The Killeen City Council approved changes to its residential townhouse single-family zoning ordinance Tuesday in an effort to enhance “community character.” The changes also will align with the city’s future land use and comprehensive plan, according to the senior planner.
Shelley Shelton said changes to the ordinance include increasing lots from 2,000 square feet to 2,500, decreasing front yard setbacks from 25 to 15 feet and decreasing front loading garages from 25 to 20 feet. The ordinance also calls for backyard setbacks to be doubled from 10 to 20 feet and the prohibition of carports in the front of the unit.
The minimum number of units was increased from two to three with a minimum of 7,500 square feet for the entire unit and a maximum of 12,500. A minimum height was added to the ordinance; each unit must be two-story.
Shelton said landscaping requirements were added along with the requirement that 85 percent of the structure be brick, stone or stucco.
Councilman Jose Segarra said townhouses aren’t in high demand in the city, but with the local universities, he can see them having a presence in the future.
“When I think of townhouses, I think of people not wanting to do a lot of maintenance or maybe downsizing,” he said. “When I look at this (ordinance) it looks like we are doing the opposite.”
Shelton said the new rules decrease the lot size of townhouses leaving less yard to maintain. “Trends predict that more and more people will want that kind of lifestyle where it’s maintenance-free.”
Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Blackstone expressed concern over the two-story requirement and sought to amend the proposed ordinance to take it out.
“We have some garden homes that are very, very popular. When one comes up, it sells,” she said. “Some of those are one story, and the people who are moving into those are generally older people, and sometimes it’s hard for a person to climb to the second floor.”
Segarra agreed with Blackstone’s concern, but the amendment died for lack of support with a 5-2 vote. The council then unanimously approved the ordinance as presented. The changed ordinance goes into effect immediately.