The Killeen City Council narrowly approved a plan for single-family housing in the cemetery and university districts during its Tuesday regular meeting.
The conditional-use permit granted by the council will allow for single-family homes on 35 acres of property near Splawn Ranch Drive and South Fort Hood Street. The project, by W.B.W. Land Investment, shows an average lot size for home in the subdivision at 8,600 square feet with 70 feet of frontage, 25-foot front yard setbacks, 20-foot rear yard setbacks with a maximum height of two stories.
Under the conditional-use permit, homes’ exteriors also are to be composed of 90 percent stone, stucco or brick on all levels and all four sides.
Councilmen Jonathan Okray, Terry Clark and Steve Harris voted against the request for a conditional-use permit. Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Blackstone, Councilmen Wayne Gilmore, Jose Segarra and Juan Rivera voted in favor.
“I can’t support this particular project as it’s presented,” Clark said. “The council itself has not been involved in any of the detailed discussions. We’re planning a city, not just making a decision so we can get some more lots on the land.”
Harris attributed his vote in opposition to waiting on results from a transportation and impact fee study to come back to the city.
“I think it’s just wasting money. Why did we hire people to do (studies) and not wait for them?” he asked the body. “This is about the business of the city of Killeen and making sure that Killeen grows in the right way and is responsible. It’s responsible to me to go ahead and wait and not jump the gun.”
During the public hearing, two property owners near the proposed development and a representative from W.B.W. Land Investment spoke in favor of the development. No one spoke in opposition.
Payton Duncan, a nearby resident, said he was “very much in favor” of single-family housing in that area. His brother, Wayne Duncan, who also owns property nearby, agreed.
Point of Order
After about 35 minutes of discussion, Rivera called for a vote on the rezoning. Mayor Scott Cosper immediately asked the council to vote.
Robert’s Rules of Order — rules dictating parliamentary procedure — and city protocol require the council to vote to end discussion on an item. Only if the majority of the council agrees can members take action on the item.
Clark called a point of order regarding the vote. However, he didn’t raise his objection until the council moved on to the next agenda item.
Robert’s Rules of Order and city protocol state a council member can appeal when they believe a breach was made promptly before any further discussion or business.
City Attorney Kathy Davis said Clark was correct in finding that protocol had been violated. However, because the point of order wasn’t called promptly, it was void.
“(Rivera) asked for the vote, I looked for any other discussion very clearly before I acknowledged his request,” Cosper said. “So, therefore, I moved forward, which I would normally do anytime there were no more questions. ... I gave everybody ample time to respond whether they had a question or not, and I’m not sure that it would have changed the outcome what-soever.”