Kyle explores future vertical growth

Future Kyle buildings may go vertical as city officials explored a new commercial zoning district last month. 

The district, called Mixed Use Zoning (MXD), is a proposed commercial zoning classification requiring a mix of commercial and residential uses within the same structure, according to city documents. 

The zoning district would allow structures to be constructed vertically. Buildings within the zone would be allowed a maximum height of 55 feet, or five stories, high. 

Under MXD, the upper floors of a building could be used for residential units, leaving the ground floors for retail service and other commercial uses. 

The Kyle Planning and Zoning commission took up MXD late last month, but made no formal recommendation. The P&Z plans to bring the item back up Nov. 14.

 Howard Koontz, Kyle Community Development Director, said the need for the MXD is a two-fold issue. 

“If we can concentrate our land uses into more dense areas, it will require less sprawling infrastructure required to service new projects, which means less installation and maintenance costs for that infrastructure once online,” Koontz said Oct. 24. 

 He added that Kyle will be able to conserve other greenfield areas that would otherwise be consumed by the sprawl of new, remote land uses.

Koontz said an apparent increase in development pressure in Kyle over the last decade has produced a corresponding increase in land being consumed for both residential and commercial use. 

With development spreading out, Koontz said it requires Kyle to “extend and maintain infrastructure and utility lines” to keep pace.

“A truly effective way to combat this sprawl is to concentrate land uses on a single development site, rather than separate them by use in a typical Euclidian fashion,” Koontz said in a staff memo.

Kyle Mayor Todd Webster said he supported the MXD concept, and added the city has “been inclined to approve those kind of deals.”

Webster said the discussion on MXD began a few years ago during a joint meeting between the City Council and the Planning and Zoning Committee.

One continuous topic of discussion was the creation of zones that could accommodate multi-use buildings.

He also said higher density areas could help offset property taxes, as greater sources of revenue could be generated on a single lot and require less infrastructure.

“There is some purpose to having density; you can serve more people with less infrastructure,” said Mayor Webster.

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