Aiming high: Kyle approves new zoning for taller structures

A new commercial zoning district was given approval by Kyle city leaders on Nov. 21 that could see buildings in Kyle go up to five stories high. 

The district, called Mixed Use Zoning (MXD), will affect some of the more urban parts of Kyle, especially along the I35 corridor, Kohler’s Crossing and FM 1626. The Kyle City Council approved the zoning district.

The MXD would allow multiple types of uses in the same building structure and it would restrict residential areas from being located on the ground floor. It would also require buildings to have two or more uses and require less than 80 percent of the structure dedicated to a single use.

Howard Koontz, Kyle Community Development Director, said at the Nov. 21 meeting that the MXD solves two problems for the city. One issue has been the expense of providing utilities as the city expands and the other is to responsibly conserve Kyle’s green space.

MXD zoning can create financial efficiencies for the city so it would not have to provide as many public roads, pipes and infrastructure for utilities, and public and emergency services that would be required for more sprawling areas.

Koontz also added that his vision for a possible five story structure would include the ground floor having either retail or another high turnover service, the first and second floors having either retail or employment centers and the third and fourth floors being residential.

Mayor Travis Mitchell says the zoning category will help modernize the city while thinking of future residents.

“Mixed use zoning fills a gap between residential and commercial. It represents a focused effort by the city of Kyle to be more modern and strategic in our development,” Mitchell said. “Land is a finite resource and mixed use zoning is a way to efficiently capitalize on that resource by incentivizing denser vertical commercial and residential hybrid development models.”

The MXD is often referred to by city council members as a “live, work, play” model which would create more walkable areas and require less driving for residents.

But there has been some resistance by developers who are reluctant to change.

“Especially in suburban areas, developers can have some resistance to change. Developers are wanting to come in and put a very specific product over and over again in the city of Kyle and for months now we’ve been pushing back on that narrow view of what kind of development can happen in Kyle,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell added that this zoning category would force developers to build structures that help benefit the city and residents long term.

The city is looking to make this its flagship zoning in Kyle and is hoping to see this zoning category more than any other over the next year.

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