COLUMBIA — The grassy fields east of Philips Lake have sat undeveloped since they were annexed into Columbia seven years ago. That could change.
A preliminary plan for developing 144 acres was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday.
Developer Bruce Odle, the landowner, proposed dividing the property into an eight-lot "major subdivision" called The Village of Philips Lake. The property is zoned for commercial and office use, both of which allow for residential housing, but it was unclear what Odle hopes to build in the subdivision.
"They're not sure what they want to build; we're not sure what they want to build," said Patrick Zenner, development services manager for the city's Department of Planning and Development.
The preliminary plat approval will be valid for seven years, Zenner said. But he said he expects a request for the final plat and development approval to occur in the next two to three years, depending on economic conditions.
Plans are up in the air at this point, said Matthew Lepke, a city planner.
Odle was not available for comment.
More specific development plans will be announced in the final plat. Plans for improving roads or building new internal roads would also be in the final plat.
In 2004 when it was annexed, the entire Philips tract of 489 acres was the largest annexation by the city.
The 63-acre Philips Lake area was donated to the city by Bristol Lake Investments on Dec. 30, 2005, according to the city website. The lake was officially opened to the public for fishing on July 18, 2008.