UPDATE: Plans to rename portion of Columbia's Rice Road denied
COLUMBIA - Columbia's Planning and Zoning Commission denied passing a plan to rename a portion of Rice Road Thursday.
The recommendation will be be carried to the city council for further approval or denial, according to the Columbia Missourian.
KOMU first reported in July developers from D&D Investments of Columbia, LLC hoped to rename the portion of Rice Road between Ballenger and Lake of the Woods Road to 'Avian Boulevard.'
The company wanted to change the name to 'Geyser Boulevard' as of Thursday.
In their July letter to nearby residents, LLC members Dan Burks and Dave Drane said their company recently developed a parcel of land in which they extended Rice Road to connect with Lake of the Woods Drive.
"We are building well-appointed three-bedroom, two-bath homes," the letter said. "We believe the name Rice Road carries so many negative connotations with it, that your and our property values are affected," the letter said. "Most problems on Rice Road occur on the west side of Ballenger Lane but those of you with properties on the east side of Ballenger are harmed by the stigma that comes with the name."
The letter said the developers understand the change could be inconvenient to those who would have to change their address, but went on to write, "that the positives of the name change would far outweigh that effort."
D&D spokesperson Mark Farnen said the company found most nearby residents to be in favor of the change. Yet, the decision was made to not go forward with any changes to the road.
"88.1% of the 110 properties represented signed a thing in favor of it," Farnen said. "That includes tenants, owners, residents."
Keith Clark has owned a duplex on Rice Road for 16 years. He said he's not sure the name change would be effective.
"It doesn't matter if it's Rice road or not," Clark said. "You change the name it really doesn't matter."
Clark said he believes the problems Rice Road faces are more systemic, and require more attention to be fixed.
"If there's a shooting on Rice Road--whether it's Avian Way or Geyser--it really doesn't matter because the people are still here," Clark said.