COLUMBIA — A proposed housing development project just north of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is scheduled for public hearing at Thursday’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
The 35.8-acre subdivision would contain 76 residential lots — 11 designated for villa-style duplexes and the remaining 65 used for single-family housing. Engineer Tim Crockett said the villas are different from the single-family dwellings because of the architectural constructs, high-end building materials and finishes used to create them.
The development would be located off Route K, about 2,000 feet south of the Providence and Old Plank roads intersection, and about three-quarters of the property line's length would border Rock Bridge Memorial State Park to the south.
This tract of land was previously owned by Columbia Independent School, which purchased the site in 2007 before ultimately relocating to the former Toastmasters building on North Stadium Boulevard. Real estate records indicate that the land sold in October to developer Rob Hill, who lives on a property adjacent to the site.
The proposed development has two exit points, both opening onto Route K. Crockett said the traffic engineers with whom he had consulted about potential congestion problems had determined there were no issues with access.
If approved at Thursday's meeting, the development plan will go to the City Council for a first reading on Dec. 17, and a first vote could take place as early as Jan. 7.
Crockett said he hopes to see construction begin next spring or summer if the council approves the project. In the meantime, he said, his firm has been meeting with residents in the area to address their concerns.
“We’re in the process of trying to work with them and gain their support,” he said. “I think we’ve made good-faith efforts, and I think they’re turning out really well.”
Some South Route K-area residents have reservations about the new development.
Sandy McCann, a self-described "sixth-generation Boone County-an," said she and other residents plan to submit a protest petition at the Dec. 17 council meeting.
“It’s an urban development,” she said of the proposal. “Our neighborhood is not urban.”
McCann said about 20 residents attended a Nov. 20 meeting at her house to discuss the development and were “not happy with the answers” they received.
McCann said she has concerns about the lack of representation for residents in the area. Because her neighborhood is located outside city limits, she said, there is nobody on the council representing its residents' interests.
McCann said members of the Planning Commission can anticipate a strong turnout from area residents at Thursday’s meeting.
“I’m expecting to have a crew there,” she said.
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.