By Kevin M. Smith
Killeen Daily Herald
Following an afternoon and evening of debate, the Killeen City Council remained divided in its decision to approve an ordinance to establish land-disturbance permits and codify city/owner agreements among other things.
The council approved the ordinance 4-3 with council members Otis Evans, Fred Latham and Larry Cole the dissenting votes. The ordinance was approved with changes suggested by Councilman Dick Young that included the section that requires a land-disturbance permit not go into effect for 90 days.
Councilman Bob Hausmann said amendments always can be made to the ordinance.
"Now the pressure is on to do it or not do it," Hausmann said about changes.
In April, the Land Development Committee suggested establishing a land-disturbance permit. Land change activity, as defined by the proposed ordinance, would be any change that may result in soil erosion from water or wind and the movement of soil into waters or onto lands. It also would include any increased runoff of water from, but not limited to, clearing, grading, excavating, transporting and filling of land.
A permit would be required for any of those activities and permits would run about 20 percent of the cost of a subdivision plat.
The council received myriad comments from local developers and others opposing the ordinance. Many said it was not as much the requirement of an assessment on erosion, but the timing.
"We would like to be able to work on our property," said Gary Purser Jr., a local developer. "We have got to do some tree clearing before we survey our property."
Although it was not a public hearing, the council allowed members of the audience to speak at the meeting. The council also received comments of support for the ordinance. Dorothy Conder said her property never had problems with excessive water until developments were built around her land.
Developers and builders asked for more time to reach a compromise.
"Give us more time to get something that will work for everyone," Colette Marshall said.
City Councilman Larry Cole said that's what the council gave them.
"It's not my intention to let this die," Cole said.
Contact Kevin M. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7550