New subdivision one step closer to reality

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COLUMBIA – A group is looking to bring a new residential neighborhood to Columbia’s westside. Subject to zoning and annex approval, the site is located north side of Gillespie Bridge Road and West Louisville Drive.

Crockett Engineering Consultants presented locator maps to the Planning and Zoning Committee Thursday night for the 54-acre residential plot of land to be named “Perche Ridge."

However citizens who live in the area said the proposed development encroaches on a 100-year floodplain. 

“I cannot in my right mind support this," said committee member Michael MacMann. "There's a really serious water issue here."

Tim Crockett said despite citizens' concerns the area can still sustain the new subdivision.

“It is certainly developable,” Crockett said addressing the committee. "We will obviously follow the guidelines when building on the floodplain, but the utilities are there."

Steven Stoneciphifer-Fisher of a neighboring homeowners' association said the developers must account for flooding issues.

"Every spring we have 2-4 feet of flooding across that area," he said. "It's always been that way. I once rode my bicycle through the flooding, and the water was over my handlebars."

Opponents of the subdivision also cite traffic congestion along Gillespie Bridge Road as a complication for any development. The City of Columbia conducted a traffic survey in 2014 for the same route but said a update must happen before moving forward with the project.

As part of the construction the group is trying to change a development code that would allow for for additional space.

The commission passed the zoning portion of the proposal 5-3. The project will now go to a public hearing at the November 6 city council meeting.