Commission continues to discuss development around new high school

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | 10:53 p.m. CDT; updated 11:57 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday's meeting of the joint city and county planning and zoning commission resulted in a lot of discussion about transportation surrounding the new Columbia high school, but the sub-area plan remained unwritten at the close of the meeting.

The sub-area proposal will address the topics of roadways and land use on the high school property, located in the St. Charles Road Development site north of St. Charles Road, east of the Lake of the Woods golf course and west of Route Z.

Thad Yonke, chairman of the Boone County Planning and Zoning Department, led the discussion and aided commissioners in specifying how their policy recommendations will make the area develop as they want.

In developing the sub-area proposal, David Brodsky, a city planning and zoning commissioner, said the roadways are going to be the biggest factor in determining the proposal, and eventually, the policy.

City Commissioner Carl Freiling said the decisions on where the city puts roads will determine the future character of the city.

"If you can influence where the roadways go, that influences where you make land use decisions, with developments to follow," Freiling said. "Sewers will follow the lines. Water can go anywhere. But if we want these characteristics (for the area), you need to put your transportation routes accordingly."

Still, Yonke questioned how the commission is going to use the roads to direct its policy.

"What are the goals of your comprehensive plan that you're going to use the roadway plans to get there and what policy recommendations are you going to make for the future?" he asked. "That hasn't been addressed yet."

The commission referenced how Rock Bridge High School was developed, with one side bounded by Providence Road and residential developments starting further behind the high school.

Commissioners also addressed land use, emphasizing there are specific areas it wishes to protect from development. Freiling and Yonke agreed the commission will need to identify specific qualities and topographic characteristics that will  dictate land as either poor or good candidates for development. Yonke said  for the committee to get the development it wants in certain areas, it's going to have to outline specific recommendations with evidence as to why it's made those decisions.

City Commissioner Ann Peters cited the Waffle House on Providence Road, adjacent to a cemetery, as a bad of example of planning and what she hopes the commission can avoid. "What possessed whomever to put a Waffle House next to that site ... that's an example that someone wasn't thinking," she said.

Freiling noted, however, that the commission should heed being too specific with its recommendations. "It just seems to be that the more specific you become, the more outdated your plan becomes, faster."

Rob Wolverton, Columbia real estate agent and SCRD land owner, said developers are concerned with what goes on on the high and low ends of an area. If infrastructure is built up to the maximum of what an area can handle, then developers know their limits. If anything less than that is built, the area is still suited to accommodate.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Yonke said it didn't sound like the commissioners were ready to write the sub-area plan. He suggested the plan should be based on the comprehensive area plan because the clearer the commission's recommendations are, the more likely the regulations will be reflective of them.

The commission will meet for one hour at 6 p.m. Oct. 14  to develop an outline for the sub-area plan. It will later be presented to the public, with a revised version submitted to the City Council and Boone County Commission for review and approval.


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