Killeen’s newly established masonry and design committee will meet tonight to examine census data and current real estate market trends in the city before determining what it wants to dictate to future residential and commercial structures through its design code.
An ordinance developed by the city’s planning and zoning commission calling for residentially zoned homes to be built with 75 percent masonry material on all sides of the first floor and 50 percent on the second floor was narrowly shot down by the council earlier this month. The proposed ordinance also required commercially zoned structures to be composed of 80 percent masonry materials.
The council was deadlocked in a 3-3 vote with Mayor Dan Corbin voting to reject the ordinance to break the tie. Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Blackstone and Councilmen Jose Segarra and Wayne Gilmore voted against it. Councilmen Jonathan Okray, Terry Clark and Jared Foster voted in favor; Steve Harris was absent.
Harris said that when the committee begins developing the new code, he would like to see landscaping and the feasibility of people buying homes in Killeen with certain standards being enacted addressed.
The committee will hold a series of meetings until it has established a code that the planning and zoning commission, members of the building community and the council can agree on.
The committee includes Clark; Blackstone; Segarra; planning and zoning commissioners Johnny Frederick and Tad Dorroh; and local builders Terry Stanley, Tim Farek and Bruce Whitis.
Corbin suggested the committee look to other cities’ ordinances for guidance and address aesthetics rather than strictly masonry as the rejected ordinance did.
“I think we need to be concerned with aesthetics — how we look, how we appear both commercially and residentially,” he said. “Not just masonry, but look at how we are going to fine-tune our ordinance with regard to how we look.”
Gilmore said he would like to see the committee look at what the cost would be to build a new home with particular standards implemented.
The meeting is slated for 5 p.m. in the Utilities Collection Building conference room, 210 W. Avenue C.