Commission approves housing proposals

Some are concerned about traffic and infrastructure issues.
Friday, December 5, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:17 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission approved five different proposals at its meeting Thursday night. Total, the proposals could lead to the building of more than 800 housing units around Columbia.

The recommended proposals will now be considered individually by the City Council.

Each proposal was met with some opposition from neighbors who attended the meeting. They voiced concerns about the increased traffic that would come with such a development.

Several commissioners were also concerned about whether Columbia’s outdated infrastructure would be able to serve the new developments.

“There are several areas around Columbia exploding ahead of the infrastructure,” said commissioner Jerry Wade. “The infrastructure is simply not in place, and at some point this community is going to have to address it.”

The areas recommended for development include:

  • An area north of Blue Ridge Road along both sides of the planned Providence Road extension.
  • Two new planned unit developments: Timber Creek, to the west of Stadium Boulevard and south of Primrose Drive; and Forest Ridge, on the northeast corner of Brown School Road and North Providence Road extended.
  • Two subdivisions: One directly across from the Forest Ridge development and Mill Creek Manor, on the southeast corner of State Route KK and Crabapple Lane extended.
  • Commissioner Michael Holden echoed Wade’s concerns regarding the city’s aging infrastructure.

    “We shouldn’t be missing opportunities to fix infrastructure problems,” Holden said. “You have to have development to pay for infrastructure.”

    Commissioner Jeff Barrow said that while concerns about the city’s infrastructure are warranted, the committee approved the proposals because the land has been zoned for development.

    But Wade said the infrastructure issues cannot be ignored.

    “Although we frequently have confronted a crisis of infrastructure, tonight highlights it and focuses on it more than ever before,” Wade said.

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