Second-home zoning change inches towards vote

Monday, February 24, 2014 | 6:49 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Columbia City Council members are preparing to comment on a draft ordinance that would allow two homes on certain residential lots.

Residents have debated changing the R-2 zoning ordinance since January. Many residents are concerned that this could change the character of neighborhoods such as East Campus and Benton-Stephens, where much of land is zoned R-2. Some are also concerned that more houses would increase traffic and overextend utilities such as sewage.

Those in favor of the change said second homes could increase density within the city and provide additional revenue for families, according to the public input meeting records.

Council members will receive a report on the draft either March 3 or 17, depending on when it's filled. The council may suggest changes and limitations on the ordinance, city planner Steve MacIntyre said, then it will be presented to the public a final time before the council votes on it.

Based on what the council says, the draft ordinance could apply to all R-2 zoned lots, or it could apply only to the areas where the neighborhood associations are in support of the ordinance.

During the public input meetings, residents suggested requiring the owner to live on the lot and limiting the number of bedrooms or tenants in the second house.

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