• October 31, 2014

Killeen council’s subdivision vote undercuts plan

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Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2014 4:30 am

Last week’s Killeen City Council vote to approve a plan for a housing subdivision in the city’s university/cemetery overlay district was a significant development.

Approval of a conditional-use permit to allow single-family housing on 35 acres of land not only was a departure from Killeen’s comprehensive land-use plan, but it set the tone for future development along the southern approach to the city.

By authorizing a conditional-use permit, the city gains significant oversight as to the specifications of the development. Also, to this point, the project’s developer, Bruce Whitis, worked with the city to address concerns council members raised about lot size and construction materials.

Still, the council’s vote was not without controversy. In voting against the development, Councilman Terry Clark noted the council was not involved in any of the detailed discussion regarding the project.

In addition, dissenting Councilman Steve Harris pointed out the city was still awaiting results of a transportation and impact fee study. He viewed Tuesday’s vote on the project as premature.

In the end, the project was approved by a 4-3 vote — a familiar split by the current council on economic development issues.

It’s legitimate to ask why the city is spending taxpayer money on studies if they’re not being used to make decisions regarding future growth.

It’s also valid to ask whether the university/cemetery district is still a viable concept. The district was established in 2005 to set the tone for commercial and residential development in the area of the state veterans cemetery and the Texas A&M-Central Texas Campus. But too many times, the council has chosen to allow exceptions to the plan.

Moving forward, the council must decide whether to adhere to the city’s comprehensive plan, revise it or scrap it.

Making the right choices in the development of Killeen’s southern gateway is crucial — in terms of image and intent.

We only have one chance to get it right.

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4 comments:

  • Alvin posted at 2:10 pm on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Alvin Posts: 208

    Addendum:
    This is the personal observation of this writer.
    Copy:'In the end, the project was approved by a 4-3 vote — a familiar split by the current council on economic development issues.' End Of copy.
    Need I say more??? This newly elected council, and I might add mayor is just what the voting public wanted, nothing. This is a stand pat, do nothing 4-some on the council that will, I my personal opinion, vote to uphold the contracting backbone of this town, and I say town because they don't have the gumption to read between the lines and take a stand where they should. This town is very free with their money, giving contracts and not waiting to see the results, say of studies that they paid good citizens money, but don't wait for the results.
    You've 3 councilmen that take the job of a councilman serious, but the remaining 4, vote with no thought whatsoever. They just cast the party line.
    What was our illustrious city manager doing all of this time? He should have at least – something I would think. But that the is the way the cookie crumbles, nothing said, casting a contractor/construction vote of compliance.
    End of the personal observation.
    One of the 1 % who voted.

     
  • Eliza posted at 9:49 am on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Eliza Posts: 835

    [thumbup]

     
  • Eliza posted at 9:48 am on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    Eliza Posts: 835

    @ It’s legitimate to ask why the city is spending taxpayer money on studies if they’re not being used to make decisions regarding future growth.---

    Its not only legitimate ---Its the intelligent thing to do,

    Remember those who showed intelligence by not voting for the disruption in the comprehensive plan And those who showed greed or special interest when they voted.

     
  • psychotic1 posted at 7:10 am on Sun, Aug 17, 2014.

    psychotic1 Posts: 1

    4 councilmen dancing to the tune played by big developers. To bad the recall wasn't truly completed. If it was, it would have been 7-0 against.

     

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