COLUMBIA — A vote regarding the proposed rezoning of 22 acres of vacant land at Nifong Boulevard and Bethel Street is expected at Monday night's meeting of the Columbia City Council.
The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission voted in favor of the request by developer Jeffrey Smith on Aug. 4. Smith wants the council to rezone the property to allow construction of apartments for seniors and a mix of commercial uses. The land is currently zoned for a mix of residential and office uses. Smith's attorney, Dan Simon, has said existing zoning would allow development of a dense student apartment complex.
The council originally was scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on the matter on Sept. 6, but the hearing was postponed at Smith's request to allow amendments to a proposed development agreement.
Residents of the nearby Bedford Walk neighborhood have presented the city with a petition bearing the signatures of 148 people who oppose the rezoning. They worry primarily about stormwater runoff and traffic in the area, according to a previous Missourian report.
In other action, the council is scheduled to:
- Make appointments to the Citizens Police Review Board and the Planning and Zoning Commission. There are eight applicants for a one-year position on the police review board and five for a position on the zoning commission that would expire on May 31, 2016.
- Hold a public hearing and vote on the proposed construction of the Short Street parking garage. The council already has approved a $9.2 million bond issue to finance the purchase of land and development of the garage, but council members are debating whether the garage should be larger to meet anticipated demand, according to a report from Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine.
- Under special items, vote on whether to use the Percent for Art program to provide public art at the Short Street garage. The council deferred a decision on this matter back in July.
- Consider whether to annex 11 acres near Old Plank Road and Route K and zone it for single-family residential use. Central Missouri Habitat for Humanity hopes to build 32 homes on the property.
- Hear a report from Planning and Development Director Tim Teddy regarding concerns by residents in and around the North Village Arts District about recent activities of Boone County Family Resources. The agency recently demolished a home in the area and purchased other properties with an eye toward expansion. Residents worry its plans could compromise the character of the neighborhood and conflict with recommendations of a downtown charrette for how the area should develop.
- Receive reports from the Citizens Police Review Board and the Columbia Police Officers Association regarding proposed changes to city ordinances that govern the review board. The two groups have disagreed about amendments suggested by the Columbia Police Department, and Mayor Bob McDavid asked them to seek compromise.