COLUMBIA - The issue of how the community will be dealing with yard waste this fall is one of the significant topics for discussion at Monday's city council meeting. 

The council is also being presented a report on the use of the Wabash bus center for warming for the homeless during winter months. And it will consider a proposal to rename the Columbia Regional Airport. 

A report on residential curbside collection of yard waste has been requested by First Ward Councilperson Pat Fowler at two previous city council meetings. Changes to the city's trash collection policy began last November and require all trash to be placed in bags carrying the city logo. 

According to the staff report attached to the council's agenda, the new rules state that customers are not permitted to put yard waste into non-logo trash bags to be collected. They are allowed to dispose of yard waste in city-issued logo bags but are only given 104 bags with logos each year. Extra bags cost $2 each.

Fowler pointed out that this could be burdensome on some city residents. 

The report lists other options for disposing of yard waste such as composting, taking it to one of the city's yard waste drop off sites or the landfill, hiring a lawn care service or contacting community or faith-based organizations for assistance.

The report notes that the council could choose to designate two weeks each fall — one each in November and December — during which residents would be allowed to put out non-logo trash bags of yard waste to be collected.

However, normal curbside recycling and bulky item and appliance collections would most likely be halted for those weeks due to staff shortages. The report notes that would cause an overwhelming increase in the use of drop-off recycling sites during such weeks.

On the Wabash warming center issue, the council held off at its Oct. 4 meeting on increasing the minimum temperature that would prompt the opening of the facility as a warming center. City Manager John Glascock said he was concerned that using the facility for additional nights might impact federal funds supporting transit operations. He was asked by the council to research that impact.

According to a staff report included with the council's agenda, the Federal Transportation Administration does not specifically prohibit the use of the station as a warming center as long as it does not interfere with the normal functions of the facility.

Based on this report, the council is expected to discuss whether to consider a request from the city's Human Rights Commission to temporarily increase the minimum temperature to open from 9 degrees to 18. The commission is looking to gauge whether the resources are available to make the change permanent.

The Canton Estates development is another ongoing issue that the council will be asked to address. 

Crockett Engineering has formally requested that the council waive the requirement that a developer wait one year after withdrawing a rezoning request before submitting another if it is "the same or substantially the same" as the previous request.

They submitted the original request, on behalf of developer Rob Hill, to build 65.35 acres but withdrew it in April due to heavy criticism. City staff deemed the second submission by Crockett Engineering as too similar to the original one.

If city council rejects the request to waive the requirement, Crockett Engineering will be unable to submit again until Feb. 8.

The letter details that the new development proposal decreases the number of residential lots and downsizes the lots. This change would shift the density of the development away from Rock Bridge State Memorial Park so that storm water would not discharge directly into the park. They also plan to create large acreage tracts as a buffer between the development and the park.

Crockett suggested in the letter that the rule to wait a year before reapplying pertains more to similar developments rather than similar zonings. 

Crockett hopes that the revised plan appeases both the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission and other concerned citizens and groups. 

At the Oct. 4 council meeting, several organizations asked the council to develop a Conservation Overlay District to provide long-term protection for Rock Bridge Memorial State Park from encroaching developments such as Canton Estates.

One of the terms of the request was that a moratorium of 18 months be put in place for all annexation and zoning within the area specified, in order to give the committee time to create the overlay. The council discussed developing a task force to study the issue.

The council will also hear a report considering the renaming of the Columbia Regional Airport to Columbia National Airport, based on recommendations from the Airport Advisory Board. The name change is recommended to better reflect the growth of the airport, according to a staff report. 

A resolution to set a Nov. 1 public hearing concerning the expansion of the airport's south parking lot is expected to be approved by the council. The expansion is expected to yield 90 to 93 additional parking spaces, the Missourian reported

The council is also expected to authorize a lease agreement for Enterprise Leasing Company to develop a car wash at the airport and to approve a cooperative agreement with the State of Washington to purchase city buses. 

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