McLennan County commissioners voted Monday to ban stopping, standing or parking along the roads closest to the Branch Davidian property near Elk.

Some nearby residents said the ordinance adopted by commissioners will allow their neighborhood to return to normal.

About 20 people attended a hearing on the proposal.

“I believe it’s a good move to protect the people out that way,” said Scott Felton, an attorney who helped circulate a petition in favor of the ordinance. “People’s lives already have been disrupted quite a bit out there. We’re ready to try to get back to a normal life.”

Opposition to the proposal came from John Ellis, who said he lives out of a pickup truck cab in the area,

Ellis, who came here from Alabama and has presented himself as a representative for Branch Davidian Renos Avraam, said the ordinance is an overreaction.

“The cars don’t create a traffic jam. Ninety percent of the time there are five cars or less in the area,” Ellis said, “The people who stop are quiet and respectful. They’re mourners who come to the scene of a holocaust.”

But most of those who were at Monday’s hearing were in favor of the ordinance.

“We’re trickled to death,” said Mark Spoon, whose house is across Double EE Ranch Road from the Mount Carmel compound site.

The ordinance would affect Double EE Ranch Road and a stretch of Elk Road, the county road that is the extension of FM 2491, from its intersection with Double EE Ranch Road to the old Cotton Belt railroad crossing about a mile east.

The two roads border Mount Carmel, the 77-acre patch of land besieged by federal agents for 51 days after four agents were killed trying to serve a search warrant on Feb. 28.

The compound went up in flames April 19, killing about 80 Branch Davidians who stuck it out inside.

Since federal and state barricades came down around the site, a steady stream of sightseers has flowed along the roads and T-shirt vendors have set up shop in the area.

Double EE Ranch Road is currently closed for repaving. County Commissioner Lester Gibson said the road likely will reopen when crews finish repairs to a bridge on the road and when signs are posted along the stretch. That will probably be before the original Aug. 23 date for reopening the road, Gibson said.

Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part 2 appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.

As the world began to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."

In 1994, the surviving Davidians went on trial in San Antonio. Over six weeks, more than 140 witnesses testified, with the verdict coming just two days prior to the anniversary of the ATF raid.

The Rodenville shootout and the 1988 trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from deep in the Trib archives.