Harker Heights ranch seeks permit to become educational farm

Slice of Heaven Farms wants to start functioning as a business that teaches kids about agriculture, but the project requires a special permit from the city.

A ranch in Harker Heights is trying to create a program for Central Texas children, but owners said the city is standing in their way.

Slice of Heaven Farms wants to start functioning as a business that teaches kids about agriculture. While that may sound simple, it requires a special permit from the city.

The ranch was already denied the permit once. Back in April, the city voted 3-1 against the permit. But, the measure is back on the agenda for Tuesday.

The farm's owners said the ranch would teach kids how to work with animals, ride horses, grow food and more. No permanent buildings would be constructed, but the project would require a parking area.

"You are talking about a 100 by 200 parking lot that's going to be put there," said neighbor Patrick Kerr who opposes the idea. "Yeah, they're going to have to landscape it. When I asked the city fathers what the landscaping is going to be so i don't have to...they said about twenty four inches, 30 inches tall. How does that hide a bus?"

While some neighbors worry that having a business in their neighborhood would have negative consequences, others said an educational farm was a good idea.

"Too many kids now live in the city and don't understand anything about where food comes from or anything about animals really other than what they see on TV," said neighbor Paul Russell-White, who supports the plan.

The ranch is located at Oakridge Boulevard and Mesa Oaks Circle in Harker Heights. Both sides will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on the matter during a city council meeting at City Hall, which is located at 305 Miller's Crossing in Harker Heights.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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