BELTON — More than half of the eventual 1,500 lots in the sprawling Shakespearean-themed Three Creeks subdivision have been approved.
Last week, the Belton City Council unanimously approved two final plats with a total of 254 lots at the subdivision off Stillhouse Hollow Dam Road. The subdivision is in Belton’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, the unincorporated area within one mile of the county seat’s city limits.
Three Creeks phase four covers 38.44 acres and contains 156 lots. Phase five of the subdivision is on 21.89 acres and contains 98 lots. These lots bring Three Creeks up to a total of 820 approved lots.
The subdivision is also known as the Bell County Municipal Utility District No. 1, a separate political subdivision outside city limits that levies property tax on its residents and issues municipal debt.
W&B Development, the company owned by developer Bruce Whitis developing the subdivision, is also developing Bell County Municipal Utility District No. 2 south of Killeen. The Killeen development, approved by Killeen City Council in 2013, will eventually contain up to 3,750 homes.
While the Belton City Council OK’d the plats, there are certain conditions W&B Development must meet for both. Those include meeting conditions outlined by Bell County Engineer Bryan Neaves and Belton Public Works Director Angellia Points; revise road plans; and meet the terms of the development agreement signed between the developer and the city.
Councilman John Holmes said he was concerned about phase four only having one access point for 156 lots. Smith told Holmes while Belton requires subdivisions with more than 101 lots to have three access points, Three Creeks has a different set of requirements.
“This subdivision was approved under the terms of a development agreement back in 2010,” Smith said. “It is following the terms of the development agreement. So it would not be subject to those requirements.”
The only access point for the subdivision is Three Creeks Boulevard. However, Smith pointed out that by May 1, 2019, W&B development is required to pave Rocking M Lane up to Auction Barn Road. This would make for the second entry and exit.
There will be a third access point to Three Creeks, she said.
“One great thing that you see on our thoroughfare plan is the extension of Shanklin Road (to the) east, which will ultimately be three entrances,” Smith said.
Currently, Rocking M Lane is just a dirt road. With that in mind, Mayor pro tem Craig Pearson asked if an ambulance or a fire truck could travel the road in its current condition.
Belton Fire Chief Bruce Pritchard said an ambulance can travel down Rocking M Lane. A fire truck, however, cannot. The fire engine does not leave pavement, Pritchard said.
At some point, Rocking M Lane will be conveyed to the city of Belton, City Manager Sam Listi said. Because the road is on the outskirts of Belton, the city and Bell County are in talks for the county to take over the road, Listi said.
Three Creeks has been rapidly developing in recent years. Belton approved 19 building permits in 2015, 114 permits in 2016 and 102 so far in 2017.