By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS – The Harker Heights City Council amended the city's subdivision ordinance Tuesday after nearly 45 minutes of discussion of a single phrase.

Garrett Nordyke, the representative of Killeen-based W&B Development, contended that having a engineer "directly supervise" the construction of a subdivision as the amended ordinance states is not practical. He said there is no definition for "directly supervise" and it could mean that the engineer has to be on site for the entire project.

Councilman Mike Aycock jumped to the defense of the ordinance, claiming that an engineer who will put a seal on the finished product of a subdivision needs to know what happens on the project site.

"I have a problem with that," Aycock said. "He needs to see his work."

In some cases, the city has seen subdivision "as-built" drawings that have been signed by an engineer who has never visited the city, Aycock said.

"Ideally, this guy cannot take someone's word," Aycock said referencing a construction superintendent may sometimes fix an on-site issue and not tell the engineer about the correction.

Engineers have to see the work somehow, because they do not know drawings are as-built unless they have seen the construction, Aycock said.

"Once it is covered up, it is covered up," Aycock said.

Mayor Ed Mullen asked Nordyke if he would seal an as-built drawing if he didn't know what was underground. He said no.

Planning and Development Director Tommy Garcia told the council the language in the ordinance was pulled from state law, and places all interpretation on directly supervising a project on the engineer.

The council also took the following action:

Approved an ordinance granting a conditional-use permit to operate a specialized care home for eight residents on Comanche Gap Road.

Changed the zoning designation from a two-family dwelling district to light manufacturing at the southwest corner of East Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Lookout Ridge.

Granted a conditional-use permit to operate an animal boarding facility at the southwest corner of East Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Lookout Ridge.

Approved a resolution for the city to endorse certain legislative changes relating to the Sunset Review of the Texas Public Utility Commission and the Special Purpose Review of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Authorizing City Manager Steve Carpenter to negotiate and sign an engineering/architectural contract for the development of the Purser Family Park.

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.

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