said. “I have to vote no.”