COLUMBIA — The city inched closer Thursday night to the creation of a 320-acre park on the southeast edge of town.
The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission voted to approve zoning for the land that the city plans to annex as residential single-family home zoning. Several parks in town, such as Stephens Lake Park, are also zoned for single-family homes.
The city plans to build a regional park equipped with major sports facilities on the land that was owned by the Crane family for 130 years.
The property lies west of Gans Creek Road and south of East Gans Road. The Crane family had been in negotiations with the city for a few years before the property was sold at $25,000 per acre last spring for just over $8 million.
Creation of the park would expand city limits to South Gans Road.
Laura Smith, who lives across from the property on South Gans Creek Road, said she is skeptical of the city moving closer to her home.
“I think the park is an awesome idea,” she said. “I hope the best zoning is chosen to avoid any family dwellings on it.”
Smith addressed the commission about her concerns over residences popping up in the beautiful land across the street.
“There (are) so few areas left near the city of Columbia that are still rural, and I hope they use a lot of good planning for the watershed and the planning of the park to keep it a rural place,” she said.
Park Services Manager Mike Griggs told the commission that planning of the park is still in the very early stages. The first phase of construction is slated to begin in 2012.