Planning Commission approves request for annexation, zoning to build subdivision

Planning and Zoning Commission considers request by McGrath Family Trust
Thursday, October 20, 2011 | 10:54 p.m. CDT
The McGrath Family Trust has requested voluntary annexation of approximately 157.6 acres of land on the west side of South Scott Boulevard to the corporate limits of Columbia.

COLUMBIA — A proposal to annex 158 acres in southwest Columbia and zone it for single-family homes won the endorsement of the Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday night.

The annexation and zoning, which would pave the way for plans to build a 181-home subdivision to be known as Creek's Edge, is subject to the final approval of the Columbia City Council.

The property is west of Scott Boulevard in southwest Columbia. It is owned by the McGrath Family Trust, according to a memo to the council from Community Development Director Tim Teddy.

There is one house on the land now, and it uses an on-site lagoon for sewage. The purpose of the annexation is to allow the property to connect to city sewer and other utilities and to make it eligible for police and fire protection.

Archie Landes, who lives on the east side of Scott Boulevard, said in the public hearing that he sees little disadvantage to annexation and hopes to benefit from the city sewer.

"We are surrounded by the city, but we have no sewer," he said. "The property will get us sewer, water and gas. I want the annexation now."

He also said it's a pity that trees to the west of his house would be cut down.

"It's a beautiful view outside of my window. Now they have to be torn down," Landes said. "But it's part of the construction."

Tim Crockett, engineering consultant on behalf of the McGrath Family Trust, said this tree loss is small compared to the roughly 80 acres of grassy area that will be included in the development.

"We've heard concerns from the neighborhood, so we're adding large buffering areas," he said.

Crockett said the streams within the property will also be kept intact. 

The commission also approved a preliminary plat for the property.

"This is a good example of low-impact design," said Matthew Vander Tuig, member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. 

Pat Zenner, a staff member who reported on the annexation, said the annexation would keep the city limits more compact and less sprawling.

The site is already surrounded by single-family homes, so the proposed R-1 zoning would be consistent with the uses of other properties to the east and south, according to a staff report. The report also noted that the developers will be required to provide enough right-of-way to accommodate plans for the reconstruction of Scott Boulevard.

A public hearing will be held during the council meeting Nov. 7.

In other action, the commission recommended the council approve a request by Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity to annex and zone 11.7 acres in southwest Columbia. The group hopes to build 32 homes for low-income people on the land.

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Kevin Gamble October 21, 2011 | 1:43 p.m.

Good to hear the developers are thinking in terms of low impact. Definitely not the norm in this town (see the recent tree demolition at the new apartment site at College & Walnut, and the hideous Grove apartment complex). It'd be nice for new developments to not take 40 years to start looking nice and being decent habitat, especially as many as are popping up these days.

Hopefully this will be as low-impact as they suggest, especially in the area of stream protection. Protecting waterways has been a gaping hole in the city's oversight to date, and I hope this and all other new developments will be watched very closely in this regard.

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