COLUMBIA — MFA Oil Co. has withdrawn its request to rezone land for a Break Time convenience store at Rock Quarry Road and Grindstone Parkway.
Attorney Phebe LaMar, representing MFA, said Monday morning that she had notified Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid that her client was withdrawing its request to rezone the property at 3407 Rock Quarry Road.
Over the past few months, the controversial rezoning request met with strong opposition from residents, who refiled a protest petition the week after the city determined a previous version did not have sufficient signatures from nearby property owners. The new petition met city requirements. It would have required that a "supermajority" of five of the seven Columbia City Council members vote in favor of the rezoning in order for it to be approved.
LaMar said MFA Oil decided to withdraw its request after spending a month talking to council members and learning "the direction that most of them were leaning to vote."
"We concluded that we couldn't get enough votes to get (the rezoning request) passed," she said.
Asked why her client's request was withdrawn hours before the scheduled vote, LaMar said her client was hoping the council might shift its position at the last minute.
"Honestly, we kept hoping that we could see some change at some point, and we never did," she said.
LaMar said she did not know if MFA Oil had plans to choose another location for the Break Time. "I think they're trying to regroup and figure out what they're doing from here."
City staff had recommended the council reject the rezoning request, but the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval at its Sept. 6 meeting.
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