The City of Killeen is holding public hearing tonight on a rezoning request in Southeast Killeen that has drawn some criticism from neighbors.
Businessman Jim Wright, along with six other owners, are part of SS Springs, LLC who along with Abbott Springs, Limited are attempting to rezone 42.3 acres from a local business district to a planned unit development, or PUD.
“This has been going on for 18 months. We have done every effort and worked diligently with the city to make this happen,” Wright said.
The area up for debate is near Harker Heights, adjacent to the Deerwood Estates and Birmingham Circle.
In the preliminary plans, businesses would front Rosewood, behind that would be a gated community of homes.
The development will include various residential zoning, to include duplexes, amenities, some commercial zoning and a community center for a planned gated community.
Pricing of the properties were not available, Wright said. He said that information will be available in the next phase of construction, and his focus now is on rezoning.
A request was submitted to the city on behalf of SS Springs, L.L.C. and Abbott Springs, Ltd. by Quintero Engineering, L.C. to rezone the land.
On April 15, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved the request, 4-1, with Commissioner Leo Gukeisen in opposition, forwarding the issue to the City Council to consider.
The future site of the Rosewood neighborhood lies in District 2, represented by Debbie Nash-King.
During the May 7 City Council workshop, Nash-King stated she received concerns from dozens of constituents.
“I hosted a forum last year so the residents in my district could voice their concerns to developers of the Rosewood project,” she wrote in a May 9 email to the Herald. “It was around 40 residents that attended the forum.”
Residents from the neighborhood have voiced concerns though several platforms including P&Z meetings.
Kenneth Greenawalt, 75, thinks the city should not consider moving forward with the zoning.
He has lived in the area since 2009.
“I went down to the zoning board and wanted to get a good map of the development and have that explained to me the types of housing. Typically, in my experience, duplexes wind up being homes for welfare folks,” he said.
In a response to SS Springs request located in the May 7 workshop package, resident Daren Walker stated “the city need(s) to set some limits. (The) City of Killeen have let greed sink in.”
Robert Volk, who lives on Birmingham Circle, said he has been in opposition of the rezoning since he first heard of the plans last year.
“These homes are about $200 (thousand) to $500,000. We were first told numerous things like there will be a park or it would be left as a green area,” he said. “The concern is having double-occupancy homes on the backside of these homes. It will devalue everybody’s home.”
“The City staff was very instrumental in this design and again all what we are doing right now is the zoning and that is all,” Wright said.
City council to vote on rezoning today
A public hearing and possible vote will be conducted today during a city council meeting.
Nash-King stated she is “still evaluating all the information I received from Tuesday’s workshop and the residents concerns before I make my final decision on the rezoning Rosewood.”
The meeting is at 5 p.m. at 101 N. College St.