City annexation, rezoning for park land yet to be decided

Monday, January 5, 2009 | 10:32 p.m. CST; updated 10:38 p.m. CST, Monday, January 5, 2009

COLUMBIA — The City Council is expected to decide whether Columbia will have a new park and a trail along Perche Creek at its meeting on Jan. 20.

There was little to no discussion about the proposed annexation and zoning request for the 27.5-acre tract northwest of Columbia at a public hearing Monday night. 

What's next

The City Council will decide whether to make way for a park and trail on Perche Creek at its Jan. 20 meeting.

What: A request for zoning and annexation of about 27.5 acres to be used as a park and trail

Who: Owner LaVeta Anderson is requesting the zoning and annexation

Where: South of Interstate 70 and west of the intersection of I-70 Drive Southwest and Strawn Road

Source: City of Columbia staff report to the council

The request filed by the property's owner, LaVeta Anderson, asks the council to approve single-family zoning, or R-1, to “facilitate the sale and subsequent City purchase of the property for park purposes,” according to a city staff report submitted to the council.

The land is currently zoned for single-family homes in Boone County, which is equivalent to the single-family city zoning requested. Most of Columbia’s existing parkland is zoned R-1.

In 2002, in the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan, the Parks and Recreation Department expressed a need for a Perche Creek Trail to start near Interstate 70 and connect with the MKT Trail to the south.  

That year, Anderson contacted the city about selling the land to the city. After six years of bidding, Anderson reached an agreement with the city’s park staff to sell the property for $185,500.

The site currently consists of hay fields along the east side of Perche Creek with an intermittent stream running along the south side. Tree cover runs alongside Perche Creek, the stream and Strawn Road, according to a report submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The 2007 Trails Plan shows a proposed secondary trail along Perche Creek, adjacent to the site’s western boundary, and a proposed tertiary trail along Harmony Creek, adjacent to the southern boundary of the subject tract, according to the agenda report. 

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Charles Dudley Jr January 6, 2009 | 2:54 a.m.

This city needs another park like we need another fast food chain store............... NOT!!!!

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 6, 2009 | 6:25 a.m.

So you don't consider parks to be an "incentive" ( )?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 6, 2009 | 6:56 a.m.

Parks do not curb crime rates.
Parks do not patrol our streets keeping them safe.
Parks cost alot of money in constant upkeep.
Parks do not contribute to less litter in their respective aeas.
Parks do not contribute to less noise.
Parks do not keep our city streets cleaner.
Parks do not contribute to less litter in this city overall.
Parks do not have as much educational value as say a library or a school.
Parks do contribute to future crime in they allow those committing crimes a place to hang out at all hours.

I'm sure glad you voted for more parks Ayn Rand since you obviously hate for the disenfranchised to be allowed any form of recreation that takes out of your own tax dollars in your pocket and you constantly complain about unneeded pork spending on the disenfranchised in this city.

Congratulations on just giving your official okie dokie on what might become the newest hang out or home for the city's homeless populations.

We have enough parks why do we need more? You you are right we surely need more parks and are you and the other citizens going to vote on those next round of tax hikes to pay for all of those additional patrol officers that will be needed to patrol those parks? Oh ya it will come out of your pocket do not be fooled there.

Oh let's not forget about that new fire station as well they will claim they need too.

Ya we surely need more parks in this city.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 6, 2009 | 7:29 a.m.

Chuck, I simply asked a question. Show me where I said that voted for more parks or where I said that "we surely need more parks."

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 6, 2009 | 8:31 a.m.

Chuck, funding the Adaptive Recreation Program at Paquin Towers does not accomplish any of the failed goals you listed either.

(Report Comment)
Ben Wade January 6, 2009 | 8:41 a.m.

The correlation between parks and public safety in my opinion is a stretch. The reason Columbia is such an attractive town to live in and move to, in my opinion, is all the green spaces the city has alloted and continues to set aside as our city grows. I agree we need to focus more attention to keeping the peace as well, but to ignore parks and green spaces will make Columbia much less desirable for those who have lived here a long time as well as new residents. I am in favor of more parks, more schools, more libraries and more police officers. I think ignoring any of these is a mistake.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 6, 2009 | 8:47 a.m.

John Schultz you so soon forget that funding that program and others like it helps to keep people who are at risk due to Mental or Physical illnesses from going further down hill into those illnesses.

That is the one main beneficial part of that program and others like it unless you want more load on an already over loaded system.

Ayn Rand I do not consider Parks to be an incentive in any way that will bring new light industrial business to this area.

We need infrastructure,like good roads, bridges and industrialized areas that will draw those companies here way more than we need more parks. You need water treatment plants as were just voted on. You need a reliable power source(s) to ensure power. You need a more than adequate police force to handle the added patrols of those new industrial areas. You need public transit to go to those areas so people can get to work.

Parks do not provide what light industrial companies need for them to want to come into this area. Unless you are A.I.G. and only want to blow the bail out money given to you on more luxury vacations for your chief exe's.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 6, 2009 | 9:35 a.m.

Ok Ben Wade then we might as well consider this new park in time will just become another Douglas Park to our South only on a bigger scale and a little more out of the way but rest assured it wont take long before crime will move into that area too.

This city does not need more parks. The parks we have now are not even used to their fullest usage. The maintenance is high and even in last years budget hearings the City Council cut P & R Park Maintenance budgets for FY2009. What will it look like next time in this fading economy?

More parks equal more maintenance equipment and where are they going to pop up the money for that when last year they could not afford to buy the vehicle replacements they needed. That money has to come from somewhere. It will come in more tax hikes for you the citizen.

If you want more parks go move to NYC and enjoy Central Park. Ask the neighbors around there about crime and it's relation to parks.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 9:55 a.m.

By Mike Martin
For the Columbia Business Times

Despite a flagging economy, both locally and nationally, Columbia isn’t spending any real money on economic development.

That’s one of many startling conclusions in Fifth Ward councilwoman Laura Nauser’s most excellent plan, A Change in Direction on Family and Youth Issues for the City of Columbia, Missouri. In 10 years, her report details, we’ve spent a paltry $3.2 million on economic development compared to a hefty $106.3 million on parks and recreation. Just whom are we hoping to attract and retain with all those beautiful parks and trails if not prosperous people who are fully employed in high paying jobs or happily creating new businesses?

Linking crime with economic inertia, Nauser reports our community has one of the highest high school dropout rates among Missouri school districts of similar size; some 27% of our workforce is underemployed; approximately 12% of workers haven’t earned a high school diploma; and our median household income is $42K annually, a full $500.00 per month below the $48K national median.

For the city Forbes magazine recently ranked as America’s “11th Smartest,” these statistics aren’t encouraging. They shed light on a booming crime problem Nauser hopes to address and reflect the unfettered growth of a government sector that largely redistributes – rather than creates – wealth.

“The citizens of Columbia must not continually rely upon the top five employers in our city to provide new job growth,” Nauser’s plan explains. “It is important to note that our top five employers are all government agencies.”

***Can any town have too many well developed parks?
When 106 million is spent on developing these parks compared to 3 million for ecomonic development results in little economic growth for its citizens, I'll say this town has its priorties upside down.
The Ray Beck days should be over by now, however, his protege, Bill Watkins seems to act as if keeping cash flowing to the "Bob the Park Builder" coalition is far more important than bringing new businesses and creating new jobs for our residents and college grads. I applaud Mike Martin for bringing this issue to the forefront.
Throughout the years, this has been a discussion and observation shared by many Columbia citizens at house parties and around "the water cooler."
Bill Watkins and Mike Hood are fooling no one.
It is long time overdue that some group begins to redirect them.
We need to support Councilwomen Nauser's efforts.
Any councilperson against her concern for this kind of "reform" should not be re-elected.
Should Bill Watkins and our Mayor fail to accomplish true economic growth for Columbia, they need to be replaced or at least have the decency to resign.
Personally, I don't know why we still have them around.
Wake up Columbia.
Not only are we not getting anywhere, we're sliding backwards...

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 6, 2009 | 11:29 a.m.

"some 27% of our workforce is underemployed"

Does that figure include students? If so, then that figure isn't surprising -- or worrisome.

(Report Comment)
Jason Entermyer January 6, 2009 | 2:11 p.m.

As usual, Dud, Ray and Aryn are quick to scream with little facts.

When the economy gets tough and crime spikes, cowards are quick to yell cut all non-essential services and put more police on the streets. However, you have to realize that studies upon studies show that it is the quality of life issues that keep comunities well rounded, including a sound economic base. Just look at my company State Farm. We were going to close and move. Monroe LA offered over $30 million in tax breaks and incentives to relocate there. Missouri and OK cities, including Columbia offered nothing. Yet, State Farm still selected Columbia. Here's a quote from the Feb 5, 2004 Columbia Daily Tribune:

"Employees were told minutes before the public announcement, ending months of speculation about whether Louisiana’s $33 million package of tax breaks and other incentives would bode ill for Missouri and Oklahoma, which offered nothing."

"In the end, it was Columbia’s other incentives that attracted State Farm."

"State Farm officials cited Columbia’s quality of life for workers and their families, high-quality public education and state regulatory environment as factors in its decision to stay in Missouri."

Sure there's a balance, especially in tough times, but we have to support the very things that keep us as a desirable place to live. The good news is that you can always move if you don't like it.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 6, 2009 | 2:34 p.m.

Jason, show me where in this thread that I screamed with little facts.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 6, 2009 | 3:09 p.m.

Jason Entermyer don't go crying when your city tax rates go up and up to keep funding all of those parks that only eat money and don't create the high quality jobs Ayn Rand points out.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 6, 2009 | 3:36 p.m.

And keep in mind that crime is one of the factors that affects quality of life. That's why Kansas City, Kansas, and East St. Louis struggle to attract and retain both residents and companies. Cities that don't nip that problem in the bud, before they get a regional or national rep as a hellhole, have to spend twice as much -- or more -- later on to fix this problem.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro January 6, 2009 | 4:00 p.m.

Dear Jason E.
I never believe everything the boss tells me. Do you? Ever consider this...
(Source: Local Monroe, Louisiana blog)
Louisiana History
Monroe isn't the first to be hit. Louisiana has a tax structure that is extememly business unfriendly and has been driving companies out in droves. The breaks they attempted to give would be a drop in the bucket to what they had extorted from State Farm up to that point. What Louisiana needs to do is decide whether to have a large tax base at low rates or a small base at high rates. Until then that sound you hear is company after company fleeing the oppression to friendlier states.
(Friendlier just might mean less corrupt than Louisiana! Missouri qualifies, considering that you guys were already here.)
And also,
Subject: State Farm
Posted On: February 5, 2004, 12:38 pm CST
Posted By: Fred the Agent
Once again a company choosing profits over people.
(What were the many reasons State Farm's employee moral officer gave to its workers via the in-house newsletter?
We're staying in Columbia because we like the squirrels and that its a more bicycle friendly town than Monroe, Louisiana?)

(Report Comment)

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