COLUMBIA — When David Sallee decided to turn his 5-acre plot of land into a “veterans sanctuary,” he expected stumbling blocks at every turn. Last night he encountered two more.
Sallee was requesting permits from the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission for a sewage lagoon and mobile home park on his property, which is located approximately 3,000 feet north of the intersection of Mt. Zion Road and Hecht Road. Both requests were unanimously denied by the commission.
One single-wide mobile home, a tool shed and a waste water lagoon now stand on the property. In his project request, Sallee included six trailers and two mobile homes.
Although many conditions of Sallee’s plan could be satisfied if the property was operated in compliance of Department of Natural Resources regulations, the commission has its reservations about health and safety problems that could arise from a privately operated sewage lagoon collection system. The commission also could not allow mobile homes to be placed on the property.
The Boone County Fire Protection District and the Sheriff’s Department both oppose the location of the sanctuary, citing an expected 6 percent to 8 percent increase in crime.
According to the commission, plans for the mobile home don’t fit into the city’s master plan.
Tom Schneider, an attorney representing an anonymous group of 15 of Sallee’s neighbors, said resident fear that the veterans sanctuary would be out of character for the neighborhood. Their concerns also include the lack of nearby medical and counseling services, transportation and facilities for education, recreation and employment. The site lacks high speed Internet and reliable infrastructure, and the plan is “the wrong approach at the wrong time,” he said.
"I've worked for four years to correct all the shortcomings out there. I've met every one of them (except working with DNR)," Sallee said.
The current zoning of the property is residential-single family. It was rezoned from its original agricultural zoning in December 2008. All of the surrounding land has agricultural zoning.
Sallee said he plans to appeal the decision to the county commissioners on March 5.