City Council to consider Niedermeyer demolition, EEZ demise, rental occupancy disclosure

Sunday, January 6, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:47 p.m. CST, Monday, January 14, 2013

COLUMBIA — The fate of the Niedermeyer building at Tenth and Cherry streets gets scrutiny Monday night when the Columbia City Council considers a proposal to put demolition permits on hold for six months in The District.

A St. Louis development firm wants to purchase the circa 1837 building, considered Columbia’s oldest, and raze it to use the site for 15 stories of apartments. Opposition comes from the Historic Preservation Commission and others.

The proposal before the council cites concerns about adequate parking downtown, building height, setback requirements and historic preservation that need time to be studied before more permits are issued.  

A related proposal would increase the time the Historic Preservation Commission has to review a demolition permit application to 30 days from 10 days.

Also on the council agenda is a vote to repeal the ordinance that created the Enhanced Enterprise Zone Advisory Board. The EEZ was originally advanced to attract economic development to Columbia by providing tax credits.

Residents objected to a requirement to declare areas "blighted" in order to qualify for the credits. The opponents argued that the blight designation would lead to "decreased property values, an eroded tax base and eminent domain abuse."

The council will also hear public comments about water fluoridation.

Other items on Monday's agenda:

  • An amendment requiring real estate agents, landlords and other managers of rental properties to add a notice to a lease verifying that occupancy limits have been disclosed to tenants.
  • A proposal to solicit bids to finish three bays on the first-floor commercial area in the Fifth and Walnut parking garage. The area would be designed to house a restaurant and a small retail space.
  • Several items to promote bus transportation, including short-term, temporary suspended or reduced fares; free rides on FastCAT during the True/False Film Festival; and free access for Stephens College students to FastCAT shuttles with passes purchased by the college.
  • A contract extension with Delta Air Lines until Feb. 15, when the company will stop serving Columbia Regional Airport.
  • A request to reconfigure the meters around the North Village Arts District area inside the boundaries of Park Avenue, Orr Street, Walnut Street and College Avenue. The combination of one, two and 10-hour meters would be supplemented by a Parking By Permit Only area to help resolve the parking pressure in the district. A six-month pilot project would make permits available to those who own property or live in the restricted area. Stickers would be issued to owners and renters after they register their vehicles with the city’s Parking Utility.







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