COLUMBIA — Columbia City Council tabled a rezoning proposal Tuesday evening for a 43-acre plot of land along Cinnamon Hill Lane called Kelly Farms, where there is a plan to build a mix of apartments and single-family homes.
This is the third attempt to rezone the land for residential development. Neighbors, however, worry about traffic flow and development of the heavily wooded property.
Gregg Suhler, a representative of the Timberhill Road Neighborhood Association, asked the council to table the vote until its next meeting.
“There’s a lot involved, and we need more time to discuss,” Suhler said, citing the size of a proposed buffer area and traffic density as issues that need more scrutiny before a final decision is made.
Requests by property owners Charles and Rebecca Lamb to build student apartments on the land were denied in 2014 and 2015.
The property is south of the Timberhill neighborhood and east of U.S. 63 near Stadium Boulevard and along Cinnamon Hill Lane. The new development would include 384 multi-family units within 14 residential buildings if approved. There would be a total of 524 bedrooms, and each unit is limited to one or two bedrooms, according to a city staff report.
There would also be 10 single-family homes and a wooded area on the northern end of the property to act as a buffer between the existing Timberhill neighborhood and the proposed apartments.
While this proposal has 73 more apartments than previous plans, it has 465 fewer bedrooms. There would be no more than 11 dwellings per acre on the property, according to a city staff report.
Cinnamon Hill Lane would extend to the eastern edge of the property and connect with an extended Timberhill Road.
Many residents on Timberhill Road are concerned about developing the heavily wooded area, the lack of transition between neighborhoods and the potential increase of traffic, according to emails and letters sent to the council.
Katie Kane, who lives on Timberhill Road, said in an email to council members that “aside from the stripping of a large portion of some of the last urban forest in Columbia,” the proposed transition between the two neighborhoods will not be as smooth as the report has stated.
"Our little street will be opened at some point for a big increase in traffic," Kane wrote, "and since it was built in the 1950s for only 14 homes, it will not hold up under that increase for very long.”
Sixth Ward Councilwoman Betsy Peters said she was concerned about the flow of traffic from Cinnamon Hill Road to Stadium Boulevard and moved to table the item. Mayor Brian Treece seconded the motion.
The request is now scheduled for a final vote of the council at its Feb. 5 meeting.