KISD is set to sell old middle school property

The Sidney Baker Highway property is in a prized location, and it could lead to big things for Kerrville.

One of the takeaways from Monday night's Kerrville Independent School District board of trustees meeting was that the district would lose one of its vital storage facilities when it sells the old Hal Peterson Middle School sometime next month.

Dubbed the "blue room,'' the approximately 6,000-square-foot storage space houses textbooks. Superintendent Mark Foust said the district would need to find another space.

The future of the former middle school campus along Sidney Baker Highway will reach one milestone when bids for the more than 25-acre property are due on Sept. 8. Kerr Economic Development Corp. Chief Operating Officer Gil Salinas said the property is a prime location for mixed-use of retail and housing. The sale of the property could fetch millions for the school district.

Salinas, however, noted the future property and sales tax windfall for the city on any development would be significant.


The valuation of the property is about $4.9 million.


The Kerrville City Council got a refresher course in the complexities of subdivision ordinances during a work-study meeting on Tuesday.

Guided by Planning Director Drew Paxton, the Council received a step-by-step process of how city staff plans to streamline the planning process, along with expectations for new subdivision planning in the wake of a 2019 state law that expedites approvals.

The idea posited by the Texas Legislature was that approvals were taking too long, were often expensive and ultimately became bogged down in bureaucratic haze. The law provides a 30-day window for cities to approve projects, but it's not as easy as it sounds. The challenge is that developers need to have plans ready to go, while cities need to check the boxes to approve projects without unnecessary delay.

And, oh by the way, if you don't approve it in 30 days the project gains automatic approval.

It's supposed to work in theory. Paxton explained the challenges, including fitting the planning and zoning commission's monthly meeting schedule into the process.

The subdivision ordinances also covered sidewalk construction, replating and other rules that will govern how the city grows in the coming years.

The four present councilmembers, Mayor Bill Blackburn was absent, spent a considerable effort discussing sidewalk ordinances. The city wants sidewalks in new construction, but the question about exemptions crept into the conversation.

Paxton said it would be hard for the planning staff to prepare for every exemption, leading Place 1 Councilman Roman Garcia to suggest a Council supermajority would be needed before granting exemptions. Paxton said he thought it would be a good idea.

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