By Kevin M. Smith
Killeen Daily Herald
The Land Use/Development Committee toured housing on Fort Hood on Tuesday to try to get some ideas about how to amend its ordinance to reduce the density of homes in Killeen.
The committee has been working on changes to a multifamily housing ordinance during the past few meetings. Committee members said they want to get parked cars off the streets and provide more green space for children to play.
"It's not exactly what we have, but I think it will give us some ideas," said Councilman Larry Cole, committee chair.
Committee members saw some duplexes in Comanche Village and Montague Village during Tuesday's bus tour. The duplexes featured small lawns for each unit, and there were several "pocket" parks with playground equipment throughout Montague Village.
"It makes it look a little better," said John Forsberg, who oversees design and construction for on-post housing.
Comanche Village featured a community center.
"When we build a community center, we build it with this concept," said Jim Switzer, asset manager for Fort Hood housing. "We build a community center and build the community around it."
Cole said he doesn't expect local developers to allocate as much space as that in the city because it would not be cost-effective for them.
"What we're concerned with is density," Cole said. "We're not going to be able to duplicate."
Switzer said profit is not the Army's goal in on-post housing.
"The Army's goal is to provide better quality of life for its soldiers and families," Switzer said.
He said the committee won't find on post new fourplex buildings, which is the focus of the ordinance, because the Army is not building fourplexes. The highest density housing on post is duplexes, Switzer said.
After the meeting, Councilman Juan Rivera, committee member, and Bruce Whitis, who represents developers on the committee, said that Fort Hood's style of housing may not be applicable to the city.
"If the city is not going to maintain the green space, that's something we need to work out," Rivera said.
Whitis suggested creating community green space – rather than extra green space for each lot – during an April 1 committee meeting. Whitis said it would be difficult for the property owners of fourplexes to maintain common green space. Rivera said the city and developers need to find common ground.
"We need to work together," Rivera said.
The committee will continue discussing ordinance revisions in two weeks.
Contact Kevin M. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7550.