The City Council unanimously approved development on the old Philips farm Monday night despite objections to the 74-acre Bristol Lake subdivision on the southwest corner of the property.
The proposed development, which will include 51 single- and 44 two-family lots, will use the natural topography of the land to direct water across more permeable areas into retention ponds.
Those who wanted to see the utmost care given to the area did not feel enough had been done to preserve its environmental integrity.
Their objections stemmed from two conflicting figures regarding storm water runoff reached by All State Consultants and another consulting firm, CH2M Hill. Concerned residents said that they thought city staff had sidestepped the discrepancy by relying on All State’s figures alone.
“It appears as if the city hasn’t had the time to examine the relevant information, and this deserves a second look,” said Susan Bingaman at the meeting.
The council also had its questions about some aspects of the project, notably the possibility of a sidewalk on only one side of the streets.
“I would personally prefer that there be sidewalks on both sides of the street in the neighborhood,” said Mayor Darwin Hindman.
Hindman got his wish as the council passed an amendment requiring two sidewalks.
This request for two sidewalks ran counter to the development presented before the council, which hoped that reducing the number of sidewalks would reduce runoff and keep costs low.
The possibility of development on the 489-acre property, and Columbia’s largest annexation to date, has drawn public dissent and three years of discussion about whether increased storm water runoff would degrade water quality in the Little Bonne Femme Watershed.
The City Council, Columbia residents and those who live near the tract have expressed concerns in the past that inadequate planning could jeopardize water quality.
Those concerns manifested themselves in 2002 as both the council and voters denied annexation bids for the property until such plans were in place.
Gans and Clear creeks are part of the Little Bonne Femme Watershed. Both run through Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.
Gans Creek has also been designated an Outstanding State Resource Water, holding it to stringent anti-degradation standards outlined in state statutes.
In other business, the council held a special recognition ceremony for Columbia Water and Light lineman Steve Ebert, who died June 9 while repairing a downed power line in Independence.
Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman and City Manger Ray Beck presided over the ceremony in which they dedicated a 30-year-old Cyprus tree at L.A. Nickell Golf Course in memory of Ebert.
Missourian reporter Nick Olish contributed to this report.