UPDATE: Boone Co. Family Resources Delays Demolition
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Family Resources (BCFR) Board of Directors voted to delay the demolition of two St. Joseph Street homes Wednesday until the agency can meet with the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission.
About 35 residents packed the board's meeting to voice concerns regarding the demolition. Among those concerns, demolishing house numbers 302 and 308 would disrupt the neighborhood's character. Some also feel the city could find other locations that are comparable to the lots' proximity to downtown Columbia and the BCFR building.
"I look forward to more transparent and open discussion with the agency, historic preservation, the neighborhood and the city in terms of planning and figuring out how best to proceed on these projects," North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association Vice President Adam Saunders said.
BCFR told KOMU 8 News it does not have a definite plan of how to develop the lots yet, but wants to add independent housing options for clients. "What we'd like to have is some type of residential housing that fits into the neighborhood... and that would be a place for people with developmental disabilities to live," BCFR Associate Director Robyn Kaufman said.
The prevailing attitude among neighbors wasn't necessarily negative; residents mostly wanted to have a say in the matter. One resident spoke out that she is not against BCFR's clients in any way. Some said they would simply like BCFR to develop the existing houses and not demolish them. BCFR maintains it has more than 1,400 clients that could benefit from future housing projects.