COLUMBIA — The North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association is concerned with recent developments in the Brookside rezoning request.
Monday evening, the City Council considered the rezoning request for the properties on the south side of Walnut Street owned by Jon and Nathan Odle. This request seeks to convert the property from R-3, a multiple family residential zone, to C-2, a commercial zone.
The development company added two agreements to its original rezoning application. These are classified as amendments to the original request that will take effect if the rezoning request is approved.
One agreement is a five-year contract for FastCAT. The developers agreed to buy passes for their apartment residents for the proposed route and also to pay $10,000 per year for advertisements on the buses.
The second amendment is a development agreement. Under this amendment, if the rezoning is approved, the Brookside developers will build another apartment complex in that area after its parking garage is complete. Until the parking garage is complete, the developers are seeking to build a temporary parking lot on the property south of Walnut Street.
These amendments to the request were approved by the council. The council also moved to return the agreement to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a final review at its Thursday meeting. The council voted to table the final decision on the request until June 18.
The North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association members present at the meeting were dismayed at the quick decision.
Nina Wilson-Keenan, a member of the association, lives adjacent to the affected area. Her issue is the effect the zoning change will have on the surrounding historical neighborhood.
She said the association had been negotiating with the Odle brothers but that those negotiations broke down. She was concerned about the negotiations happening between Mayor Bob McDavid and the Odle brothers.
"Other negotiations have happened that we haven't been a part of," Wilson-Keenan said.
"Our neighborhood doesn't have enough information, despite the fact that we've asked repeatedly ... and that's frustrating," said Pat Fowler, board president of the North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association.
At the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the association will be given six minutes to address the commission on its concerns.
However, the association only has until Thursday to gather information and read the 96-page development agreement, Fowler said.
She and the association want to make sure there are provisions in the agreement that will protect the neighborhood.
Fowler said she is concerned that the current storm water management system will not be able to handle a population increase. The development also causes concern about increased traffic and the ability of bicyclists to use the street, Fowler said.
"The mayor is making agreements at the expense of the neighborhood," she said.
The mayor said he doesn't think the development agreement is a major change.
"It’s basically from the same proposal that they knew about with some developmental changes," McDavid said.
The Odle brothers want to build a temporary parking lot on the south side of Walnut Street to accommodate residents of their complex on College and Walnut streets in August. Despite the fire, they still expect 47 percent of residents to move into the Brookside on College structure in August.
After the private parking structure is completed, the Odles plan to build another apartment complex in its place. The new complex would house up to 450 students, according to the development agreement document.
Other council news
- The council voted to move the Fourth of July celebration from Memorial Stadium to Peace Park in downtown. Fireworks will be shot off the parking garage at Sixth and Cherry streets.
- The City Council defeated an amendment to change the city codes on the storm water management system.*
- The City Council will next meet June 18. At that time, the council will consider both the rezoning agreement and the storm water management system.
Supervising editor is Ted Hart.