Crockett Engineering is back for Round Two in the Canton Estates chronicles.

Crockett Engineering, representing developer Rob Hill, submitted a letter dated Aug. 30 for concept review of its Canton Estates development. The developer withdrew his previous development proposal in the face of heavy opposition from local groups.

The documents submitted recently call for 200 single-family residential lots and three single-family lots of about 12 acres each, a total of 65.35 acres for the development at the southeast corner of Bearfield Road and Gans Road.

Because the property borders Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, which includes the Gans Creek Wild Area, the proposal has prompted challenges from neighbors and environmental groups.

Columbia’s Unified Development Code requires that developers wait one year before submitting an application to amend the zoning map if it is “the same or substantially the same” as the first. The city’s review determined that the rule applied to Crockett Engineering’s submission.

“Staff does not believe this request is substantially different and as such do not believe new applications may be submitted until after 2/8/22,” the review reads.

To sidestep this requirement, Crockett Engineering would need to ask the Columbia City Council for authorization to resubmit before the one-year requirement expires. The issue could come up at the council’s next meeting Oct. 4.

The initial Canton Estates proposal was submitted in April, but local groups, including the Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, objected to the potential harm to nearby Gans Creek and the surrounding area, the Missourian has reported.

Runoff to the creek, density of the development, and light and noise pollution were among the objections.

In the written review from the city about the submitted documents earlier this month, Rachel Smith, senior planner for the city, questioned Crockett’s efforts to collaborate with local groups to address their concerns about the previous proposal.

“To what extent has this layout and zoning request been circulated to neighbors and stakeholders? Is there support?” Smith asked in the review. “Are there plans to meet … requests of the public and stakeholders in terms of environmental protection features?”

Kevin Roberson, president of Friends of Rock Bridge, confirmed that Crockett had not reached out to the organization for feedback since the first proposal was withdrawn.

Melanie Cheney, a member of Gans Creek Allies, said in an email that as of the group’s Tuesday meeting, none of the members had been approached by Crockett or the developer. Gans Creek Allies is a group of concerned citizens rallying behind the nature area.

“There is a lot of interest in this property,” Smith wrote in the review, “and there is great opportunity to utilize channels to work together towards consensus both within and beyond City approval channels.”

Crockett Engineering did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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  • Environment and agriculture reporter, fall 2021. Studying news reporting. Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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