Planning restarts for Bonnie View Park

Development forces chances at 90-acre west-side property
Wednesday, October 7, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The possible elimination of a 4.5-acre lake from the proposed master plan for the 89.5-acre Bonnie View Park, also known as the Russell property, will be one of the major issues discussed as the Parks and Recreation Department reopens the public planning process for the park. 

Three new options for a proposed master plan will be presented at a meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Activity and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St.

On the Web

You can get a firsthand look at the three options for Bonnie View Park here. Scroll down to item "B "under the "Reports" section of the City Council agenda.

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The public planning process for the property on the city’s west side began in 2003 but was delayed because of controversy surrounding the extension of Cunningham Road, which would have passed through parts of the park. That extension was removed from the city's Major Roadway Plan at a November 2008 City Council meeting. 

Because the three original options for the park were created in 2003, development in the city has made it necessary to update the plan. The extension of Rollins Road, for instance, was only "proposed" in 2003. That extension has since been built, but its alignment is different and its elevation is lower than the planners originally anticipated. That created the need to re-evaluate the plans for a lake that was to be built near the road. 

Two of the new options do not include the proposed lake. A third option includes the lake but reduces its size to 3.7 acres. Option 1 includes the lake and is essentially the same as the 2003 Option A, which both the Planning and Zoning and Parks and Recreations commissions recommend for adoption.

City park planners are working with Public Works Department engineers to determine whether the lake is practical. If it's not, other stormwater control methods such as a stormwater detention basin, rain gardens or bioswales, will probably be proposed.

Frank Kimbel, who lives on Bray Avenue, wants the park to have a lake, even if it’s smaller than originally planned.

"I figure it could be a good place for kids to go fishing,” Kimbel said.

Not everyone shares Kimbel’s enthusiasm. Harry Barnard, also a resident of Bray Avenue, opposes the park altogether.

"It would be devastating to our community," Barnard said, "because now it's a barrier between us and the continued spread of our suburban areas. … I think it needs to remain an undeveloped green area."

Traffic control is another primary concern. Option 2 would move a planned entrance from Fairview Road to Malibu Court, which would allow for a future four-way stop. The road would bisect the park's tennis courts and new restroom. In Option 3, the road would continue and connect to Plymouth Drive, which is just west of Fairview Elementary School.

After the public planning process is complete, the Parks and Recreation Department intends to bring a proposed master plan to the City Council in early 2010. If the plan is approved, the department anticipates beginning phase I of development in 2010. The city has $300,000 in parks sales tax money for development.


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Ray Shapiro October 7, 2009 | 12:19 a.m.

("The city has $300,000 in parks sales tax money for development.")
Put it to a special public vote to Columbia's citizenry.
Use it for park development.
Divert it to CPD.
Divert it to CPS.
Divert it from P&R and split it up between CPD and CPS.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 7, 2009 | 4:50 a.m.

ray shapiro the City Charter does not allow them to do that and we all know by now with our current Mayor and City Manager that is an unrealistic expectation.

You get the current Mayor and City Manager out of office and a few really great Councilmen into office then you might have a decent chance at reworking the City Charter but not until the changes I outlined.

It is like beating that dead dog along side of the road and trying to get it to sit up and beg for a dog treat.

(Report Comment)
Kay Allen October 7, 2009 | 7:17 a.m.

Leave it a total green space and mow it 4 times a year. With times getting crunchier, how can we really afford to maintain yet another park?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 7, 2009 | 12:56 p.m.

Chuck, the voters can amend the city charter, they don't need any buy-in or assistance from the council or city manager to do that.

(Report Comment)
Jason Entermyer October 7, 2009 | 1:23 p.m.

Again, lack of knowledge abounds with Ray and all of his other handles. This is funded by a dedicated sales tax that can only be used for park purposes. It was on a list that we all voted for or against. The ballot issue passed and this is what we're getting. Just like street sales tax ballot issues can't be used for CPD or Fire or Columbia Public Schools, neither can the park sales tax. It doesn't matter if you brought in a whole new council. What was done, is done and can't be used for any other purposes. Even changing the City Charter wouldn't help on something that was done.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 7, 2009 | 2:03 p.m.

John Schultz it takes the Mayor,City Manager and the City Council wanting to change it first and the vote of the people would not mean diddly squat on a door knob.

That is why the present City Manager needs to go and a Paid Mayor along with a Paid City Comptroller and a Paid City Council need to be put into place.

Columbia is far past now it's beginning days of Mayberry R.F.D.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 7, 2009 | 3:39 p.m.

Chuck, I don't have time to double check myself right now, but go take a look at the city charter and I'm pretty sure the citizens are able to petition for changes to the city charter. It would go to the voters for approval, not the council. All of the other changes you want to make above would require a charter update as well.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 7, 2009 | 4:59 p.m.

John Schultz if I remember correctly Karl Skala told me that to look into changing and revising the City Charter is a monumental task that he would like to see worked on but would be a huge undertaking by City Council.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 7, 2009 | 10:04 p.m.

From the city charter at

Section 162. Amending the Charter.

Amendments to this charter may be framed and submitted to the electors by a commission in the manner provided by law and the constitution for framing and submitting a complete charter. Amendments may also be proposed by the council or by petition of not less than ten (10) per cent of the registered qualified electors of the city, filed with the city clerk, setting forth the proposed amendment. The Council shall at once provide by ordinance that any amendment so proposed shall be submitted to the electors at the next general election held in the city after its passage and consistent with state election laws, or at their discretion at a special election prior to the next general election on a date established in conformance with state law at a special election held as provided by law and the Constitution for a charter. Any amendment approved by a majority of the qualified electors voting thereon shall become a part of the charter at the time and under the conditions fixed in the amendment; sections or articles may be submitted separately or in the alternative and determined as provided by law and the Constitution for a complete charter.

If you want a paid mayor and council with no manager, you'll have some additional amending to do:

Section 2. Form of Government.

The municipal government provided by this charter shall be known as the "council-manager government." Pursuant to the provisions of this charter and subject only to the limitations imposed by the state constitution and by this charter, all powers of the city shall be vested in an elective council, hereafter referred to as "the council," which shall enact local legislation, adopt budgets, determine policies, and appoint the city manager, who shall execute the laws and administer the government of the city.


Section 7. Salary.

Council members shall receive no salary, but they shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in their capacity as council members

as well as striking various sections related to the city manager.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 8, 2009 | 4:37 a.m.

John Schultz and all of your post adds up to what Skala told me about it would be a huge undertaking but maybe the next Mayor will hopefully want to see some serious changes that the City Charter can be looked at being amended.

The citizens can submit all they want John but if it dies in Council or if it dies at the voting booth it still does no good with out some solid cheerleading from the top. With out the latter you might as well fart to the wind for all of your efforts.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 8, 2009 | 9:55 a.m.

Chuck, the process does not involve the council and is not dependent on them in anyway other than the council can set a special election instead of waiting for the general election (see quoted text above).

(Report Comment)

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