ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The conversation regarding a Conditional Use Permit to allow the construction of a multi-family apartment complex in south Abilene continued on Thursday morning at the Abilene City Council Meeting.

The Abilene City Council heard public comments from a number of residents from the Legacy Village sub-division and the surrounding area regarding the hot-button issue in the ordinance’s first reading.

“Today is just a movement to the second reading,” said Abilene City Councilman Place 5 Kyle McAlister. “One of the reasons we like to do that is for the people who aren’t here to speak today. We want to give them an opportunity next time. The reason these move forward is just a procedural matter.”

From how an apartment complex would impact surrounding property values to safety and security, many residents like Cindy Haley Ramsey expressed their opinions. “While I am not opposed to growth, I have many concerns about building a multi-family apartment complex next door from me and my Legacy neighborhood,” said Ramsey.

The council determined this morning that because more than 20 percent of residents in the 200-foot notification area expressed their disapproval via a mail-in notice, a super majority vote requiring at-least 6 votes from the council would be needed for the Conditional Use Permit to pass on July 14.

The current proposed multiple-family dwellings that are adjacent to Memorial Drive and those adjacent to the northern property line should have a height restriction of two (2) stories. A Type A buffer will be installed along the northern property line. Additionally, a masonry fence of seven feet (7′) in height will serve as a barrier on the Memorial Drive side of the property.

Talks of a new apartment complex in south Abilene comes on the heels of the rise in rent and the availability of housing in Abilene.