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 or 254-501-7555

(5) comments


This is a personal opinion of this writer.

You, my lady, have hit the nail on the head. The council is comprised of Builders and Contractors. They vote in a block of 4 regardless of which way the wind blows. They will continue to build the little cheap, cookie cutter style cracker boxes until this town, and I say it is a town until people stand up and say 'enough is enough'. Why I don't know did the town n say 'enough' when the mayor and council threw $750,000.00 out of the window when Greene was fired. The town had enough gumption to recall 5 of the councilmen, one resigned following that escapade, and one was voted out. That shut the city, and the mayor down as he became powerless. Then with the new election, they started building a new base and low and behold it only took one election cycle for the3m to gain the foothold back and no they've got a 4 council member base and that is what it takes for this town to control.
And in regard to the $750,000.00 expenditure, the existing council and mayor still have not presented a sound reason and basis for that. Shh, it's secret.
Now how many times has the council voted for an expenditure only to hold a ballot approving before it has come to fruition. I can right off the top of my head think of 3 or 4. The latest was councilman Harris stating “I think it’s just wasting money. Why did we hire people to do (studies) and not wait for them?” Boy that is a good question.... Why does this council even bother to go thru the motions of spending money to ask for opinions and then not take the time to listen to them?
And the show goes on on and on an on spending good money to hire consultants that have no intention of listening to because 'they have already made up their minds'.
One of the 1 % who voted
End of the personal opinion.


@ The council is comprised of Builders and Contractors. They vote in a block of 4 regardless of which way the wind blows.


in addition, I was not speaking for 8 residents-8 residents were present last night. I was speaking for 125 residents!


and to set the record straight; the residents of Rein Drive have been going to City Hall about every 6 weeks fighting and protecting this area against inappropriate use since 1989-the majority of the vote has always been in our favor, many of us do not receive mail from copper mountain post office-check with post office since we call regularly. In addition, many residents do not get city notifications.


Today is a sad day-we have lost the fight to protect our green space, a fight I have been fighting since 1989. The City of Killeen Planning Dept, Council Members, and Mayor have chosen the side of developers instead of listening to constant complaints from residents! Whitis Development will be building more useless housing on the last open corner in Killeen-Stagecoach and HWY 195 behind Rein Drive. Killeen has been polluted with GHETTO housing from all the small minded developers and low class builders in the area while fattening the wallets of property mgmt companies. It is time to stand up and STOP buying these over priced houses which have no yard or green space, turning our homeowners housing investments to XXXX. Also it is time to question the ethics on newly appointed mayor and newly appointed council members. In addition, we need to question those holding positions in the City of Killeen Planning and Development Dept-possibly it is time for a change! We have settled as a community way to long with crime infested neighborhood building; no more housing on less than 10,000 square feet so we can enjoy BBQ, family gathering's, a pool and a place to park our RV or boat. We demand parks, dog parks, jogging and bike trails, live entertainment, kids entertainment!!!!! I ask all of you to pass this message along as well as copy and paste this message and email to the City of Killeen Mayor and Council Members at;;;;;;;;;
****if you rather call and file a complaint to Planning please call 254-501-7633. Upset resident, Kathy Harkin 254-200-9433

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