Kyle in stalemate over change in zoning

A zoning change for a subdivision near downtown Kyle was delayed by city leaders Feb. 20 due to mixed opinions on the development.

Kyle City Council members were locked in a 3-3 stalemate after two separate votes. Council members disagreed on the density for a proposed zoning change for a subdivision that would be located off of Sledge Street.

The property was recently annexed into the city and is currently classified as agricultural (AG); developers requested R-1-3, or single family residential, zoning. The 17-acre property is located in the Historic Core Area Transition District, in which single-family residential zoning is recommended in the city’s comprehensive plans.

But after several residents from the nearby Bradford Meadows subdivision voiced concerns over the density of this zoning criteria, some council members favored changing the zoning to a less dense R-1-2.

The proposed subdivision calls for 50-foot wide single-family residential lots, allowing for 66 lots on the property in total. According to the developer, Bradford Meadows has a similar density with 73 lots on 15 acres.

Other council members chose to stick to the recommendations in the comprehensive plan. 

Director of Planning Howard Koontz said Bradford Meadows is zoned as an older model of R-1, which is most similar to the current R-1-3 zoning, but was built more to resemble R-1-2.

Most other subdivisions in the area are either R-1 or R-1-3.

Four residents from the Bradford Meadows spoke during a public hearing and relayed their concerns.

Issues extended to increased flooding on the street, increased traffic, a lack of sidewalks on Sledge Street, safety of children walking to school, and protecting the character of the historic downtown area. 

“This plot is on the outer edge of the historic core area and therefore should be a transition to more rural residential forms. This is not R-1-3, this is R-1-1 or R-1-2,” said Annette Berry, a Kyle property owner who is adjacent to the development..

Council member Tracy Scheel recommended changing the zoning to R-1-2; council members Dex Ellison and Alex Villalobos also supported the change. 

However, Mayor Travis Mitchell and council member Damon Fogley voted to keep the R-1-3 zoning. Council member Daphne Tenorio also voted against the R-1-2 zoning, as she was against the development as a whole. Council member Shane Arabie was absent.

“At this time, Sledge Street is not ready to be re-done, without sidewalks and without the ability to have safe crossings, I cannot in good conscience, vote to have more houses and more families live there,” Tenorio said. “I’m looking at what is the best interest of the people who already live there.”

Mitchell said he was a fan of R-1-3 because it followed the “smart growth model” that he believes would benefit the downtown Kyle area. Mitchell added R-1-3 was appropriate as the city is trying to incentivize dense development in the downtown corridor.

“In this case, as is the case with all development, I can’t not approve a recommended zoning that we all agreed to at the time of making our comprehensive plan,” Mitchell said. .

The council will reconsider the item at the next city council meeting.

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