Local government

The Belton City Council approved a zoning change on Tuesday that designated approximately 97.4 acres in South Belton as a single family-3 residential district.

The conceptual plan for the site — generally located east of Interstate 35 on the north side of East Avenue H and south of Nolan Creek — sets the stage for 224 new homes in a city that has been designated by many as a region of “fast growth.”

“The applicant proposes a single family detached residential subdivision,” Tina Moore, a planner with the city of Belton, said during a meeting on Tuesday. “The property is mostly vacant with one existing detached home. Lots … are approximately 6,000 square feet each, with a width of 50 feet and depth of 120 feet. This is a density of 2.3 dwellings units per acre.”

Although Austin-based Bowman Consulting — the civil-engineering firm that is developing the site — previously proposed East Avenue H as a public access point to the site and Shady Lane as an emergency access point, it will need further connections before a plat is approved by Belton City Council.

“The conceptual site plan … does not address the requirements of the thoroughfare plan or the subdivision ordinance,” Moore said. “The subdivision ordinance requires a minimum of three points of egress and ingress to the development since it proposes more than 101 units.”

However, four potential access points are now in discussion after a traffic impact analysis was provided by the applicant per the city’s request.

“The first is East Avenue H; a second is an extension of Elm Grove Road that would implement a portion of the Thoroughfare Plan; a third is a public street extension of Shady Lane to Holland Road outside the Belle Oaks property; and the fourth is relocation of the Central/Spring Avenue with construction of a new bridge proposed by the city,” Moore said. “We’re looking for public roads that the community can use to get in and out of there for circulation.”

Nicholas Kehl, a branch manager at Bowman Consulting, said he is confident that the issue surrounding the number of access points will be resolved.

“I just wanted to state for the record that we are in the process of working with city staff to meet all of the city ordinances for the three points of connection and we’re going to work with city staff to make sure that it meets all of the code requirements,” he said during the meeting on Tuesday.

Although more needs to be done before a plat is approved for construction, Place 2 Councilman Dan Kirkley is excited.

“I think it’s a very good addition to our community,” he said.

Zonda Demographics recently discussed some of the residential and multi-family housing developments happening within city limits during a Belton ISD school board meeting last March. 

Per their data, there are currently at least four multi-family housing developments in the works: phase two of Colonial Crossing Apartments, 132 future units; Ridge at Belle Meadows, 48 units under construction; Royal Heights Townhomes, 55 units under construction; and Heart of Texas RV Resort, 100 future units.

These projects are contributing to a 3% to 4% growth in student enrollment each year in Belton ISD — a district that is expected to exceed 14,000 students by 2025.