Kyle residents clamor for tougher construction regs

Dust and noise troubles related to new home construction near the Amberwood subdivision is pushing a handful of Kyle residents to advocate for more regulation.

Despite those concerns, Kyle’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-1 to recommend further construction of Phase 2 of the Sunset Hills subdivision, constructed by KB Homes.

P&Z Commissioner Jo Fenety said she dissented “on principal” after hearing about residents’ experiences from Amberwood Homeowners Association (HOA) President Diane Hervol.

Hervol asked the commission to consider denying the plat, as she believes Sunset Hills construction violated existing noise and dust ordinances. Hervol also said residents’ fences were damaged as a result of the close proximity to the plats and the large piles of fill dirt placed near their property lines.

In addition, many residents said windows and patios were covered in dust from fill dirt brought in by trucks, making it difficult to go in their backyards. Residents also complained about damaged fences from loosened soil and falling trees.

Kathy Roecker, Kyle stormwater management plan administrator, said all of the issues she heard about had been resolved. Roecker said water trucks mitigated dust issues and construction workers were told to start working later in the morning.

“Many of us attended city council meetings to complain. As it appears, there was no one monitoring or looking out for the existing neighborhood,” Hervol said. “Several city staff worked with the developer to rectify these issues. Looking at the existing lots and the lots they are about to build houses on, there appears to be no buffer between the two neighborhoods … It looks like poor planning …”

However, P&Z commissioners said there is no ordinance requiring a physical boundary between two subdivisions. They also didn’t believe the plat violates existing line-of-sight rules. The factors ultimately led the majority of commissioners to recommend its approval.

Residents are now clamoring for change.

Danny Diaz, who lives in a home directly behind the new plat site, has worked to fix a leaning fence affected by the recent construction. While contractors restored a neighbor’s fence, Diaz said he’s yet to receive assistance, despite reporting issues to KB Homes.

“We just want them to be good neighbors,” Diaz said. “None of this should’ve happened in the first place.”

Fenety plans to address city council and Mayor Travis Mitchell regarding the addition of new ordinances that she believes could protect existing homeowners.

Fenety said she believes there are multiple solutions to the issue, including changing the way plats are presented to P&Z commissioners.

Fenety said most of the dust, noise and fence issues occurred due to the amount of dirt brought in to raise the homes in the Sunset Hills subdivision four feet higher than the surrounding area. She hopes inclusion of new ordinances could help the city look at the “whole picture.”

“We work in two dimensions. We see the width of a paper and the length of a paper. We don’t see how high things are going to be,” Fenety said. “We can’t tell you about how much ground is going to be cut off or added. I just think that Kyle could be doing better and that’s what I want.”

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