City Council Strikes Down Quorum Amendment
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council voted Monday to strike down an amendment to City Code regarding quorum requirements for the Planning and Zoning Commission. The proposed amendment would have lowered the number of commission members needed to vote on an issue from six to five.
The proposal came as a result of a Planning and Zoning meeting on March 8th regarding the Conley Road Transportation Development District. That meeting would have decided whether or not The Kroenke Group could go ahead with planned construction on the Conley Road extension, but since five of the nine members of the commission showed up for the meeting, the commission couldn't reach a quorum. The present members of the commission had to table the Conley Road vote to a later date, causing issues for the parties involved in the Conley Road TDD.
5th Ward Councilwoman Helen Anthony said she was bothered by the proposed amendment. Anthony, a former member of the Planning and Zoning commission, said the requirement of six people for a quorom was put in place to ensure a diverse group of members voting on issues. By lowering the number of members needed to vote to five, only three out of nine commission members would be needed to pass a vote into consent.
Anthony called the March 8th meeting a fluke. It was the first time in seven years that the Planning and Zoning commission didn't reach a quorum. She said changing the requirements would provide a permanenet fix to a temporary problem.