It was a marathon public hearing of 2½ hours at Tuesday’s Harker Heights City Council meeting in consideration of a request for a conditional-use permit for a micro educational farm at the intersection of Mesa Oaks Drive and Oakridge Boulevard.
A standing room-only crowd filled the Council Chambers to express opinions from both sides of the issue.
The applicant for the permit change was Teresa Anderson, founder of the Slice of Heaven Farms. Business associate Leeann Boore accompanied her at the council meeting.
Anderson and Boore made an attempt to obtain a conditional-use permit in April but were denied by the council.
Anderson said, “We created it as a place where families can enjoy outdoor farm activities such as gardening and interacting with farm animals.”
Joseph Molis, director of planning and development said, “When changes like this are proposed, we always notify residents living with 400 feet. This one was unprecedented in that we sent out 28 notices but received 90 in return.”
Of the 28 notices sent out within the notification area, four recommended approval and 14 recommended denial. Outside of that 400-foot buffer, 29 were from within the Harker Heights city limits and an additional 25 from outside of the city limits.
An additional 12 were sent in whose location could not be determined, but they were for approval. There were six from residents who lived outside the buffer zone but who lived in Harker Heights that recommended denial.
Prior to the public hearing, Anderson told the council, “I’m asking you to look into the future and invest in our children.”
Paul Russel White said, “I’m in favor of this because it’s a good thing for the community and it’s not going to be a drain on the neighborhood.
Also speaking in favor of the farm was Marilyn Newkirk. She said, “It’s hard for…