Council approves Ridgeway Cottages sewer line construction

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | 10:27 p.m. CST; updated 11:20 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 18, 2011

COLUMBIA — The City Council on Tuesday approved a sewer project that has been in the works for about two years and is attached to a larger affordable housing endeavor in the central city spearheaded by developer Amir Ziv.

The council voted to proceed with sewer line construction for Ridgeway Cottages, 315 Ridgeway Ave., between West Worley and West Ash streets, provided that Ziv obtains financing for the homes. The motion was unanimously amended to require Ziv to secure the financing within three years.

Action: A public hearing focused on installation of an 8-inch sewer line under the proposed Ridgeway Cottages property. The city will pay the $15,000 required to install the sewer line, approval of which allows Ziv (pending financing) to break ground on his two-lot, three-home housing project.

Vote: Approved 7-0.

Discussion: Tom Sasseen spoke on behalf of his girlfriend, Felicia Leach, a Ridgeway Avenue property owner who thinks the city should not fund the sewer installation.

"This is Amir Ziv's housing project for his own personal profit," Sasseen read from Leach's statement. "Let Mr. Ziv pay for his own sewer."

Leach also thinks the increased housing density on the street will cause more pollution, traffic and noise, according to the statement. Speaking for himself, Sasseen said the addition of concrete to the land plot will lend itself to further water runoff problems, which already affect the area.

In response, First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz said the new housing will not be dense enough to make a considerable difference in pollution, traffic and noise for the street.

"I think more and more we're going to have to get used to the idea of more people living in the central city if we don't want to continue to sprawl outward," he said.

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