The Columbia City Council made decisions Monday night about parking garages and rezoning.
The council unanimously approved a new plan for a six-story, 410-space Short Street garage, up from the previous five-story, 340-space plan. Of the planned spaces, 275 have already been reserved, and the design would leave 135 spaces open for the public. The project, which is expected to cost $9 million, was also made a Percent for Art project, meaning 1 percent of the cost can be used for site-specific artwork.
The council also unanimously approved an ordinance allowing the city's Parking Utility and the Regional Economic Development Inc. to construct office space on the ground level of the Fifth and Walnut streets parking garage. According to city plans, the space along Walnut Street would include three suites. The project's estimated cost is $250,000.
A request for rezoning 22.5 acres at Bethel Street and Nifong Boulevard also passed unanimously. Developer Jeffery Smith plans to develop 93 senior apartments on the part of the property now zoned for residential use. The other part, now zoned for commercial use, is split into areas A, B and C, each with separate restrictions for what can be operated there. The council also approved an amendment to delay the planned construction of two streets, a traffic signal and one of the property's eight stormwater detention facilities.
The council's next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 17.