Vintage Heights — a potential 510-home development on Highway 16 — returns to the Kerrville City Council chambers tonight at the first Kerrville City Council meeting of the year.
"I want to vote for this, but I want it to feel good," said Place 4 council member Delayne Sigerman, adding that she hasn't solidified any opinions about it yet. "I want everyone involved to feel good when the day is over, as good as they can."
Other council members added they, too, aren't ready to make any conclusions about their feelings regarding the project yet, as it means a lot to a lot of people. This could be the biggest housing development in Kerrville's history.
Vintage Heights is a proposal to bring workforce housing adjacent to the Riverhill neighborhood. The property, which consists of more than 200 acres, is owned/developed by Chuck Cammack.
According to a press release from the city, the city defines workforce housing as housing for individuals and families that earn 80% to 120% of the area median income for Kerr County, which is about $57,700 per Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs 2019 Project Income and Rent Tool worksheet.
Mayor Bill Blackburn and Place 2 council member Kim Clarkson both said they didn't wish to share their opinions about Vintage Heights before the meeting.
"It's just really important that we make the right decision," Clarkson said, adding that she wants to have some of her questions answered. "I've got to figure out on a personal level what is best for the entire community. ... It's arguably the most important decision that's come before me at this point as a council member."
Place 3 Judy Eychner said that she is hopeful about the project and what it can bring in terms of development in the city.
"I think that it has a lot of possibilities for our community," Eychner said. "It's a big project, something we have not looked at before. There's lots of moving parts with this. ... I will not commit to anything. We will be voting (tonight) and I think that that will be the most appropriate time to give most of my views."
Vintage Heights has seen some opposition, much of which has been from Riverhill neighbors, who have expressed concern about the effects on traffic and the view from their houses.
"I think in general, the feeling seems to be the Riverhill property owners were comfortable not having anything there," Sigerman said. "... I can appreciate that; however, that's not reality. The reality is that we're going to have development and if it wasn't this owner now, it'll be somebody down the road that would build on that property."
The Planning and Zoning Commission deadlocked voting on whether or not to approve of the project in December when many Riverhill neighbors spoke about their concerns during a meeting. This kicked the issue to city council, but not without a few tweaks first.
The project now includes streets “stubbing out,” which means they will dead-end in order to not produce traffic into those established neighborhoods.
Regarding Riverhill residents' views, Cammack has agreed to ensure no two-story homes are built near an area where Riverhill homes would about the new houses. There would also be an 8-foot tall wooden privacy fence.
Additionally, 40% or more of the property will be dedicated to open space.
"The developer has taken seriously many of the concerns of the neighbors," Blackburn said. "... I'm looking forward to tomorrow night for a good discussion."
Cammack is also seeking a 45% tax rebate for 20 years for the workforce housing, which would cap off at $5 million.
WHEN AND WHERE
The council meeting is 6 p.m. at 701 Main St.