COLUMBIA — Tuesday's meeting between the joint city and county Planning and Zoning Commission opened with a discussion of the potential commercial development surrounding the site of the new Columbia high school.
The school will be on the St. Charles Road Development, located north of St. Charles Road, east of the Lake of the Woods golf course and west of Route Z. It is scheduled to open in August 2010.
There was little concern from the six community members who attended the meeting about the development along the periphery of the site's road boundaries. Instead, the discussion centered on the interior area immediately surrounding the school.
The planners said they intend to have a small number of neighborhood services, such as banks, restaurants and a neighborhood grocery store, built for the school and people in the area.
Community members said they didn't want anything "big and boxy" built, specifically another Wal-Mart.
Additional development could depend on whether or not the school becomes an open or closed campus for lunch.
David Brodskdy, a city planning and zoning commissioner who was one of only three commission members to attend the meeting, echoed the concerns surround Hickman High School's lunch period.
"It's a madhouse" over there, Brodsky said. "It's ludicrous to have open lunches."
He said the commission is lobbying the Columbia School Board to have the new school closed for lunch because it feels an open campus would encourage both commercial development and students driving along the road, which lacks an even surface and curb.
Planning and Development director and commission member Tim Teddy said there will be development pressure for certain areas and that the commission needs to decide if it wants to preserve and protect the area along Route Z or allow development to happen.
The current site area is zoned as either agricultural or residential. For commercial development to occur on the property, businesses would be required to approach the commission and ask them to change the area's zoning type.
The next joint meeting is scheduled for Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. at a location to be determined. It will focus on how the sub-area proposal will be written. The sub-area proposal will address the topics of roadways and land use on the property. Those in attendance will help write out guidelines that will be presented to the community. It will then be submitted to the City Council and Boone County Commission for review and approval.