Local government

West Temple — an area that has seen explosive amounts of growth in recent years — will soon grow in size as the City Council moves forward with a recent annexation request.

The City Council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance allowing a voluntary annexation of more than 102 acres in West Temple during their meeting Thursday. The land, which is owned by Kiella Land Development, is located between the city limits of Temple and Morgan’s Point Resort near the new Lake Belton High School.

Temple Planning Director Brian Chandler said the land, if annexed, is expected to later have a request for rezoning to allow residential development.

“No rezoning has been submitted at this time,” Chandler said. “It is anticipated that this would be an expansion of the Groves at Lakewood Ranch (subdivision), (as it has) the same developer.”

Annexation of the land is being requested by the owners of the land through voluntary annexation, as city officials have previously moved away from forced annexation.

The tract also will closely border the southwest corner of Belton Independent School District’s new school.

Public parks could be built on the land, Chandler said.

Councilman Wendell Williams of District 4, which covers West Temple, said he is happy to see the additional development in the area.

 “I think the growth of the community is an exciting and excellent thing,” Williams said. “Temple has been on a very strong growth pattern, and West Temple has enjoyed the majority of that growth over the years. So, the annexation of this 102 acres is just the continuation of that growth.”

The annexation will require a second reading by the Council for approval, which is expected at a July 16 meeting.