The Killeen City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to decrease speed limits on U.S. Highway 190 and Farm-to-Market 2410 by 5 mph at its regular meeting Tuesday.
The Texas Department of Transportation requested the city change its speed limits during the construction of the U.S. Highway 190 widening project, which began March 1.
“This is a direct result of the U.S. 190 expansion,” said George Lueck, the city’s transportation director.
“The state has asked that we drop the speed limits for the safety of the workers.”
The city will decrease speeds by 5 mph on U.S. 190 and Central Texas Expressway — the U.S. 190 frontage road — between Fort Hood’s Main Gate and W.S. Young Drive and between Stan Schlueter Loop and the Harker Heights city limits.
Speed limits also will be decreased on FM 2410 between Scott & White Drive and the Harker Heights city limits (Roy Reynolds Drive).
The speed limit change will continue through the end of the construction, which TxDOT estimates will continue through February 2015.
In other action Tuesday, the council adopted a new zoning classification that would encourage larger lots to be built in the city.
Several council members questioned how the new, more restrictive zoning law would be implemented.
Suburban Residential Single Family District, or SR-2, is less restrictive than estate zoning, which requires lots of 1 acre or larger, and more restrictive than Suburban Residential 1, which requires lots of 1/5 of an acre or 8,400 square feet.
SR-2 — a middle course for suburban residential development — will require lot sizes of about one-third of an acre or 15,000 square feet.
“This is an option for the developers,” said Ray Shanaa, the city’s planning director. “Basically the zoning will require protection for the property owners.”
Councilman Jared Foster said the city needs to find a way to work the new zoning requirement into Killeen’s comprehensive plan, which was adopted by the council in 2010 as a long-term urban planning tool.
“I just don’t see much of a motive for somebody requesting (SR-2),” Foster said.
Also Tuesday, the council awarded a $3.9 million contract for the Stagecoach Road reconstruction project to Gary W. Purser Construction.
The project will add a center turn lane to the roadway from East Trimmier Road to Tyrel Drive, currently a two-lane rural-style road, and add curbs, sidewalks and gutters.
The council also met in closed session to receive legal advice from the city attorney regarding lawsuits filed against the city in the past week, by two former employees former city finance director Barbara Gonzales and former city mechanic John Acker.