By Samantha Smith
Debate over land rezoning at Yarrington Rd. has Kyle and San Marcos residents prepared for a fight.
PGI Investment, LLC, the owner of the 47-acre tract of land off of I-35 in Kyle, has applied to the department of Planning four times for the land to be rezoned from agriculture (AG) to warehouse (W). Their motivation is to develop a large, commercial grade truck stop to the property.
Texas has a law against “conditional” zoning, meaning a city can’t base a rezoning request on the specific intentions of the landowner.
But overwhelming opposition to a possible truck stop from residents of the Blanco Vista neighborhood, as well as Kyle, influenced the January 26th denial of PGI’s application for a warehouse (W) zone.
“We’re not opposed to land development, not at all”, says Blanco Vista spokesperson Omar Baca.
Baca, and many others, have raised concerns such as increased traffic, crime, and environmental risks in the area if a sizable truck stop is allowed to occupy the land.
Another concern he had was that property values would decrease as the pollution, noise, traffic, and crime increase. An effect Baca calls “social pollution.”
Baca claims if PGI were to develop the land for retail purposes, citizens would “trap” their money in Kyle instead of driving to San Marcos. He added the city would retain the tax benefits on the developed land.
Baca stressed the issue by describing the diverse group of people that have aligned under a common banner.
The creation of a neighborhood alliance against a possible truck stop at Yarrington Rd. has attracted the attention of many people in both cities.
It’s led to the establishment of a Facebook page, Kyle San Marcos United.
The page is open to any interested individuals, whether they are for or against the truck stop. The page currently has approximately 250 people following it.
Regardless of the social media presence, Baca echoed the sentiments of many concerned citizens.
“Kyle is better than truck stops and tractor-trailers,” Baca said.
A result of public opposition to the possibility of a truck stop at Yarrington Rd. has the landowner discussing possible compromises to the land development plan.
Attorney Terry Irion, representative for PGI Investment, LLC, says they’re discussing possible involvement with a third party research firm to determine what the best options are for citizens, the landowners, and the city of Kyle. He said it’s in regards to the use of the developed land, but nothing has been decided yet.
Kyle Community Development Director Howard Koontz said PGI in October 2015 pulled a rezoning request for retail services (RS). The reason was because the RS zoning was too restrictive, not allowing transportation services on the property.
Koontz mentioned a fail safe for concerned citizens even if PGI is granted the warehouse-rezoning request.
It could involve a development agreement between the city and PGI, which would be done only if the rezoning request is approved. The agreement would outline what PGI can and can’t do with the land.
If the developer violates the terms of the contract, the contract is breached and the developer loses the warehouse (W) zone.
Kyle Mayor Todd Webster said he would support a decision to have the land rezoned to a warehouse district. But he maintains that his role in the situation is to mediate.
“I’m happy with the way the discussions are going right now,” Webster said.
Koontz said PGI would take one final attempt at rezoning the property for warehouse.
It’s unknown at this time when PGI plans to present their rezoning application to city council.