The Kyle City Council approved in a 5-2 vote the first reading of an ordinance to rezone two separate tracts of land totaling approximately 27.8 acres from retail services to mixed-use at a regular meeting Feb. 15. Council members Yvonne Flores-Cale and Michael Tobias voted in opposition of the item.

The two plots of land are in or near the shopping center along Kyle Parkway and I-35 that includes Target and H-E-B.

Retail services zoning is exclusive to the sale of products, goods and services, while mixed-use zoning requires a mix of commercial and residential uses, according to the city of Kyle Code of Ordinances.

“The district ... will accommodate mixed-use buildings with activity center retail, service and other commercial uses on the ground and lower floor(s), and residential units above those nonresidential space(s),” according to ordinance code 978.

As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, a memorandum of understanding—a written agreement between two parties—was reached in October between the city of Kyle and developer Central Southwest Texas. However, it “does not constitute a binding obligation on either party,” according to the MOU.

The MOU outlines the intent for the zoning of the land to be changed to mixed-use and that the city and the developer intend to enter a Chapter 380 agreement that will “provide economic development incentives,” according to agenda documents.

After a 5-0 approval from the planning and zoning commission Feb. 8, the item was brought to the council for further discussion and action.

The project is a long time coming, City Planner Will Atkinson said at the meeting.

“That vertical mixed-use is something we’ve been pushing for a while. This is the central park of the city of Kyle. There’s infrastructure there; you have roads, you have water, you have waste water. We’re looking to add residences to this area,” Atkinson said. “Staff wholeheartedly recommends approval of it.”

Despite concerns from Flores-Cale regarding added traffic in the area, Atkinson said vertical mixed-use developments tend to reduce traffic loads in the area.

“I for one am really excited. This is our first official mixed-use project and this is going to be a game changer for the city,” Council Member Ashlee Bradshaw said.

There will be a second reading of the ordinance and, by then, the development agreement for the parcels of land will be completed, Atkinson said.