By Hailey Persinger

Killeen Daily Herald

Discussions with residents have ended and Killeen's comprehensive plan is on track to be completed by June, Gary Mitchell, vice president of Kendig Keast, told City Council members Tuesday.

The city commissioned Kendig Keast to create the plan that outlines where the city can take advantage of rapid development for a higher quality of living in Killeen. Mitchell told council members that though the city has been doing great things to "catch up" with the city's growth, he said there is room to improve.

"In today's world, today's economies and how you're competing, quality of place is important," Mitchell said. While the people of Killeen add to the quality of the city, Mitchell said "the comprehensive plan brings in the physical part of quality."

Variety in housing developments is a priority for Kendig Keast. The plan for Killeen, which likely will be ready to either adopt or reject by July, calls for the addition of several housing developments with large lots and potential tweaking when it comes to the rapid building of four-plexes.

"We understand the need for affordable housing," Mitchell said. "Going forward, can there be more variety? You are going to have folks here that are looking for something different."

In response to Kendig Keast's suggestions, Mayor Pro Tem Scott Cosper said the city should take pride in what it already has and continue to maintain doing what it does well.

Development of neighborhoods with large lots and high square footage is already happening, he said.

"The developers are going to do what the economy can sustain," he said. "What they need is some incentives."

Councilman Juan Rivera agreed that incentives are key to bringing in new developments like those Mitchell suggested but told fellow council members that Killeen does "have some beautiful housing."

"At this point," he said, "we've also got to be grateful. They have built around us."

As the comprehensive plan moves into its final stages, Ray Shanaa, executive director of planning and zoning, reminded council members of what it is meant to be.

"The purpose of the plan is to provide us a road map for where we want to get," he said. "The intent is for the city to step up and direct growth."

Contact Hailey Persinger at or (254) 501-7568.

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