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February 25, 2015     Hays Free Press
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February 25, 2015
 

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+ HaysFreePress.com February 25, 2015 * Page 1D BY ANDY SEVILLA andy@haysfreepress.com A low-income housing development looking to locate near the corner of FM 967 and Cole Springs Road in Buda received a first round of support from city officials. The Buda council approved a resolution with a 6-1 vote Feb. 17 supporting the proposed 110-unit, two-story devel- opment and a compan- ion resolution pledging financial backing. Securing a resolution of support and a resolu- tion of financial commit- ment from the governing body where a low-income housing development is proposed are the two most coveted scoring opportunities for appli- cants seeking the federal subsidy. "It does seem like there is a demand of some working-class folks that work here, but just can't afford to live here, and our development will certainly help cure that need." -Owen Dundee, property owner Council member George Haehn, the lone official to dissent, expressed concerns over adding more traffic, potentially up to an ad- The proposed low-income housing development would have year, a survey identified a lack of workforce housing in Buda. ditional 1,100 car trips per day, on an already heavily traveled roadway in Buda. The proposed project would front FM 967. That roadway is presently undergoing widening improvements. A representative for Picerne Development, the group looking to develop The Pointe at Overlook, Owen Dundee, told the council the proposed two stories COURTESY RENDERING and 110 units. Last development would help fill avoid in Buda's hous- ing market -- workforce housing-- as identified in a Buda Economic De- velopment Corporation survey last year. "It does seem like there is a demand of some working-class folks that work here, but just can't afford to live here, and our development will certainly help cure that need," Dundee said. The development would feature townhome style buildings with indi- vidual private entrances, and some units would have garages, according to a Picerne presentation. Units would range from one to three bedroom rentals with rents ranging from $342 to $1,047 per month. Due to the project be- ing a low-income housing tax credit program, those interested in becoming a tenant would have annual income requirements between $14,537 on the low end, up to $48,900. AFFORDABLE HOUSING, 4D BY MOSES LEOS III moses@haysfreepress.com A recent posting on the Hays Free Press Face- businesses that could offer healthier eating options. Also hearing the mes- sage was the city of Kyle and Kyle Economic De- book page asked Kyle velopment. City of Kyle and Buda residents their co0~tn, eBte.,d,,~J~st want ' spokesperson Jerry Hen- opinion about healthy ',ii yc~ b~ht we drix said in an emailed he~ai'ofi'add.'ttt~we're response that the city food options in the area. listenMg~ We~ve added ,, The post accompanied a "Healthy Restaurantsunderstands citizens a map of eateries, asking dlsoussi0tt to o~r , "want more variety and if the two towns were a StyteKYLE,org ~e... better options for dining healthy food desert. Visit htip://stylekyleJorg/ out." Of the 92 businesses discussionedhealthy- It's led to a discussion on the map, 24 are dedi- restaurants area on healthy restau- cated fast food estab- rants in the city's recently lishments with a drive launched website, Style- through. Roughly half of : KYLE.org. The city hopes ~os; f~a~/l_~ated / ~ U~entghgWebSietentsO corridor ,, . in sharing -o "_ / "Bottom line -if a health food restaurant~ issues and ;a_ nrestorm/ thinks-it-canmake a profit in Kyle they will be \ ideas oi c,otm~nents ( weic0med-here with open arms. And, I will eat 1 He'also with more \ there if the food tastes good. / main- than 100 tamed .. ~ -Todd Webster, Kyle mayor / .1.....:... posts on me ~ / ulc taty la topic. Many ~ / actively recruit- lambasted \ ~ - ing more sit-down local eco- ~ J _ __, restaurants; he also , nomic devel-, ~ ) come~hwex- wrote most of the city s come, ana mat me opment leader~daettme roest{aourams~ffer healthy options on melr menu. for the perceived mines which restaurants lack of eating estab- lishments that aren't fast come to town, so long as food. they can make a profit. "Bottom line - if a Amanda Simon Rick- health food restaurant man wrote, "Everytime thinks it can make a [sic] something is being built, it's a taco bell [sic] profit in Kyle they will or some other unhealthy be welcomed here with chain." open arms. And, I will eat She added, "I would there if the food tastes love to see a ]uiceland, good," he wrote. Thundercloud Subs, Chi- He agreed with an- potle or Kerbey Lane." other poster about one "Every time we see a restaurant in particular. new restaurant opening "Chipotle would be in the Buda/Kyle area, it great," he said. is a fast food restaurant The owner of Sustaina- that we will never visit," cycle in Kyle, Gordon Barbara DeaKyne wrote. Wybo, heard the mes- "So we drive to San sage. He believes Kyle's Marcos, New Braunfels, next step should be to or Austin for healthier actively recruit healthier choices, eating options, which he Kyle Mayor Todd said would keep money Webster took to the web local. to share his thoughts "That's the bottom with area residents about line. They need to Kyle's food options, say- recruit, not just say, 'no ing businesses are not one has come to us being dissuaded from because they haven't locating here. done the demo- "I can assure all of you, graphic research," the City is not turning Wybo said. away healthier options. Wybo said the city I personally don't fully "has to become pro- understand how it is that active" in recruiting our community can businesses that offer support as many fried healthier alternatives. chicken and other fast In addition, he said food restaurants as it the city, specificiflly ~' does," he wrote. Economic Development, He added that a should offer incentives healthy option would be for small "mom and pop" "That being said, how they may fall into any individual's definition of 'healthy' is a function of that individual's prefer- ences," Hendrix wrote. While he couldn't specify any prospects the city has talked with, Hendrix said Kyle has been "actively!' promoted to the "type of developers that have access to the types of restaurants men- tioned" in comments. In addition, Hendrix wrote that available land for retail development has been incentivized by COURTESY PHOTO Gordon Wybo, owner of Sustainacycle in Kyle, stands next to a sign touting "Healthy Options Here," which he placed in front of his business along Center Street last week. It was in response to a Hays Free Press article which asked "Are Buda and Kyle a healthy eating desert?". Wybo was one of many area residents who posted a response on the Hays Free Press Facebook page on the lack of healthy eating choices in the area. the developer. He wrote it would be redundant to incentivize an individual store or restaurant. "However, it is possible we could consider an in- centive package to bring in a 'destination' type of retail or restaurant," he wrote. Kyle Chamber of Com- merce CEO Julie Snyder said "good things" can come from locals want- ing healthier eating options. She .... ~ said it helps Economic Development with Native Food Caf6, a recruiting. She also said California based chain, it could help drive more recently announced its businesses to set up shop plans to go national, ac- in Kyle. cording to an article in She ultimately believes the Eat Drink Better.com "any restaurant that newsletter. comes to Kyle" will do Buda Area Chamber well based on the city's of Commerce Managing growth. She said it would Director ].R. Gonzales be helpful if Kyle Eco- wasn't surprised by the nomic Development had clamoring for healthier the capability to leverage eating options. He said businesses with incen- Buda's demographic of fives, upward, mobile young "I do believe that professionals and high incentives make a differ- average income were the ence," Snyder said, primary reasons. Buda Economic But for Gonzales, Development Corpora- sustainability is the key tion Executive Director factor. He believes a Ann Miller maintained Chipotle or/ason's Dell recruitment of estab- can thrive along the IH- lishments with healthy 35 corridor, but could be options, and not fast better suited near subdi- food. visions along FM 1626 or And while the EDC RM 967. was not opposed to The open market recruiting healthy estab- ultimately determines lishments, vegan type es- a successful or failing tablishment are currently restaurant. not on the list. "There are so many Miller said she was not factors they (businesses) aware of a vegan restau- have to take into consid- rant chain, eration," Gonzales said. '~s far as recruiting "The last thing you want national retailers, it's to see is one of these difficult to recruit a chain healthy (restaurants) when one does not exist," come in, but not support she said. itself in the community." + i:l/i}l Ii1 t !{ M I i li [ II II II i