The developer for Vintage Heights, which less than a month ago was approved for city property tax rebates, has reached out to the county for more incentives.
However, due to new legislation passed by the state, the county must have an economic development incentive policy before moving forward with any new agreements, said Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly on Monday.
Chapter 381 of the Texas Local Government Code allows counties to implement a variety of measures with the goal of stimulating economic growth. The county could, for example, follow the city’s lead and provide tax rebates to Vintage Heights LLC. Kelly said the company hasn’t asked for anything in writing yet.
Chuck Cammack, who represents the company, was not immediately available for comment.
The city council last month authorized an agreement that rebates 45% of the taxes collected on each Vintage Heights home — as long as a home is sold at or less than $227,000 — to incentivize affordable housing. The developer can’t receive more than $5 million in rebates, and the agreement expires in 20 years.
Kelly said the county may have an economic development policy ready within four months. County officials, with the help of Austin law firm Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP, will come up with a policy for consideration by the full commissioners court. There will be a public hearing on the policy before it is adopted by commissioners.
Commissioner Tom Moser, who represents the area including Riverhill, has proposed the county help pay for a new road to alleviate additional traffic that’s expected from Vintage Heights and a middle school under construction.
Riverhill residents have long objected to Riverhill Boulevard being used as a shortcut — especially by heavy trucks — from Texas 16 to Texas 173.
But a new road would help, Moser said. Vintage Heights LLC has already dedicated some right of way for the future collector street, which may someday run along the southern edge of Kerrville-Schreiner Park. A preliminary concept for the proposed 2.3-mile collector road, Bordeaux Boulevard, calls for it to begin in about the 2500 block of Bandera Highway and end at Texas 16 in about the 2100 block of Medina Highway. The road would be two lanes, but could be expandable to four lanes, Moser said.
“There’s a whole list of people in Riverhill who really want to see this happen,” Moser said.
Some of the proposed road passes through property owned by the Keebles, one of whom was a former city councilwoman. The park can’t be encroached upon for roadway, due to a prior agreement, Moser indicated.
“I live on Riverhill Boulevard, and had I been told that it was a ‘collector street’ I never would have purchased my home,” wrote Riverhill resident Suzy Purcell to Moser earlier this month in an email.
Purcell told Moser she wanted to stay updated on “the status of a possible new route to help alleviate traffic on Riverhill Boulevard.”
Moser said the new road “would probably be in the neighborhood of $5 million,” based off a “top-of-the-head” estimate by an engineering firm.
“I checked to see if there were any grants from TxDOT for that, and the best I can determine is there’s no grant funds available for this,” Moser said. Commissioners passed a resolution last year asking for TxDOT to put the road on its plate. But waiting for the state to build the road isn’t a viable option, Moser indicated, as it’s not a high priority for TxDOT, and residents need the road sooner rather than later.
Moser suggested the county could pay for 60 percent of the road through a bond election that’s tentatively planned for this November. The city might agree to pay the rest.
The county bond also might pay for a new county animal services facility and more land for county offices. A capital improvements committee is developing a list of projects for bond funding consideration.