Subdivision proposal raises concerns

Residents fear overcrowding and more traffic accidents.
Friday, January 30, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:03 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 14, 2008

Plans for a 940-home subdivision and golf course east of Columbia are taking shape, and a representative for developer Billy Sapp said neighbors will get to see drawings of the proposed development within the next few weeks.

Sapp spokesman Don Stamper said the project will have a “country club feel” and a mixture of single-family homes and condominiums.

The entire project, which will be developed on 640 acres north of Route WW and west of Olivet Road, has a time line of 12 to 15 years, he said. He declined to share drawings or designs with the Missourian.

“The neighbors come first,” Stamper said. “We’re going there to receive feedback and get input to further develop our idea. We’re still in the early stages.”

Because the property is now zoned only for agricultural-residential use, any development would require rezoning by the Boone County Commission. Sapp, however, has yet to file an official rezoning request.

“We have not received any formal submission,” county planner Thaddeus Yonke said. “But representatives have had a casual meeting with ( Boone County Planning and Building Director) Stan Shawver with a ‘heads up, we’re going to file’ sort of message.”

Potential neighbors to the new development already have some concerns about the possibility of more than 900 new homes being built nearby. Increased traffic along Route WW, the site of several fatal car accidents in recent years, is an issue for Luisa Fuhlage of 1330 S. Cedar Grove Blvd.

“On WW, there is no shoulder and it is very dangerous,” said Fuhlage, the mother of three children. “Our trips downtown will most likely be longer and more difficult.”

Property values are also on Fuhlage’s mind. “I am curious to know what kind of homes are going to go into this subdivision, whether they are more upscale homes or smaller ones,” Fuhlage said.

Melody Cameron of 120 Rainbow Road, northwest of the Sapp property, worries about the impact that hundreds of new families might have on the area, which is primarily open space and farmland now.

“I am worried that schools around here will be overcrowded,” Cameron said. “I’m also concerned that the few parks and recreation areas around here would get too crowded.”

Stamper said the developer is interested in having the MU golf team play on the new course. The team plays on the 6,500-yard A.L. Gustin golf course on campus. The new course would be about 7,200 yards, said Tim Robyn, head coach of the MU men’s golf team.

“They’ve talked to us about it,” Robyn said. “It’s up to them whether they invite us.”

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