The Kyle City Council approved the amendment and established a tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ, with Meritage Homes of Texas LLC.
The homes will be acquired to make way for a new road, called GoForth Road, within the development.
Even though the project impacts multiple residences, Assistant City Manager Amber Lewis said the project will have "a number of community benefits."
"The extension of GoForth Road is going to a major arterial. It will alleviate traffic congestion on [FM] 150, and it provides those residents in East Kyle the ability to get to I-35 quickly, and they don't have to go to [FM] 150. The other thing it does is it mitigates flooding in Quail Ridge. They've had historical flooding issues there, and the construction of this road will help mitigate a lot of those problems. And then also, when constructing a major road like this, you always have the opportunity for economic development, and so that will also provide more economic development opportunity on the east side of Kyle."
Residents who will be displaced may be eligible for relocation assistance and benefits, including moving costs, replacement housing payments or purchase supplement, according to agenda documents. The city will also retain the services of two relocation experts, LJA Engineering and Stateside Right Of Way Services, to ensure those who are displaced are relocated to “decent, safe and sanitary housing,” the documents read.
The relocation plan will be provided to residents individually and may also be accompanied by public hearings or town hall meetings; residents will be given “sufficient time to plan for an orderly, timely and efficient move,” documents stated.
One resident affected is Stan Morris, who has lived in his home for 30 years. Based on city documents containing lot numbers and tax IDs, Morris' home is one of the residences impacted, as confirmed through the Hays County Appraisal District website.
As of March 14 the city has not yet contacted him to let him know that his house will be seized.
“I haven’t heard anything,” Morris said. “They’re going to pay out the nose.”
Lewis said Meritage officials will inform the city when they are ready to make contact with the impacted renters and homeowners.
City Engineer Leon Barba said the first step is to contact the owner about the project. The property owner then has 90 days to negotiate an offer or get an attorney.
Lewis said they want to be as personable as possible.
"We do not expect them to receive a letter in the mail and be surprised by that—that is not our plan. So we're definitely going to have face-to-face meetings and hold their hand through every step of the process," she said. "Since [City Council] just approved [the development agreement]; there was no reason for staff or anybody to reach out to the homeowners, because we didn't know if that was going to be a project or not."
The city does not yet know the total moving costs and is waiting on assistance from its land acquisition agents.
Zara Flores contributed to this report.