By Megan Wehring
KYLE — Uncertainty of the pandemic future caused Kyle City Council to push back the process of amending the Comprehensive Plan until May, following the first budget meeting in April.
A Comprehensive Plan helps showcase the community’s goals and visions, while also acting as a guide for government decisions. Council member Dex Ellison brought the agenda item forward Tuesday night, hoping his fellow city council members would hire a firm to help with the revision process. While there was no official vote, the council did not leave without discussion.
“I think we might be a little premature in starting this,” said council member Robert Rizo. “I understand our Comprehensive Plan needs an update but not knowing that climate makes me feel a little worried starting this process now. We could be into this pandemic another year from now and we don’t know what it’s going to look like afterwards.”
The document is too important to discuss without involving the community, according to Rizo, and it’s the “Bible of the city.”
Howard Koontz, director of planning, said the pandemic is only short-term and it should not keep city council from constructing a Comprehensive Plan.
“COVID-19 is a temporary condition,” Koontz said. “The expectation a year ago was that it would be taken care of a year from then and it’s still going on now. But I don’t believe it will be going on a decade from now.”
Council member Yvonne Flores-Cale agreed with Rizo that Kyle residents should have a voice, but there also needs to be a compromise.
“Maybe if we gave them [residents]a little more time to submit information,” Flores-Cale said. “So instead of just accepting information for a month or two months, maybe we just do it for six months. That will give people more opportunity to voice their opinions. … We just work with what we have and then tweak it so it benefits everybody.”
If Kyle City Council decides to hire a firm, that firm would also help with community outreach and feedback on how the city should be developed moving forward, Ellison explained.