A proposed road is threatening generational farms in south Bell County

The unfinalized Bell County Thoroughfare Plan is raising some important questions with residents.
Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 5:29 PM CST
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BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - The Bell County Thoroughfare Plan is a long-range project that’s looking to add and expand on more than 27 roads in areas of Killeen, Harker Heights and Temple. (Read this to learn about the Bell County Thoroughfare Plan.)

Some landowners weren’t even aware that their property could be in danger.

The proposal includes a road connecting Maxdale Road to FM 2670 that cuts through the long standing Parrie Haynes Ranch.

“There’s multiple reasons to be concerned about this specific road going through Parrie Haynes,” said Dr. John Kuczek. “She had a legacy she wanted to keep going. Through the years the state has abused the state and used it for wrong purposes but in the last 15 years, with the help of some individuals, this land is back to what she wanted it to be.”

A closer look at the proposed connecting road.
A closer look at the proposed connecting road.(KWTX)

Dr. Kuczek has land near the ranch that also finds itself in the proposed path.

He and his wife have already planned to leave the land to their three children, but the connecting road could erase that vision.

“If I spend my whole entire life working and saving and building and creating something for my kids, just for eminent domain to come and take it, that would absolutely break my heart,” he said.

Dr. Kuczek isn’t the only person looking to hold onto their land for future generations.

Neighbor Ryan Kirkpatrick helps his in-laws operate the Farris Wheel at Tara Farms, also near Parrie Haynes Ranch.

Once Kirkpatrick takes over 100% it will be a third generational farm.

“If they expand that road, they take out the barn, they take out part of the high fence, some of the oak trees that provide acorns for the wildlife. As well as my in-laws’ high fence,” said Kirkpatrick.

He also worries how it will affect his in-law’s income since they’re retired and rely on the farm and event space for a small income.