For one local developer, the fifth time’s the charm.
After four unsuccessful attempts at rezoning a tract of land in south Killeen, the developer’s latest request proved successful Tuesday night during the Killeen City Council’s regular meeting.
The council narrowly approved W.B.W. Land Investment’s request to rezone 9.892 acres just west of Rein Drive with a 4-3 vote.
Councilmen Jonathan Okray, Steve Harris and Terry Clark voted in opposition. Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Blackstone and councilmen Wayne Gilmore, Juan Rivera and Jose Segarra voted in favor of the request.
The council’s nod rezones the acreage from agricultural single-family residential to suburban residential, similar to a request the council denied in May when the developer was seeking to have 12.36 acres rezoned.
However, similar to the past four times the request went before the council, it was met with residential opposition.
Kathy Harkin, a nearby resident, said she was speaking on behalf of herself and eight other residents in the area.
“This is going to push us residents who have been there for a long time out of the area of the 200-foot (notification radius),” she said. “We’re willing to accept an SR-1 on the whole property; however, all we want is the developer to come to us to do some type of a transition between our property to the SR-1.”
Tony McIlwain, city planner, said a developer can bring a request that was previously denied back before the council if the size of the request is reduced by 20 percent.
In May, the request failed in a 4-3 vote. Although the developer garnered four votes in favor of the zoning change, because 13 of 48 notified residents — 20 percent — opposed the request, it was denied.
With the reduced acreage requested, the city’s notification area shrank, requiring notifications to 32 property owners; 12 opposed, or 16 percent. With less than 20 percent objecting, the request didn’t require a majority vote to pass Tuesday.
“Even before we brought the first SR-1 request, the first zoning request we brought before the council was for R-1,” said Josh Welch, a representative for the developer. “When we did that, council and our neighbors requested we bring back a request for SR-1, which is what we’ve done. It meets what was requested by council; it meets what was requested by our neighbors and it’s presented in accordance with all the city regulations and ordinances.”
The item first went before the body in March 2013 when the developer requested a change to the city’s future land-use map and the rezoning of 62.31 acres. The council denied the future land-use map portion of the request and tabled the rezoning part.
It went back before the body in February when the developer was seeking the rezoning of 62.31 acres from agriculture single-family to single-family residential. The council denied the request, saying it was inconsistent with the future land-use map.
It appeared before the council for a third time in April as a request to rezone 12.36 acres to suburban residential, but the developer had it pulled from the agenda before the council’s vote. In May it was brought back for a fourth time, when it was denied.
During the council’s Aug. 19 workshop meeting, Welch said it’s the developer’s intent to “use this whole property,” but the request was reduced by 20 percent to comply with city ordinance to represent.
Contact Natalie Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7555