Columbia annexes property in northeast section of city

Monday, October 1, 2007 | 9:13 p.m. CDT; updated 7:55 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Land that might be used as a site for a home for older residents was annexed by a unanimous vote of the Columbia City Council Monday night.

The council approved the annexation and zoning of nearly 50 acres of land on the northeast side of Masonic Drive.

About 35 acres of the land are proposed for development as a retirement community that could include “state-licensed assisted living facilities, adult day care, a community center, clubhouses and other residential structures for senior citizens, including cottages and apartments,” according to a statement of intent filed by Masonic Home of Missouri Inc.

The remaining 14 acres are split into two tracts. Both were zoned for planned commercial use, which opens them up to a range of possibilities, such as retail stores, hotels, fitness centers and restaurants.

The combined 50 acres are now home to a Scottish Rite Temple and a Masonic Home and Lodge.

But development of the land won’t occur anytime soon.

Attorney Brent Stewart, who spoke for the landowners at Monday night’s meeting, said that there was no timetable for development.

“Normally, when you go to the city with annexation, you have a development plan. We really don’t,” Stewart said.

The timetable for development proposals wasn’t an issue Monday because the annexation was part of a 2002 pre-annexation agreement land owners signed in exchange for city sewer service. The agreement stipulated that the owners would petition for annexation as soon as the property became contiguous with city boundaries.

The Planning and Zoning Commission at its Aug. 23 meeting recommended unanimously that the council approve the annexation and zoning.

When the landowners do decide to develop, they will be required to conduct a traffic impact study before planning can begin. In addition, 25 percent of the property must be left as open space. Both terms were requirements for approval of the annexation.

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