Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
May 18, 2016     Hays Free Press
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May 18, 2016

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Hays Free Press * May 18, 2016 Page 5A Kyle Development: Large scale development on the horizon Continued from pg. 1A + "We hope the quality of development can match the hill country setting, to match the character it's located in," Sellers said. According to Sellers, discussions on annexing the land began in 2015 when Hays County tabbed Corridor C as its preferred alternative for the FM 150 realignment project. After meetings with Hays County and the city, Sellers said the property owners approached Kyle with the "strategic catalyst of development at some point." Sellers said the annex- ation process was done to "preserve and protect the development of the area" and ensure "higher devel- opment standards." But he also said reach- hag the agreements required a high level of complexity, including balancing the needs of the property owners with the needs of the citizens at large. "We had to put together an agreement that was fair to both sides and strategi- cally advantageous to the city in the long run," Seller said. One aspect, Sellers said, was offering incentives to the property owners. That included Chapter 380 sales tax and property tax rebates, Sellers said a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) would be cre- ated on the Nance prop- erty that would go toward helping fund a bridge to extend Cypress Road over the Blanco River. Another was to make future development pay for some of the debt obligations for existing in- frastructure needs, Sellers said. Sellers referred to the city staff's amendment of the Public Improvement District (PID) policy to allow for an out-of-city"re- verse PID" in the Blanco River Ranch subdivision. The purpose of a PID is to collect assessments from properties that go toward funding infrastruc- ture improvements within the PID. With a reverse PID, up to 10 percent of the PID bond would go toward funding PID related expenses out- side of the PID. Sellers said the reverse PID could offset debt ser- vice the city would have to provide otherwise. While the Nance and McCoy properties will have PIDs, Sellers said their densities should offset the cost of infrastructure. What could be the results of the agreements? Possibly an influx of com- mercial and residential development. That includes the Blan- co River Ranch property, which has set aside rough- ly 300 acres for a future corporate campus, along with 1.05 million square feet of commercial space. In addition, Sellers said the city is anticipating a "destination resort" on the property. He said Blanco River Ranch has been talking with prospects for a possible hotel. According to Sellers, the move could open up the Blanco River area for recreational and commercial use. He said it's a large part of the city's desire to find a "destination appeal." "Kyle has never had that opportunity (to use the Blanco River) until now," Sellers said. While there is an influx of growth on the horizon, Sellers said the city is "putting together" plans to identify funds from the reverse PID to improve water and wastewater service. While he said the city wouldn't be able to serve the coming growth today, the long term develop- ments have "multiple bond issues" that could pay for servicing the area. Sellers said he antici- pates a time frame of 30 to 40 years for build out. "It's imperative that we have a long term plan to address these infrastruc- ture needs today, inclusive of these developments," Seller said. Tax Increase: Buda braces Continued from pg. 1A for the city. City Finance manager Sidonna Foust present- ed to council the overall financial state of the city and said the numbers, "looked good." But Foust said prop- erty tax rates would be increasing as previously discussed during the initiation of the 2014 bond projects. Faust said to expect slightly higher rates than normal. Buda s current property tax rate is .2979 per $100 taxable valuation. While a set rate for the increases hasn't been determined, Buda Mayor Todd Ruge said those increases wouldn't go beyond the original estimate of 20 cents. Council member Angela Kennedy said at the beginning of the bond process, the council received citizen input on what increase was accept- able in exchange for the improvements of the bond projects. Kennedy said that the amount of property tax increase presented to citi- zens and council that was agreed upon was roughly an increase of $20 a year. Foust said to council that the property tax increase may happen at an accelerated rate than previously planned, but will not exceed the agreed upon amount. But one of the messages conveyed to council was that the city would have to buckle down on spending in general. Ruge said despite the double-digit growth in revenue, the city might want to start considering cutting back in general. "Even though times are good in Central Texas fight now, there is no way of knowing how long that will last," Ruge said. "It's better to be safe than sorry." Along with all the growth Buda has been ex- periencing, there comes with it the need for more services to citizens. Ruge identified the need to hire more city staff now versus when the new Municipal building opens in two years. "With the growth we can expect to need to hire more staff such as our growing library depart- ment and police force," Ruge said. The future of Buda's environmental footprint was also discussed. Ken- nedy introduced the idea for approving a sustain- ability commission made up of citizen volunteers. She hoped the commis- sion would be the voice of council and citizens when contemplating sustain- ability concerns in Buda's future plans. The topic of altemative revenue streams was also discussed. That included the possibility of charging developers a"street tax," which would go for building and maintaining the roads they need for new developments, along with a beautification fee, FF| B • The city of Buda now boasts 12,976+ people and a median household income of $96,464 • Growth Since 2010- 77.9% • It also has earned the title of fastest growing city in Texas over 10,000 people by the Texas State Demographer • Median age - 33 • Median Household size - 2.94 • Average Household Income - $96,464 • 20 single-family neighborhoods in city limits; several more in ETJ • 84% owner occupied; rising home costs • Fastest growing city in Texas over 10,000 (TX State Demographer) • 300+ acres of parks with more coming • Almost 5 square miles of annexation over the last five years or small fee charged on residents' utility bills. Ruge was in favor of the street tax being charged to developers. But Ruge said he wouldn't see residents approving the beautifi- cation fee unless it was voluntary. Kennedy mirrored Ruge's sentiments about the street tax and the beautification fee ideas. She said residents could choose to opt out of the beautification fee if they wish do so. City staff also presented council with an overview of the Garison Memorial Park property and dis- cussed what the master plan might entail, as well as what the plans for the existing structures on the property should be. DrewWells, Director of Parks and Recreation, told council that the Master plan for Garison Park should be complet- ed by the summer, then conveyed to council for action. HEWS BR|EFS Avenue now After a three year wait, Kyle's first project under the city's 2013 road bond initiative is now com- plete. Kyle City Engineer Leon Barba said Tuesday Marketplace Avenue, the first of the city's five road bond projects, is now open. He said the city is "trying to wrap up" the Marketplace project, and that there is a"good chance" for the installa- tion of street lights. Barba said the Go- forth Road project began construction March 21. He said the city hopes to finish construction in front of Fuentes Elemen- tary by Aug. 22. Construction on Bun- ton Creek Road is slated to begin in September, Barba said. But the city must acquire 14 parcels of right-of-way for the Burleson Street project before construction be- gins November 2016. Buda PD gets kudos from Praise was given to the Buda Police Department Tuesday following a presentation from Buda Police ChiefBo Kidd on the current state of the department and its future plans. Kidd began by extolling the importance of police force training, saying that an officer who attends a police academy com- pletes at least 700 or more hours of coursework. He added that the state mandates at least 40 hours of additional train- ing per training cycle, which for Buda's police department, is every two years. Buda Police officers complete about 150 hours of additional train- ing every two years, so they are more than meet- ing state requirements, Kidd said. "We are as prepared, if not better prepared, than any other law en- forcement agency in the country," Kidd said. City Manager Kenneth Williams added, "We are very pleased with the way officers interact with the public here, they are very approachable." Buda council member Angela Kennedy echoed similar sentiments. "We really have a lot to be proud of in you and your leadership and the Police force here in Buda," Kennedy said. Property Tax Protest and Appeal Procedures The law gives property owners the tight to protest actions con- cerning their property tax appraisals. You may follow these appeal procedures if you have a concern about: • the market or appraised value of your property • the unequal appraisal of your property • the inclusion of your property on the appraisal roll • any exemptions that may apply to you • the qualification for an agricultural or timber appraisal • the taxable status of your property • the local governments which should be taxing your property • the ownership of property • the change of use of land receiving special appraisal • any action taken by the chief appraiser, appraisal district or appraisal review board (ARB) that applies to and adversely affects you. Informal Review Please attempt to discuss your problem with a staff appraiser, before the date you are scheduled. He/she may be able to help you resolve your prob- lem and avoid the formal hearing with the ARB. Review by the ARB If you cannot resolve your problem informally with the county appraisal district (CAD) staff, you may have your case heard by the ARB. The ARB is an independent board of citizens that reviews prob- lems with appraisals or other concerns listed above. It has the power to order the CAD to make the necessary changes to solve prob- lems. If you file a written request for an ARB hear- ing (called a notice of protest) before the deadline, the ARB will set your case for a hearing. You will receive written notice of the time, date and place of the hearing. If necessary, you may request a hearing in the evening or on a Saturday or Sunday. Prior to your hearing, you may ask to review the evidence the CAD plans to introduce at the hearing to establish any matter at issue. The law provides that before a hearing on a protest or immediately after the hear- ing begins, you or your agent and the CAD shall each provide the other with a copy of any written material intended to be offered or submitted to the ARB at the hearing. To the greatest extent practi- cable, the hearing will be informal. You or a designated agent may appear in person to present evidence or you may send notarized evi- dence for the ARB to review at your hearing. The CAD repr’- sentative will present evidence about your case. You may cross-examine the CAD repre- sentafive. The ARB will make its decision based on the evidence presented. In most cases, the CAD has the burden of establishing the property's value by a preponderance of the evidence presented. In certain protests, the chief appraiser has the burden of proving the property's value by clear and convincing evidence. You should review ARB hearing procedures to learn more about evidence and related matters. You can get a copy of a protest form from the ap- praisal district office, Hays Cen- tral Appraisal District, 21001 1H 35 N, Kyle, Texas, 78640 or on our website You should not try to contact ARB members out- side of the hearing. The law requires ARB members to sign an affidavit saying that they have not talked about your case before the ARB hears it. Review by the District Court, an Arbitrator or SOAH After it decides your case, the ARB must send you a copy of its order by certified mail. If you are not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to appeal. If you choose to go to court, you must start the process by filing a petition within 60 days of the date you receive the ARB's order. In certain cases, as an alterna- tive to filing an appeal in district court, you may file, not later than the 45th day after you receive notice of the ARB order, a request for binding arbitration with the county appraisal district. In cer- tain cases, you may appeal to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). An appeal to SOAH is initiated by, not later than the 30th day after you receive notice of the ARB's order, filing with the chief appraiser of the county appraisal district a notice of appeal. Appeals to dis- trict court, binding arbitration, or SOAH all require payment of certain fees or deposits. Tax Payment You must pay either the amount of taxes due on the portion of the taxable value not in dispute or the amount of taxes due on the property under the order from which the appeal is taken. More Information You can get more information by contacting your appraisal district at Hays Central Appraisal District, 21001 IH 35 N, Kyle, Texas, 78640, (512) 268-2522. You can get additional information on how to prepare a protest from the Comptroller's publication, Property Tax Basics, available on the Comptroller's Property Tax Assistance Division's website at pdf/96-1425.pdf. +