• December 17, 2014

Killeen denies zoning request

Council votes 4-3 against request that developer tried to pull from agenda again

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Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:30 am

The Killeen City Council denied a developer’s request to rezone more than 12 acres of land in southern Killeen following a lengthy discussion about pulling the item from the agenda again.

The item, which needed a three-quarters majority to pass, was denied with a 4-3 vote from the council. Councilmen Terry Clark, Jonathan Okray and Steve Harris voted to deny the zoning request, and Council members Wayne Gilmore, Elizabeth Blackstone and Juan Rivera voted in favor of the rezone.

Mayor Scott Cosper cast his vote to break the tie, in favor of the rezoning, but the item still lacked the three-quarters majority necessary for approval.

Councilman Jose Segarra was absent.

The item called for a three-quarters majority vote to pass because 20 percent of the residents within a 200-foot radius opposed the rezoning of 12.36 acres just west of Rein Drive.

However, City Attorney Kathy Davis said the city received a letter from the developer Tuesday afternoon with a statement and signature from a resident who wished to withdraw her opposition.

The withdrawal would have meant the issue didn’t need a three-quarter majority vote to pass, but Davis said the city was unable to verify with the resident that she wished to withdraw her opposition.

Josh Welch, a representative for W.B.W. Land Investments LP, requested the council postpone a decision until its next regular meeting so the signature could be verified, but the council elected to move forward with making a decision.

“I think they (the developer) postpone every time they think they can’t get the votes,” Blackstone said. “It’s troubling to me. I think it’s unfair to the people who are waiting for a resolution to this for this to be postponed at such a late moment. ... We’ve postponed this too many times already.”

The request to rezone 12.36 acres just west of Rein Drive from an agricultural single-family residential district to a suburban single-family residential district was tabled last month at the request of the developer. More than a dozen people were at the meeting to speak in opposition when the item was pulled.

The issue first appeared on the council agenda in March 2013 when the developer requested a change to the city’s future land-use map an the rezoning of 62.31 acres.

The council denied the future land-use map portion of the request and tabled the rezoning component. It was brought back before the council in February when the body heard the request to rezone the 62.31 acres from agriculture single-family residential to single-family residential. The council disapproved the request, saying it was inconsistent with the city’s future land-use map.

The developer amended the request, asking to rezone 12.36 acres to SR-1 last month, but had the item pulled before the council’s vote.

The developer can go back before the council with a request to rezone to an SR-2 district, which nearby resident Kathy Harkin said the neighborhood would agree to. An SR-2 zoning calls for a minimum lot size of 15,000 square feet; SR-1 has a minimum lot size of 8,400 square feet.

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