COLUMBIA — No decision was reached by the Boone County Commission on Tuesday night concerning David Sallee's requests for a veterans sanctuary. After more than three hours of discussion and testimony from Sallee, his supporters and his opponents, the commission still felt there were many questions to answer.
Tuesday's meeting served as an opportunity for Sallee to appeal the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission's Feb. 19 ruling, which unanimously denied Sallee's two requests for a waste water lagoon and a veterans sanctuary on his property located approximately 3,000 feet from the intersection of Mt. Zion Road and Hecht Road.
After hours of hearing from both sides, commission members tabled the discussion to reflect further on the appeal.
"I want to make sure we make an informed decision," said Karen Miller, District I Commissioner. "We've received a lot of information from both sides of the fence."
In lieu of their decision, the commission has asked both Sallee and the lawyer speaking for Tom Schneider, the lawyer for the 18 neighbors opposed to Sallee's request, to submit their cases in writing, using each of the seven conditions under a conditional-use agreement to provide their arguments.
Six neighbors of Sallee spoke in opposition to his requests, citing reasons such as lack of adequate water supply and fire protection, parking, safe roads and transportation. It was called into question whether Sallee's trailers and waste water lagoon were placed too closely to the edges of his land. Further worries are that no real services will be provided to veterans, the project is not consistent with the city's master plan and there is no way to ensure "effective and timely enforcement."
Gerald Mueller, speaking for the attorney of 18 neighbors who oppose the project, said there does not appear to be a public necessity for the sanctuary.
"There is no adequate or reliable infrastructure to support (the sanctuary)," Mueller said.
Five showed up to speak in support of Sallee's project, including homeless veteran Scott Byars.
"We're screwing up your city," Byars said to the commission. "We're screwing up your downtown. Give us somewhere to go."
Sallee and Schneider must submit documents to the commission by March 16, giving the commission two weeks to compare the cases point by point. The next public hearing will be held March 31, when the commission will reach a decision.