By LANCE DUNCAN
KYLE — The city council in Kyle voted last month to annex nearly six square miles to its city limits in a final reading on the matter last month.
However, the city did not bring in one area, known on the annexation map as Area 13, located west of downtown. The area includes The Winfield Inn, which has been vociferous in its opposition to being brought into the city.
The council voted, 6-1, to approve the annexations minus Area 13, with only Councilmember Michelle Lopez in opposition. Lopez said the area “is the one tract we should annex,” due, in part, to its proximity to the location of a new Kyle Public Library. Lopez added that the area should have been included in order for the city to carry out its comprehensive plan.
Discussion about Area 13 centered on the question of whether it should be annexed. Winfield Inn representatives have complained for months that annexation into the city, with its 10 p.m. noise ordinance, would adversely affect the Inn’s wedding reception business, as such parties often go past 11 p.m.
Councilmember David Wilson said that “there is diversity in the area,” and pointed out that there is raw land used for hunting and farming as well as residential areas. Wilson added that the neighborhood, which was de-annexed from the city years ago, should always have been part of the city. However, he said that he is sensitive to the Winfield Inn’s interests.
“This is a difficult one,” he said, and adding that it is significant that the Winfield Inn does not border Kyle.
Councilmember Lucy Johnson suggested subtracting only the Winfield Inn tract from the annexation.
City Manager Tom Mattis said the Winfield Inn representatives have requested protection against development next door because of noise possibly ruining their business. He said that the Inn was asking the city for help, but doesn’t want to be part of the city.
Mattis said that staff has worked on the annexation project for a year, and that the Winfield Inn knew about it as far back as November 2008. He said that the owners of the Inn would never meet with city staff.
“This annexation will not have an adverse effect on existing use of property,” he said.
Mattis also said that the owners of the Winfield made things “extremely difficult” by communicating with the city council but not with staff.
“We’ve taken the same approach with every other property owner, and staff has done all that we could,” Mattis said. “We made every effort to reach out.”
Gonzales said the county hasn’t done improvements in the Winfield Inn area, and that Kyle citizens paid for road improvements, with all of the planning being done by the city. He said he was not for cutting out one or two tracts because of emails or visits, and that for the city to not have done planning in this area of town would have been irresponsible.
Winfield Inn attorney Ivan Freidman told the council that his client had experienced miscommunications with the city staff. Freidman tentatively consented to the agreement proposed by the city.
“We think it will work, but we think it may not work in the future,” he said.
Mattis gave a presentation answering some questions from the previous annexation readings. Mattis said that the staff’s estimate of road maintenance costs was $49,709 for the five miles of new roads being incorporated into the city. The estimated increase in property taxes from the annexations is $77,750. Mattis said the increase would more than cover the expense of the new roads.
Mattis also said that the annexation of Dacy Lane would have no impact on the current partnership between the city and the county regarding improvements to that road.
Speaking about the annexations in general, Gonzales said that “obviously this is for development, not a tax grab.”
Said Gonzalez, “The county can’t oversee development the way the city can.”
Gonzales said that the city has taken charge of road planning in recent years, and that the county does not start road projects on their own. He also said that the city is not trying to infringe on development or property rights, but simply wants to make sure that development is safe.Email | Print