Kyle City Council approves on first reading new building regulations and safety procedures for pipeline-adjacent development

An ordinance that will affect development near oil and gas pipelines in Kyle was approved on first reading by the City Council May 14 at a special meeting.

Citing safety concerns and a desire to find “the best way to balance the interests of property owners, developers, and transmission pipeline operators,” the additional regulations prohibit development of certain types of buildings within a certain proximity to pipelines and require pipeline companies to take additional steps as they move through the construction process.

The new rules are in response to plans for the Permian Highway Pipeline, a natural gas conduit that the company Kinder Morgan is routing between oil fields in West Texas and the Gulf Coast, nearly bisecting Hays County and the city of Kyle on its way; Kyle officials have been publicly opposing the project for months.

All three council members present when the item was raised on May 14—Tracy Scheel, Daphne Tenorio and Alex Villalobos—as well as Mayor Travis Mitchell, voted in favor of the ordinance.

No public comment was made at the beginning of the short meeting—which lasted less than 10 minutes—nor was there any discussion among council members, but Assistant City Attorney Barbara Boulware-Wells did approach the podium before the vote to say some changes had been made to the ordinance in response to comments received from a representative of one of the landowners.

“The comments that were given to me were not a problem—they were very easily incorporated,” Boulware-Wells said.

She did not specify what the changes were and Mitchell asked only if they were acceptable to the Nance family, referring to Scott and Lana Nance, who were in attendance at the meeting.

The Nances own a controlling interest in several thousand acres of land, part of which falls in the path of the Permian Highway Pipeline and are part of a group of landowners who are—along with the city of Kyle and Hays County—suing the Texas Railroad Commission for failing to better regulate oil and gas pipelines.

In addition to placing noise limits on construction and requiring pipeline companies to submit detailed plans to the city, the ordinance institutes a number of rules for developers.

As part of an effort to encourage “early communication between the interested parties” and “assist with prudent land use permitting decisions,” one section of the new building rules establishes a “consultation zone” within 660 feet of a pipeline. It requires developers working within those limits to submit a specific application and complete a checklist designed by the city that would provide "information concerning any impact the activity will have upon the integrity of the transmission pipeline(s)."

The ordinance also addresses safety concerns at length, including a prohibition on new buildings with a “use requiring evacuation assistance”—such as schools, nursing homes, hospitals, medical offices or detention facilities—from being built within 500 feet of a pipeline unless the council makes an exception.

See the ordinance in full here.

Correction 5/21: This post and headline have been updated to reflect that the ordinance was approved on first reading, but will not go into effect unless it is approved on second reading at a future council meeting.
By Katharine Jose
Katharine Jose has written about politics, infrastructure, environment, development, natural disasters and other subjects for The New York Observer, Capital New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She was an editor for several publicat


ATMAC will hold a grand reopening at its new location July 10, with a special offer for new students. (Courtesy Camera Eye Photography)
Austin Texas Martial Arts Center relocates in Kyle

ATMAC will hold a grand reopening at its new location July 10, with a special offer for new students.

Volunteers of Austin Vaccine Angels gathered after becoming fully vaccinated. (Courtesy Jodi Holzband)
Grassroots groups aimed at vaccine outreach look toward the future

For the past five months, grassroots volunteer groups have been working to connect thousands of Central Texans to COVID-19 vaccines.

Hays County Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones speaks during the FM 2001 groundbreaking event. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)
TxDOT breaks ground on Buda's FM 2001 project

A realignment of the roadway is intended to drastically improve safety on a section of FM 2001 in Buda while also adding bike lanes and sidewalks.

Ghostletics Gym offers month-to-month memberships and day passes, and also offers on-site sports therapy. (Courtesy Ghostletics Gym)
Ghostletics Gym now open in Buda

Ghostletics Gym offers month-to-month memberships and day passes, and also offers on site sports therapy.

The Bloomhouse—an 1,100-square-foot home in the hills of West Austin—was built in the 1970s by University of Texas architecture students for fellow student Dalton Bloom. It was featured in the Austin Weird Homes Tour of 2020. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Weird Homes Tour ends; Z’Tejas to close Arboretum restaurant and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

A variety of road projects in Buda may be funded by a November bond referendum, which could be valued at more than $50 million. (Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)
Buda considers transportation bond package for November election

A variety of road and park projects in Buda may be funded by a November bond referendum, which could be valued at more than $50 million.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a call for Texans to conserve energy June 14. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy with generation outages 2.5 times higher than normal

"This is unusual for this early in the summer season," said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, in a news release.

UT Austin football stadium filled with fans
In Austin and the rest of the nation, the business of college sports is changing

If Gov. Greg Abbott signs SB 1325 into law, Texas will join a number of other U.S. states in allowing college athletes to profit off their names, images and likenesses.

Lingering symptoms, long-term impact of COVID-19 will take time to fully understand

Dr. Mary Katherine Theoktisto answers questions regarding the virus.

Hip hop dance (Courtesy Hill Country Tippi Toes Dance Studio)
Kyle dance studio aims to build confidence sans competition

Hill Country Tippi Toes Dance Studio teaches a variety of styles, such as jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, ballet, tumble and pom dance.

MAIN PHOTO: Buda's Brightside CEO and Director Christina Trevino founded the facility as a nonprofit in July 2020. (Photos by Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper
Buda's Brightside provides ample growth opportunities for area's special needs population

Located on Goforth Road in west Buda, the nonprofit is not a school, but for people with special needs it facilitates growth through numerous methods of social interaction and activities.