WACO (May 6, 2014) In a unanimous vote, the Waco City Council approved the College and University Neighborhoods District overlay Tuesday night.
According to the council, the overlay is in response to the growing number of student housing complexes around the Baylor University Campus.
The overlay aims to control potential developments around Baylor and its stadium.
It adds more rules for new developments in those areas.-- focused on preventing potential problems associated with new developments and other student housing projects.
The overlay may require sidewalks be installed in areas with high pedestrian traffic or buffers and landscaping to decrease noise when necessary.
To make sure new developments blend well with existing homes and businesses regulations will dictate the height of any new high rise.
The overlay has sparked controversy among residents in some of those neighborhoods.
Many of them are concerned the overlay will force them to move out of their homes or force costly renovations to their property.
Council members say existing properties will be grandfathered.
Questions about property values and property taxes have also been raised.
During a council work session officials said they don't anticipate an increase in taxes however they did note that the
McLennan County Appraisal District evaluation the value of homes or businesses and that the council had no involvement in the matter.
A business owner we spoke to says he thinks the overlay would be good for the community.
Some residents however continue to be on edge, but say they will just watch and see how things unfold.