Crosscreek proposals win Planning and Zoning votes

Thursday, July 10, 2008 | 11:09 p.m. CDT; updated 7:13 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — A meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission to once again consider the Crosscreek Center development plan grew so convoluted that at one point, several commissioners admitted they were confused about what they had just voted to approve.

But they did approve the following at Thursday night’s meeting:

  • To rezone five acres of the 74-acre project from agricultural to planned commercial
  • To amend the allowed uses of the lot to include a proposed car dealership
  • To accept the revised statement of intent on the condition that its wording be changed so that the terms of a mediation agreement could be more easily enforced by the city and to approve the site plan

The commission approved each of these by a 6-2 vote.

Before voting on the revised statement of intent, Commissioner Vicki Curby offered three amendments, including a request to cut the number of parking spaces for the businesses and to restrict the hours of sales and truck delivery. None of her amendments was accepted by the commission.

It was a big week for Crosscreek. Monday night, City Council unanimously approved the developer’s request to resubmit a request to rezone five acres of the 74-acre plan.

The request was necessary because of a city ordinance prohibiting the resubmission of failed rezoning petitions within a one-year period unless the plans are substantially different, or the council grants special approval.

By voting to approve the request Monday, the council granted permission for the developer to restart the approval process, which began with Thursday’s Planning and Zoning meeting.

The council had rejected the initial rezoning request on March 3, in part because of the developers’ lack of coordination with the neighbors.

Tuesday evening, at a “special Crosscreek meeting,” the Shepard Boulevard Neighborhood Association voted 58-32 to sign onto a mediation agreement with the developer that outlines a plan for a unified architectural theme among the buildings. The proposed Toyota car dealership, however, was exempted from the architectural criteria. A third party to the agreement, Timberhill Road Neighborhood Association, signed onto the agreement on June 17.

Shepard Boulevard Neighborhood Association Chairman Jim Muench spoke at Thursday’s commission meeting. He said he was not sure if he was “in opposition or not — maybe a bit of both.”

But he reported, “I bring good news tonight: Democracy is alive and well in my neighborhood,” referring to Tuesday’s vote.

Several Planning and Zoning commissioners praised the developer and neighborhood associations for their efforts in the mediation process.

City Council will likely consider the commission’s recommendations during one of its August meetings.

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