Despite continued traffic concerns, the Columbia City Council gave the go-ahead Monday to a development proposal that will bring a golf course and hundreds of apartments to a 100-acre property on Clark Lane, east of Ballenger Lane.
The property plan originally included an 18-hole private golf course and 730 apartments. After meeting with neighborhood residents last week, the developer dropped the golf course to nine holes and increased the number of apartment units to 840.
“They thought we were too tight in the open spaces,” Allstate Consulting representative Brian Herrington told council members at the public hearing. Allstate Consulting is working with Arkansas-based Lindsey Management Co. to develop the property. The land is currently owned by George Godas.
“We don’t know that we’ll go up to the 840 units, but we want to have that option as the planning continues,” Herrington added.
The plan still includes a $1 million club house that will house a fitness center and swimming pool.
The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the plan last month with two amendments: increasing the green space requirement from 15 percent to 50 percent and requiring a traffic study. The city staff also recommended approval.
Primary objections by nearby residents have included environmental concerns and the likely increase of traffic at the intersection of Clark Lane and U.S. 63.
“The traffic is horrendous right now,” said Judy Johnson at the hearing.
Some of the council members agreed.
“The issue in this neighborhood is traffic; there’s no question about it,” Third Ward Councilman Bob Hutton said, but stressed the advantages of planning 100 acres at a time.
Johnson argued that the traffic study, which was required by the Planning and Zoning Commission’s amendment, should occur before the plan is approved.
“It’s like putting the cart before the horse, to know what the impact’s going to be,” she said.
In the end, however, the council unanimously approved the proposal and noted that planning revisions can be made further in the process. Monday’s vote only approved the rezoning.
“We want it to be a win-win situation for the city and ourselves,” said Lindsey Management representative Kim Fugitt after the meeting.
Fugitt said they hope to have the plan approved within 60 days and begin initial construction 30 days after that.
The first phase of construction will include building the entire golf course and all the units located south of Clark Lane. Construction of phase one should take about 400 days, Fugitt said.
Lindsey Management Company manages 28 golf courses in seven states, including three other locations in Missouri.
In other news, the council also took no action on a scheduled vote on Billy Sapp’s latest annexation proposal. A petition by Harg-area residents was again successful in blocking the proposal, which was pared down to include only 170 acres of Sapp’s property. The property is east of the city on both sides of Route WW.
Harg-area residents plan to meet this month with Sapp to discuss a possible agreement.