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Several commissioners were also concerned about whether Columbia’s outdated infrastructure would be able to serve the new developments.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