The communication with residents comes nearly two months after Kyle City Council approved the development agreement. The residents reside in Council Member Yvonne Flores-Cale’s district, District 2. When asked if she notified the residents in her district, Flores-Cale said no, stating that council was told the developer was going to take care of it.
"We were told that Lime Creek was gonna take care of it or Limestone or the developer was going to take care of it," Flores-Cale told Community Impact.
Council also directed staff to work with the city of San Marcos to see if there was an alternate route for the road.
The Limestone Creek Development agreement was amended to an existing development agreement and approved March 7. As part of the deal, a tax increment reinvestment zone was established with Meritage Homes of Texas LLC. The city and Meritage Homes were slated to meet in April to discuss the alignment and design of GoForth road. According to interim City Manager Jerry Hendrix, staff met with land Stateside Right of Way Services’ acquisition agents and Meritage Homes on May 2.
The acquisition and relocation process will happen simultaneously.
Shawn Jackson, the acquisition project manager with Stateside Right of Way Services, said they will work with city staff to write an introductory letter to explain the project and details on what will happen with the property that would be mailed to the affected residents.
According to Director of Communications Rachel Sonnier, the introductory letters are in review, and the city expects to send them by May 5.
Residents will be asked to contact Stateside Right of Way Services so they can obtain right-of-entry, which will allow surveyors and appraisers onto the property.
After the surveys and appraisals are completed, Stateside Right of Way Services will put packets together, and staff will present them to council. Once the appraisal process is complete, there will be an eligibility study conducted to calculate a “maximum benefit” for the relocation process.
Relocation Specialist Briana Miller said their job is to find homes that are “comparable” to residents’ current homes and to ensure their new home is safe and sanitary.
“The people affected by the project are really in the drive seat the whole way through. Our job in relocation is solely to explain their options and help them sort through what’s gonna work best for them and their situations,” Miller said.
Council Member Miguel Zuniga noted that when a home is for sale, there is an appraised value and then a listing, which is typically higher than the appraised value. He questioned why they were not giving residents the opportunity to choose their listing price, advocating that the affected residents should have the opportunity to list their home how they want.
“We’re trying to do the appraised value, do the three comps, but that’s not really how it works, cause when you are trying to sell your home, you list it and you can put any number you want as you’re listing, and now it’s up to a buyer if they wanna give you a number,” Zuniga said. “It’s going to be the seller’s market, in this case, they should have the upper hand at negotiations with you guys or with whatever we come up with."
Jackson said the appraiser does not base it off county appraisal numbers, but instead finds homes that are similar in square footage, rooms, bathrooms, lot sizes, etc.
“At the end of the day, [the council] are the ones that are gonna decide [the] price, and if somebody counters, then you’re gonna have to decide that; not us. We just provide you the information so you can make the best decision for the city,” Jackson said.