COLUMBIA — After tabling the Richland Road request three times, the Columbia City Council plans to make a decision at next week's council meeting.
The East Area Plan, which has been the prerequisite to considering the Richland Road rezoning request, was presented to the council for the first time at Monday night’s work session.
The council determined it needed the East Area Plan before it would consider large-scale proposals such as the 271-acre request by Richland Road Properties LLC and East Richland Road Properties LLC.
The council first tabled the request on Nov. 2, 2009.
Tim Teddy, director of the city's Planning and Development Department, apologized at the outset for not having a slideshow that showed how the East Area Plan and the Richland Road request worked together.
The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission did not send a representative to the work session to avoid having to interpret whether the plan conflicts with the Richland Road proposal.
The debate was limited after Teddy’s presentation of both the Richland Road rezoning request and the East Area Plan. The council members gave no hint as to how they would vote at next week's council meeting.
First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz asked Teddy if 90.09 acres of commercial zoning, called Tract 1 in the Richland Road proposal, conflicts with the East Area Plan’s goal to have no new regional commercial. Teddy said it did.
Later in the meeting, Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl said the East Area Plan mentions maintaining current development density several times. He added this would encourage urban sprawl and does not adhere to smart growth principles.
Mayor Bob McDavid first said during the July 19 City Council meeting that the council would vote the Richland Road request up or down at next week's meeting. He reaffirmed that sentiment Monday night.