The Monday decision by the City Council to allow machine shop owner Tom Kardon to build an auto-parts store at Third Avenue and Providence Road slipped under the radar of residents.
“I thought the issue was dead,” said John McFarland, president of the Ridgeway Neighborhood Association. “If the neighborhood would have been notified of the final hearing, everyone would have been present.”
The City Council voted 4-3 to allow limited commercial zoning on the property that will accommodate Kardon’s plans for an auto-parts store.
Kardon had been trying since 1998 to gain approval from the council for the store, which will specialize in parts for foreign cars. Until last Monday, however, Kardon had been repeatedly rejected by both the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission and by the council.
“He kept coming back,” McFarland said.
Neighborhood residents’ feelings about the store have remained constant throughout the hearings. Most continue to thinkthe business will pose parking and traffic problems.
“My feelings are the same,” said Bruce Lynch, who lives on Third Avenue. “I already have parking issues with Hickman (High School). I can’t even park in front of my own house.”
Kardon said at the final hearing that all he wanted was the appropriate zoning and that he would be flexible about access issues. He plans to begin breaking ground for the store this spring but is unsure when it will be done.
“They finally did the right thing,” Kardon said of the council.