COLUMBIA — A unanimous vote from the Columbia City Council helped usher in the annexation and rezoning of the former Peppers Nightclub property Monday evening.
The property at 4515 N. Highway 763 will now be zoned C-P, planned commercial zoning. It was previously zoned as C-G, general business, and R-S, single-family residential.
Property owner Karon Rowe had originally requested annexation in May. On July 5, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to approve the request for rezoning and annexation, according to previous Missourian reports.
The approval of zoning and annexation came with the following use restrictions that were suggested by the commission in its report to the council:
- None of the structures can be occupied or used until the sewer is connected to the city’s sewer system and all buildings meet Columbia building code.
- The mobile home on the north side of the site will be removed from the property if disconnected from public utilities for 30 days.
- Parking, loading and drive areas must meet city zoning ordinances before structures are used.
- The structure at the south end of the property cannot be used for commercial purposes.
The city denied the request from Rowe for the requirement of landscaping or screening barriers to be waived.
The council limited the types of businesses that can be opened on the property based on recommendations in the staff report and by the Columbia police and fire departments. In the future, the property cannot have alcohol sales, child care facilities, restaurants or cabarets.
During public comment on the issue, attorney Robert Hollis, representing Rowe, asked the council to consider the property and not the property owner in placing restrictions.
Hollis said there are plenty of ordinances and codes to remedy problems rather than using zoning restrictions.
However, Fifth Ward Councilwoman Helen Anthony said the “property has been a public nuisance” and felt the council had an obligation from a public safety perspective to vote according to the commission and staff recommendations.
- Property owner Rowe requested annexation of 4515 N. Highway 763 in May.
- The rezoning of the property was tabled May 24 and June 7 in previous commission meetings.
- The property owner voluntarily closed Peppers Nightclub in November 2011 after a 21-year-old was fatally shot in the parking lot, according to previous Missourian reports.
- Before the shooting occurred, the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney's office had sought an injunction to close the nightclub due to a history of criminal behavior on the property, including charges of prostitution and shootings, according to previous Missourian reports.
- Rowe was previously denied general commercial zoning in 2003 and 2009.
Supervising editor is Ted Hart.