• August 20, 2014

Taking to the streets: Council backs plan to help rehabilitate the disadvantaged

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Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:16 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Hailey Persinger

Killeen Daily Herald

Killeen City Council members agreed Tuesday to support a community-led push to help Killeen's homeless adults and children.

Representatives of the Heritage House Steering Committee, a group dedicated to resolving the problem of homelessness in Central Texas, asked the council for support in its quest to create a system to help rehabilitate the disadvantaged.

Alvin Dillard, executive director of the Christian Assistance Network, outlined a plan that would give shelter, financial counseling and budgeting assistance to the less fortunate. With the help of a $25,000 grant, the group hopes to seek routes to begin that process. Though representatives told the council they had enough for the first year of operations, future requests for financial support from the city could be a possibility.

Garden home ordinance

Also during the meeting, the council discussed an ordinance that has been the source of debate between planning and development staff and some council members.

After a series of discussions with area builders, Ray Shanaa, Killeen's executive director of planning and zoning, presented a modified garden home ordinance that differed slightly from its original.

The first version required that homes in the single-family garden home residential district be at least 1,325 square feet and sit on fully-sodded lots of at least 5,000 square feet. It also required builders to use at least 75 percent brick or stone on the façade of the home.

In the modified plan Shanaa presented Tuesday, only a minimum of 25 percent of brick or stone would have been required on the facade.

Despite the council's request last week that Shanaa review the ordinance, work with a representative of local builders and return with modifications, members threw out some of the suggestions he made Tuesday in lieu of creating their own.

After next week's vote on the measure, builders could be required to create homes with 75 percent brick, stone or stucco on the house's exterior, fully sod each yard and plant at least one tree.

However, council members reduced the proposed minimum allowable home size from 1,325 square feet to 1,100 and reduced the side requirement from 7½ feet to five feet.

City Planner Tony McIlwain told the council during its detailed discussions of sod, trees, bushes and stucco that planning and zoning had delivered - and would continue to deliver - ordinances that would enhance Killeen's appearance.

"Your commissioners have given you a product that will help reach Killeen's goals," he said. "After the builders have moved on, the house stays. The product of the ordinance in front of you will be of higher value."

The council reached a consensus regarding the ordinance and will officially vote during next week's meeting.

Contact Hailey Persinger at haileyp@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow her on Twitter at KDHcity.

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