LOCAL GOVERNMENT

In a 20-minute meeting Tuesday, the Killeen City Council approved two ordinance revisions — one of which will provide more oversight of new developments, through an updated platting process.

The other ordinance revision reflects how the city will conserve its available water supply in case of a drought.

The council voted unanimously to approve the city’s new plat requirements regarding the development of subdivisions.

In December, the council was approached by city staff on updating the development codes, starting with the subdivision regulation.

According to officials, the council then directed staff to initiate a mandatory preliminary plat update with the Planning and Zoning Commission, which unanimously approved the ordinance amendments.

Part of the new update is for construction plans be released prior to being deemed filed and “that infrastructure or guarantee of completion be accepted prior to recordation of final plat.”

According to Hilary Shine, the city’s executive communications director, changes to the current Chapter 26 ordinance — subdivisions and other property developments — are intended to help better manage and plan for growth by applying a more measured approach to development.

“Requiring preliminary plats is expected to help provide a more complete picture of total development rather than looking at independent phases. It would also give more detailed information related to infrastructure and density,” she said.

Shine also added the update will not affect the city financially and impact fees are not involved, as talks are still underway — the council will be presented with a final draft of the impact fee study in July.

During Tuesday’s meeting, no residents came forward at the public hearing on the plat requirements and Councilman Steve Harris was the lone representative who asked questions.

Harris, who represents District 4, questioned if there were opportunities for developers to seek “loopholes” when it comes to planning a development.

Ray Shanaa, planning and development services executive director, answered Harris, stating the city staff is entrusted would do their best to be vigilant in complying with the ordinance.

The new plat requirements will go into effect in 30 days, after allowing for an appropriate transition period to the new regulations.

Earlier in the meeting, the council was presented with a recommendation from interim Executive Director of Public Works Danielle Singh to repeal and replace Chapter 30, Article 1, currently titled Water Conservation.

Singh said the city is required every five years to submit an updated water conservation and drought contingency plan to the Texas Commission Environmental Quality and the Texas Water Development Board.

The revised ordinance — titled Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan — highlights procedures including drought response measures, its coordination with regional water planning groups and who will authorized to initiate water monitoring.

In the updated plan, four stages of water shortage are described as mild, moderate, severe and critical, each with a specific protocol. The plan also states the city manager or a designee will monitor water supply and/or demand conditions on a regular basis “to determine when conditions warrant initiation or termination of each stage of the plan, that is, when the specified “triggers” are reached.”

In any case of a level to be initiated or terminated, the public will be notified through public notice in the Killeen Daily Herald and the city’s website, as well as public service announcements on local radio and TV stations.

City council voted unanimously and without further discussion on the Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan. It will be officially placed in the city’s charter on May 1.

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