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.
SHARE THIS STORY
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


MOST RECENT

Construction for the San Marcos River Shared Use Pathway Project started on Feb. 17. (Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)
New San Marcos trail project will create opportunity for nonmotorized transportation

The trail will be located around Children’s Park, Rio Vista Park and Ramon Lucio Park.

The board approved a six-proposition bond Feb. 6. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Three Hays CISD board of trustee elections in May are uncontested

Two current trustees are running for reelection.

Buda's transportation infrastructure is being updated to accommodate a growing population. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
Buda to hold open house Feb. 20 on future transportation and mobility master plan

The mobility and master plan plan will identify needs, solutions and improvements to accommodate the city’s rapid growth.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in San Antonio on Feb. 13. The case is the 15th known COVID-19, commonly referred to in recent weeks as coronavirus, infection in the United States so far. (Courtesy Adobe stock photos)
The first coronavirus case in Texas was just confirmed. Here is what Austinites need to know about the virus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in San Antonio this morning, according to a news release from the federal agency.

Hill Country Theatre joins Inspired Minds Arts Center at 121 Main St., Buda. (Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hill Country Theatre will begin performances in downtown Buda on Feb. 14

Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" is the first Buda play for the nonprofit.

The restaurant will be located at The Lyndon, apartment complex, 200 Springtown Way, Ste. 138, San Marcos.(Courtesy Xian Sushi and Noodle)
Xian Sushi and Noodle to open in San Marcos in early May

The Austin-base restaurant will serve home-made noodles that can be customized to any preference and sushi.

Jason Pence was fired by the city Jan. 27 following allegations that he had engaged in improper practices as construction manager. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
BREAKING NEWS: Texas Rangers find former San Marcos construction manager used city funds, labor for personal projects

The former city employee was arrested Feb. 11 on charges of theft by a public servant.

Jason Pence was arrested Feb. 11. (Courtesy Comal County)
Texas Rangers arrest recently fired San Marcos construction manager

The arrest follows a criminal investigation sparked by allegations that the employee engaged in improper purchasing practices.

(Community Impact Newspaper)
Gymnastics center set to open in Kyle expands, changes name

Instead of 3,000 square feet, Waves Gymnastics will open with 6,000 square feet of space.

(Evelin Garcia/Community Impact Newspaper)
Buda aims reuse of city buildings toward the arts, culture and tourism

“This town has always been an artist's town,” Inspired Minds co-owner Sinéad Whiteside said.

A public meeting for community input will be held on Feb. 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the San Marcos Activity Center. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
City of San Marcos asks for input on allocation of federal funds

In addition to a public meeting on Feb. 19, there will also be a survey available online and on paper, in both English and Spanish, through Feb. 23.

(Rachal Russell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kyle's 'not hot' Soul Yoga PC aims to serve 'every body'

“This studio is about community,” owner Paul Countryman said.

Back to top