A group of concerned citizens wants the public to know about the details of the proposed rezoning of the Philips property.
Members of the Clear Creek Neighborhood Association and the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition will hold a public news conference at 7 p.m. Wednesday to discuss issues surrounding developer Elvin Sapp’s proposal for permanent rezoning of the 489-acre Philips Farm southeast of Columbia.
“We’re wanting people to know where it’s at, the size of the development and what exactly the request for rezoning entails,” said Tony Davis of the neighborhood association. Davis said discussions will include the potential impact on traffic in the area and on Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.
Storm water an issue
Another topic will be Sapp’s storm-water management plan, which was evaluated by engineering consultants CH2M Hill at the request of the city. The evaluation offered many recommendations for amendments to Sapp’s plan and found there was a level of “ambiguousness about whether protection of the lake is a priority.”
Following the city’s request for an evaluation of the storm-water strategy, Sapp withdrew his first proposal in September and submitted a second one Nov. 13 that added several restrictions and clarifications. The proposal calls for 233 acres of residential property, 104 acres of office property and 150 acres of commercial development.
Meanwhile, city officials and members of the Columbia City Council are deciding whether to buy more than 150 acres of the land for a park.
Largest development ever?
The Sapp proposal, if approved as it stands, would lead to the single largest commercial development in the history of Columbia and Boone County, city Planning Director Roy Dudark said. Davis noted that the proposed commercial zoning would be larger than the Columbia and Biscayne malls and the Crossroads West shopping center combined, and that does not include the proposed residential developments.
Plan has flaws
Davis said that he and the meeting’s organizers are not against development in the area, but they are opposed to “a development that would not adequately fit in that location.”
“There’s nothing that’s been proposed yet that we would be in favor of,” he said.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold its first public hearing on the Philips proposal Dec. 18.