One of the biggest housing projects in Killeen’s recent history is facing some pushback from the town council due to infrastructure issues.
“It’s a great development, but I wonder if the timing is exactly where it needs to be,” adviser Michael Boyd said. “The infrastructure is not in place.”
The new 390-acre Planned Unit Development (PUD) would run just west of Onion Road in South Killeen to Trimmier Road; it is bounded by Stagecoach Road to the north and Fire Station 8 to the south.
When completed, the four-phase development would see the construction of 959 potential lots. The development includes a wide range of housing types, including single family, duplex, farm and multi-family options.
In total, the development would offer 241 lots on 52.53 acres of SF-2 (large single family homes) and 400 lots on 133.62 acres of R-1 (medium and small single family homes). In addition, 46 lots over 29.03 acres of SR-1 and 30 lots over 30.39 acres of SR-2 (suburban housing) would be available, along with 13 lots over 40 acres of farmland. light (A-R1). Finally, 228 lots of over 94.18 acres of duplex housing would act as the western boundary of the development, while two lots of over 10.67 acres of B-5 commercial zoning would give residents access to a potential convenience store at proximity.
As proposed, the 30.39 acres of high value SR-2 zoned property would not be accessible from the main development; instead, a loop road that splits into two cul-de-sacs would only be accessible from East Trimmier Road.
Additionally, the development is planned to include 90 acres of open space, dedicated to the town of Killeen for public parks. About 1,000 hardwoods, including oaks, elms and pecans, would be preserved.
Additionally, a 2.8 mile, 8 foot wide concrete footpath is planned throughout the development and along the existing end, which would connect a playground, two dog parks, a 2,500 covered pavilion square feet and two parking lots.
The developer promised to place picnic tables, garbage cans and benches throughout the project.
Finally, street trees are planned throughout the development, providing shade for residents as they walk through the project.
The current proposal is the result of nearly a year of work between the developer, Yowell Ranch, and the Town of Killeen, according to the applicant.
If approved, the development would begin construction in October, with phase one housing to be completed around June 2023; however, some council members are concerned about the condition of the surrounding roads.
At least three residents near the proposed development have asked the city council to disapprove the project. One resident, Russel Cobern, said the development would hamper these residents’ way of life.
“We moved there, bought a property, because we wanted space, we wanted a rural environment; we wanted horses and everything that goes with that kind of life. Calm, serene,” he said.
Cobern said the lengthy project construction, and the density that would come with the completed development, would congest traffic on the already narrow Onion Road. He also said the development would negatively impact what he described as already low water pressure.
According to Killeen City staff members in response to questions from Councilman Riakos Adams, the area has the appropriate infrastructure to provide water pressure for development. Additionally, Edwin Revell, the city’s executive director of public works, pointed out that the developer will be required to complete a traffic impact analysis survey – a lengthy process that will assess the development’s potential impact on traffic over the course of the year. for the next 10 years, and which will require the developer to help pay for improvements to offset any negative impacts they may bring.
Stagecoach Road was another problem; the web-cracked surface has lain in a state of disrepair for several years as the city works to close a lawsuit with the company responsible for building the road. And while City Manager Kent Cagle said the town of Killeen “can no longer continue to wait for the outcome of the trial”, Boyd said there was too much uncertainty to offer support at this time.
However, Boyd pointed out that Chapparral Road, which would feed into the development, will need to be widened, as will East Trimmier. He also pointed out that Stagecoach needs to be rebuilt and that Onion Road and Loop Road need to be widened to reduce congestion and otherwise dealt with to reduce speed.
“I love development; it’s needed, it would be great for the town of Killeen, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “But I am going to echo certain concerns of certain citizens: the road infrastructure is not in place. That’s a problem…I’m not comfortable saying yes to this knowing that it’s going to take hope and wait for the road to develop.
Council members will consider the proposal again on Tuesday, when they can make a decision.