• December 19, 2014

Killeen council votes to end plat request reviews

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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2014 4:30 am

In an effort to speed up the development process, the Killeen City Council will no longer review platting requests.

Previously, a request for plat would go before the planning and zoning commission for approval and then advance to the council to be approved a second time.

According to state law, the planning and zoning commission is the governing body that oversees platting, unless a city develops an ordinance requiring it go before the council as well.

State law also mandates that plats that meet the minimum requirements be granted approval.

Ray Shanaa, director of planning, said by eliminating the chore from the council’s agenda and allowing the planning and zoning commission’s ruling to stand, the development process can move forward more quickly.

“We are always trying to improve our services and expedite requests and permit applications, applications for platting, et cetera,” he said. “This would (be) more efficient (and) allow development to happen much faster. We think to shorten the approval process, we would be making Killeen more business friendly and more development friendly.”

The majority of the council agreed to do away with reviewing platting requests in its workshop meeting Tuesday.

“I think it’s a really good idea,” Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Blackstone said. “We can’t change it when it comes to us anyway. ... I think we have the right idea.”

Councilman Jonathan Okray, who wanted to keep the process as is, said the redundancy of plats going before the council for a second approval is a way to “check the checker.”

“I’m for keeping it like it is,” Councilman Terry Clark said. “It allows (the council) the opportunity to see what is going on. ... It’s keeping the council engaged and giving the council and future councils the opportunity to learn.”

Mayor Dan Corbin said the council reviewing plats is a needless task.

“It’s a ministerial act,” he said. “It’s totally unnecessary; waste of our time.”

The planning and zoning commission, which is appointed by the council, will now be the sole approval needed for platting.

In Harker Heights, the original request for a plat goes before the council for initial review.

The council then passes it to the planning and zoning commission to work out the details, and then it’s tossed back to the council for final approval.

In Copperas Cove, the approval process depends on the size of the request.

Major platting requests go before the council, while smaller ones go before planning and zoning.

nstewart@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7555

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