• December 28, 2014

Killeen council learns city may have no say in whether MUD OK’d

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality could approve municipal utility district without city’s consent

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Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 4:30 am

The Killeen City Council learned Tuesday that it might not have a say in whether a 1,400-acre municipal utility district is created in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Local developer Bruce Whitis petitioned the city this month to consent to the creation of the Bell County Municipal Utility District No. 2, a 4,000-home development planned just south of Killeen’s city limits.

A previous attempt at an agreement between the developer and the council failed by a 4-3 vote March 5.

Scott Osburn, deputy city attorney for public works, said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality could approve the MUD-2 without the city’s consent if Whitis follows an administrative process and acquires water and sewer services.

If created, MUD-2 — the largest planned residential development in Bell County — would become a new taxing entity, allowing it to levy property taxes to build water and transportation infrastructure.

The city has 90 days to come to an agreement with the developer before Whitis can send a second petition to the city — the next step in the process — requesting that the city provide the water and sewer services.

Osburn said, if the city commits to providing the water and sewer services, it also would have to build the water and sewer infrastructure.

If the city does not agree to provide the services, there would be no cost to the city; however, the city would lose its ability to set most building requirements within the development, Osburn said.

Councilman Jose Segarra said he was concerned about losing the ability to dictate the land use of the development, including controls on housing density and park space.

“In other words, we would lose control of those things,” Segarra said. “We, as a city, would have nothing to do with it.”

Osburn said there are some subdivision regulations that would apply to the development, because it would be located in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, but little else.

In order to sell water to the development, the city also would have to acquire the Certificate of Convenience and Necessity, which is currently owned by West Bell County Water Supply Corporation, Osburn said.

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4 comments:

  • Viktor posted at 4:24 pm on Wed, May 22, 2013.

    Viktor Posts: 317

    Citizen 360 is right. Developer will need to give TCEQ assurances on the ability to provide water, other services to MUD residents. MUD needs the city council's blessing. Yet reading related article on 5/21, "MUD talks to resume" a spokesperson(Nordyke) for developer is quoted as saying: "Also, pursuing MUD-2 without an agreement would frustrate our relationship with the city & our relationship with the city is very important."
    Yes, it's important to snow the city with feel good statements about not wanting to frustrate them to get the infrastructure in place for the MUD. Same article says developer purchased 1400 acre property. Odd to the untrained eye to purchase it when MUD hasn't been approved. Reality is developers in this town get their way. Eventually. Some more than others.

     
  • Citizen360 posted at 9:18 am on Wed, May 22, 2013.

    Citizen360 Posts: 9

    Killeen City Council should continue to hold its' original decision on this issue. Just say no. If Mr. Whitis will not give us a subdivision that is in keeping with the Comp Plan, mainly the FLUM, then let him TRY to prove to TCEQ that he is indeed able to provide water, sewer, and fire protection (suppression). We will soon see that he is NOT able to. He is attempting to bluff the city into thinking that this will happen with or without us but the truth is it will NOT. It is time that the city finally take a stand and stick to its' plan without deviation. If you cannot build what we are asking for then go build somewhere else. Stop using the myth saying that there is a "demand" for this type of housing when the truth is there is plenty of vacant housing stock to satisfy this "demand" for years to come. You want to develop more dense subdivisions? Why not think of redeveloping some of the city's older parts of town. Is it so hard to build what you build in Belton or Harker Heights here? Killeen and Fort Hood are the only reasons why those towns even exist!

     
  • Alvin posted at 9:04 am on Wed, May 22, 2013.

    Alvin Posts: 253

    May 22, 2013

    Just say NO...

    I just don't get it. The city council voted 4 to 3, on March 5, 2013, to deny MUD-2 and now it's surfaced it's ugly head, again, for a vote. Once again, the city is being asked to 'fund' a new water tower, water and sewer connections for an independent developer, Bruce Whitis, who wants to build 4,200 'homes' that will be adjacent to the city of killeen. The article, according to Scott Osburn, deputy city attorney for public works, said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality could approve the MUD-2 without the city's consent if Whitis follows an administrative process and acquires water and sewer services

    'If created, MUD-2 --- the largest planned residential development in Bell County --- would become a new taxing entity, allowing it to levy property taxes to build water and transportation infrastructure.

    The city has 90 days to come to an agreement with the developer before Whitis can send a second petition to the city --- the next step in the process --- requesting that the city provide the water and sewer services.

    Osburn said, if the city commits to providing the water and sewer services, it also would have to build the water and sewer infrastructure'.

    Just say NO...

    The city council has already gone on record, on March 5, 2013. of voting to deny this action. Why is it surfacing, again? Accordingly, 'If the city foes not agree to provide the services, there would be no cost to the city; however, the city would loose its ability to set most building requirements within the development, Osburn said.

    Councilman Jose Segarra said he was concern about losing the ability to dictate the land use of the development, including controls on housing density and park space.

    In other words, we would loose control of those things, Segarra said. We as a city, would have nothing to do with it'.

    Now if I understand it, the city is proposing to go on record 'front the developer to provide 'all of the infrastructure that would be required', including the fresh water tank, fresh water lines, sewer lines, and build a new water treatment facility, and a sewage facility', on tracts of land that the city does not entertain to incorporate into the city limits for another 15 to 20 years. Why is Segarra worried about 'loosing control' over something that far in the future. Besides, the city building codes may be changed 2 or 3 or more times before the city incorporates this land into it's city boundaries.

    If we 'do nothing', and by my stating 'do nothing', vote it down, again, we will be saving this city a large obligation.

    And in addition to the comments that Aliza has brought up, and she has some valid points, the airport with noise pollution should be considered. The airport always strives to move to an isolated area where upon developers come in and the problems start. Noise Pollution. It doesn't matter that the airport was there first.

    I say 'Just Say NO'.

     
  • Eliza posted at 8:07 am on Wed, May 22, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 905

    @ Councilman Jose Segarra said he was concerned about losing the ability to dictate the land use of the development, including controls on housing density and park space.
    “In other words, we would lose control of those things,” Segarra said. “We, as a city, would have nothing to do with it.”
    --------------


    Councilman Segarra words of, 'losing control & We as a city would have nothing to do with it.--
    Seems to me, would encourage the council to continue with the decision that the majority of the council agreed to a couple of months ago and that was not agreeing to the project of MUD-2 by at least a 4-3 vote.

    When this project was originally put before the council, there were too many times during the presentation, that questions were ask which were not answered, at least not in full.

    Compared to what has been built in the Killeen area before, this would be a mammoth of a project if built in the manner that's been described, and would require a lot of maintence.

    Supposedly, approximately 4000 homes are to be built, which roughly could bring in 8-16,000 people living in the small area which at one time had been part of Killeen's country roads.
    Many built there due to the fact of the serenity .What was once known to Killeen-ites as a 'country area' could become an overcrowded housing project. Then to supply those people who live there with shopping and somewhere to spend their money,next will come the nail shops, fast food restaurants,convenience store,liquor store, etc. Also planned as was told by the representative would be forms of entertainment, such as.trails and play grounds which would take up some of the land being planned for the 4000 homes to be built.

    Too, No one has told the citizens of Killeen, whose going to supply law enforcement for the possible 8-20,000 people living right outside their town, has arrangements been made with the Sheriffs office to supply that needed source, or fire protection ?
    The citizens of Killeen couldn't be expected to share their own safety sources on a regular basis with people living outside their back door