Columbia City Council blocks Parkside Estates

Monday, April 21, 2014 | 11:05 p.m. CDT; updated 7:29 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Columbia City Council will vote Tuesday on a revised proposal for a subdivision north of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. The proposal now includes larger buffer areas for both the park and a stream. The subdivision, Parkside Estates, would include a stormwater retention area to prevent stormwater from flowing into creeks.

COLUMBIA — The Columbia City Council voted to blocked construction on Parkside Estates, a proposed subdivision near Rock Bridge State Park, from moving forward because of concerns about stormwater runoff and erosion in the park.

The proposal for a final platting failed by a 3-4 vote Monday. Council members Laura Nauser, Michael Trapp and Mayor Bob McDavid voted for approval of the final plat. Council members Karl Skala, Ian Thomas, Barbara Hoppe and Ginny Chadwick voted against the final plat.

Timeline of the Parkside Estates development

Dec. 17, 2012: Parkside Estates development is discussed in a public hearing at the council meeting.

Feb. 4, 2013: Introduction and first read of updated Parkside Estates proposal.

Feb. 18, 2013: Second read and motion to table until April 15 and send it to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

April 15, 2013: Third read and request to table again until June 3.

June 3, 2013: Parkside Estate rezoning, annexation and plat request withdrawn, with a request to follow up with a revised request.

July 1, 2013: The revised Parkside Estate request report is submitted to council and sent to Planning and Zoning Commission.

Aug. 19, 2013: Introduction and first read of revised Parkside Estate request, and sidewalk requirements are waived.

Sept. 3, 2013: Council passed an ordinance allowing the construction of Parkside Estates development only after amending the plan to limit its environmental impact.

April 7: Vote on final plat tabled until April 21.

April 21: Council votes down final plat.

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Voting on final plats is an administrative action. City Counselor Nancy Thompson said the council opens itself to litigation because it voted against Parkside Estate's platting, which meets zoning requirements and conditions set by the City Council.

Southside Trail Estates had revised the original plans to reduce the amount of impervious surfaces — which contributes to water runoff — to 15 percent of the total development. The developers also agreed to:

  • Plant flora native to Missouri, including at least four trees per lot.
  • Hold annual seminars for the Missouri State Park Board to educate the residents about sustainable landscaping practices.
  • Provide two rain barrels per lot.

These revisions were not enough to sway the council, in large part because the developers provided no definition for "impervious surfaces." If certain surfaces were paved with less-than-totally pervious material, it still wouldn't count toward the 15 percent limit — even though the semi-pervious material could become blocked over time.

"All of our neighborhoods are not held to the same standards, but all of our neighborhoods are not adjacent to Rock Bridge Park either," Skala said. "There's only one Rock Bridge State Park."

The subdivision would have been made up of single-family  homes east of Route K and adjacent to Southbrook Court.

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Richard Saunders April 22, 2014 | 6:00 p.m.

Funny how council members think that laws only apply to others, and that they can do whatever they want, regardless.

After all, it isn't their money being wasted on lawsuits, is it?

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