With its approval of the creation of two new commercial districts, the City of Kyle is working to attract more small businesses.
At its July 3 meeting, the Kyle City Council agreed with the recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission and voted unanimously to add a neighborhood commercial district and a community commercial district to its development ordinances.
Director of Planning Sofia Nelson said the districts were proposed to help create opportunities for small-intensity businesses, such as a Walgreens or CVS pharmacy, or a slightly larger restaurant or coffee shop.
"Aside from this Main Street area here, we only have one commercial zoning designation, which means that if you want to have some retail along Rebel Road or along even Hwy. 80 here, that essentially the same standards that you're held to along I-35 are the same standards that you're held to along [those streets]," Nelson said. "Those contexts are very different."
Nelson cited Luviano's Mexican Restaurant as a business that would fit into the new zoning districts. She said the zoning changes were prompted in part by the city's desire to create more walkable neighborhoods.
"We want to be able to create complete neighborhoods, not just stand-alone residential nodes," she said. "This could be a good property for small retail store, a small restaurant or a small coffee shop. We can rezone it to neighborhood commercial and have some standards specifically that make it compatible with the neighborhood."
Nelson said the city held several public forums seeking input from citizens about the zones and worked through details in Planning and Zoning Commission meetings. The city has not received any pushback from residents, though one man did voice his opposition at the July 3 council meeting.
"This ordinance is designed to put businesses closer, much closer, to residences. Most residents don't want [anything] to do with nearby businesses," he told the City Council.
Nelson said city officials adjusted the original versions of the zoning ordinances to take into account resident concerns about hours of operation, landscaping and sidewalks, among other details.
"I think there was some misconceptions when these ordinances came out that we were going to have a business right in the middle of a neighborhood, and that's not really true," she said. "The city's not going to go out and rezone properties right now, but it is another tool that someone could request."
The agenda item regarding the zones will be on the council's consent agenda at its July 17 meeting, meaning that unless a council member decides the item needs further discussion, the ordinances will be approved.
"[These are] not only to attract commercial development to our community, which we really do need, but also looking at our neighborhoods and asking, 'How do we make these complete?'" Nelson said.
Eight-foot privacy fences are required.
Exterior walls must be 100 percent stone, brick, masonry or a similar material.
Sidewalks, driveways and parking areas are required.
In the neighborhood commercial district, if a business is 150 feet or more from a single-family property, the business shall be allowed a closing time of midnight on Friday and Saturday.
In the community commercial district, a 15-foot side setback is required between business and residential zones; a 10-foot side setback is required for businesses in neighborhood commercial districts.
Lighting poles shall not exceed 18 feet in height within a community commercial zone or 12 feet within a neighborhood commercial zone.