City Discusses Putting Student Housing Proposal on Ballot

4 years 5 months 2 weeks ago Monday, June 02 2014 Jun 2, 2014 Monday, June 02, 2014 1:26:00 PM CDT June 02, 2014 in News
By: Andrew Kauffman, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - At its meeting Monday, the Columbia City Council will address the possibility of holding a special election in November to let voters decide on portions of a proposal by Opus Development to build a student housing complex downtown, on Locust Street between Seventh and Eighth Streets. The debate lies in what the ballot would say.

Council will not hear public discussion or vote on the matter until a later date. Monday's meeting is simply preliminary. 

The special election would let voters decide whether to repeal an ordinance which authorized the city manager to execute a development agreement with Opus. First Ward Council Member Ginny Chadwick said the ordinance mandates Opus give an additional $500,000 to put toward infrastructure and transit.

"If the council votes no on repeal, then it goes to the voters with the opportunity for all the voters in Columbia to decide whether to repeal the ordinance," said Jeremy Root, a spokesperson for the repeal effort.

If council votes to approve the repeal effort, the ordinance would be repealed and there wouldn't be a special election.

"If we repeal that ordinance, Opus still will receive a building permit, and the project will move forward. Just the city will not receive the additional funding [from Opus]," Chadwick said. 

Root said he believes the development can be stopped. 

"We believe the city has authority and discretion to decide whether to authorize building permits for projects where we don't have infrastructure capacity," Root said. 

But Chadwick said the Opus Development is a done deal regardless of the petitions, and the 256-bedroom complex will continue to be built.

"Their plan is to delay the project as long as possible in hopes that Opus will go away, but everybody knows that the project conforms the C-2 zoning that it falls within," Chadwick said.

"Zoning and infrastructure are not related topics," Root said. "Because a project has proper zoning for the use does not mean our infrastructure is capable of supporting the use." 

Root said he thinks council is operating under misinformation.

"I think they've made some pretty serious misjudgements in this process, and I also think that they are receiving bad information from city staff - from the city manager, from the deputy city manager and at times from the city attorney," Root said. "Those people should not be misleading or lying to our council."

Root said he thinks Columbia residents as a whole are against the development.  

"We believe the majority of them don't like the idea of having sewage in their streets and streams flowing from student housing complexes in the middle of our downtown," Root said.  

Chadwick said petitioners spoke in favor of a similar project that passed the very same day.

"If they think that infrastructure wasn't enough, why did they not focus on repealing both projects that flow into the exact same sewer system?" Chadwick said. 

As for the people who signed the petition against the Opus Development, Chadwick said, "they were told that their sewer rates would increase if they didn't sign the petition, and they were told there was improper building downtown, yet Opus conforms to all of the current zoning."

If council rejects the repeal and voters chose to vote on the issue, Chadwick said the Opus Development plans will be put on hold until after the election.

 

 

 

 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
BRUNSWICK – Pecan trees are the root of Brunswick’s tourism industry, and this town is “nuts” about pecans. The... More >>
35 minutes ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 8:07:00 AM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - It's one of the busiest travel holidays of the year. According to AAA, this year is... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, November 21 2018 Nov 21, 2018 Wednesday, November 21, 2018 5:50:00 AM CST November 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The 17th annual Partnership Against Hunger collected nearly 12,000 pounds of food and more than $42,000 in monetary... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 11:30:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - The Miller County Sheriff’s Office conducted a large investigation on November 11 and 12 by the United... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 7:31:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City Manager Mike Matthes announced his resignation Tuesday morning and it has caused a lot of reactions from... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 6:37:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON DC - Health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert for consumers to avoid... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 6:19:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is renewing a lobbying ban for members of his office. Parson... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 5:46:59 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Margie Vandeven will be reinstated as the education commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 4:49:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - On Tuesday afternoon Jefferson City Public Schools announced new administrative staffing appointments for Capital City High School... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 4:02:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
MARSHALL – One Salvadoran family in mid-Missouri could be split up with the end of what is called TPS or... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 3:56:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
CAMDENTON - The Camden County Sheriff's Office identified the victim in Monday's early morning homicide as Derek Ray Harrelson, 34,... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 3:38:21 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council approved a $12 million improvement project on Nifong Boulevard at Monday's meeting. The... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 3:09:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The sheriff of a rural southeast Missouri county pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges for using... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 2:27:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mike Matthes will resign as city manager, effective Wednesday, the City of Columbia announced in a press release.... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 1:32:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The State Board of Education announced Tuesday that Margie Vandeven will return to her role as commissioner... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 12:44:00 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge sentenced a man to seven years in prison for his role in a robbery in April.... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 12:19:32 PM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are looking for a man in connection with a shooting early Tuesday morning that left a... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 11:12:00 AM CST November 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police identified the victim in Monday's deadly shooting as 19-year-old Nilez R. Nichols. Jefferson City Communications... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, November 20 2018 Nov 20, 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 10:43:00 AM CST November 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
9am 40°
10am 43°
11am 47°
12pm 50°