Potential flooding, risk to livestock at heart of Killeen rezoning issue

Killeen resident Heather McNeely provided this photo of drainage behind Gilbert Estates, causing water backup onto her property. McNeely and her husband Tim believe that if the Killeen City Council votes to Tuesday to rezone three lots in this area, it will compound the issue even more, for them and for their neighbors.

A QUOTE IN THIS STORY HAS BEEN CORRECTED FROM ITS ORIGINAL VERSION.

A zoning issue in south Killeen, set to be addressed by the Killeen City Council at it’s Tuesday meeting, has local residents speaking out.

At it’s Tuesday workshop, the Killeen City Council hosted a public hearing on a proposed ordinance, done at the request of Garrett Nordyke on behalf of Bernard Klimaszewski, to amend the city’s comprehensive plan’s future land use map from an “estate” designation to one of “general resdiential.” This would apply to three lots located at 5011 Cunnigham Road.

“Staff finds that this amendment request would affect approximately 22.50 acres and is considered a small-scale amendment,” a city staff report said. “The property, located at 5011 Cunningham Road, is currently undeveloped. The surrounding adjoining properties are predominantly estate style lots with agricultural use, vacant undeveloped lots, and single-family residential lots.

The council is expected to vote on the proposed change at its Tuesday meeting.

Heather McNeely, a resident of this area, spoke at the workshop.

“You guys are not following the comprehensive plan, which assures farmland within city limits,” McNeely said, adding that new homes in that area, she believes, will be disruptive to area farms.

McNeely’s husband, Timothy, added later that although the lots in question are not in a flood plain, his farm is, and his animals would be at risk if major rains were to come.

City Planning Director Tony McIlwain expressed the city’s support of the change, which he said is of about 22.5 acres of property not located inside a FEMA flood zone. He added that the change would allow for townhomes, duplexes and other types of residential construction in on those lots.

“Essentially you would have general residential development in this area,” McIlwain said.

McNeely also spoke at a City of Killeen Planning and Zoning commission meeting on Dec. 21, expressing her opposition to the proposed change.

"What was brought to light a couple of things, that the City does not need to notify citizens of FLUM requests other then in the paper," McNeely said by email. "If you look at the FLUM on the City website, it still shows the area Gilbert Estates is on as Estate land. Durning the meeting they showed a FLUM with a small portion of It being General Residential. "

"They changed the FLUM of a portion of that land of the Gilbert Estates, I believe they did it so they wouldn’t get push back when they changed the rest of that land from the residents. They only need to notify 200 feet so that means they notified them selves and few neighbors.”

McNeely believes the city is trying to do the same thing in the area near her property.

“We understand that 22 acres of farm land in the city not being used and the owners wanted to sell or developed the land,” she said. “We are not expecting them to keep it vacant or not to develop it. That’s why we were requesting it to put in as SR-2 this would give a better progression into the surrounding area and will have less affects on the farms near by. With SR-2 you can have up to 3 homes per acre. That would put it at about 50 homes vs the 160 that the city has stated can go there.”

Tuesday’s council meeting will be at 5 p.m. in the council chambers in City Hall, 101 N. College St., Killeen.

For those unable to attend the meeting in person, it will be web streamed live and archived for playback on the city’s website, KilleenTexas.gov. It will also be broadcast live on Spectrum Cable Channel 10.

swilson@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7463

(3) comments

Truthprevails

This high density housing is not needed in that area. 3 home per acre is plenty.

If approved then here comes mor congestion and overloading of downstream drainage areas.

Do not change the FLUM

Noneofyourbiz

You are correct. This city is just building itself into one big suburb for other cities. Killeen has over built thier housing and has no where to actually build a decent downtown area or a strong job force.

The city council that is in place has no plans on actually combating this problem, many ran on it and attacked others for building, and now these city council members have put in place thier own builders to do the same.

If anyone speaks out against it, this city council labels you a racist, or an uncle Tom.

The whole city could show up and speak against something and this city council will only vote the way thier outside money donors want them too.

Noneofyourbiz

Wow, what a shame. Someone's lively hood hangs on a vote.

I agree, the city has been doing a lot of things underhandedly and have tossed many under the bus.

I agree the land owners that want to build should, yet they also need to step back and consider what damage they may cause to others property and lively hood. Compromising and building smaller is a better way to go.

The city needs to start getting outside people to look at the land before backing something.

We need better people on planing and zoning that have experience and will stay with in the future plans.

Welcome to the discussion.

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