by SEAN KIMMONS
Months of debate later, Kyle’s involuntary annexation of almost 1,800 acres was finally adopted Tuesday night, leaving the Winfield Inn out of the picture.
Councilmembers voted 6-1 to remove the 217-acre parcel of land from the annexation after being inundated by concerned supporters of the bed & breakfast, which regularly hosts wedding receptions.
The annexation would have forced the venue to observe the city’s noise ordinance which supporters claimed would hamper business, since events can run late into the night.
“I’m speechless,” said an emotional Jodi Atkinson, owner of the Winfield Inn, seconds following the vote. “It was the right decision. It shows the integrity of the city.”
Councilmember Michelle Lopez, the sole dissenter, wanted to annex the parcel to support the city’s upcoming comprehensive plan which envisions future growth and development.
“This is a difficult decision,” Lopez admitted. However, she added that the city had drafted a fair development agreement for Atkinson to sign that would protect the bed & breakfast.
“I urge that we move forward,” Lopez said of the proposed annexation.
City Manager Tom Mattis said that he encouraged Atkinson to meet with city officials to hash out any issues.
“This annexation will not have an adverse effect on this property,” he said. “We’ve made every effort to reach out but we can’t make people come and sit down with us.”
The biggest concern for Mayor Mike Gonzalez was that other residents on the parcel were also against being annexed and it wouldn’t have been fair to leave them out, he said.
“I’d say don’t carve anything out,” he said. “Vote up or down on the whole area.”
Before the vote, Mattis told the council that the annexation would bring about five miles of new roadway into the city’s jurisdiction.
He estimated that it would cost almost $50,000 yearly to maintain the added roads. That price tag would be covered by more than $77,000 in property tax revenue generated by annexed properties.
“Tax revenue will more than cover that,” he said.
Sean Kimmons is a senior reporter at the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published.Email | Print