City leaders to discuss zoning changes in Columbia Mall

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COLUMBIA – A pair of rezoning proposals could divide property and lower the minimum required parking spots at the Columbia Mall.

The proposals will be discussed in a meeting on Thursday night at city hall.

The proposed plan creates a new lot out of the mall space that was once home to Sears, and comes on the heels of the mall announcing it found a potential new retailer for the space.

The city said the plan does not call to eliminate parking spaces, but instead updates the way the required number of spaces is calculated to new standards in Columbia.

Current zoning was set in 2007 and requires one parking space for every 250 square feet of gross space at the Columbia Mall. However, since the zoning went into effect, the city changed regulations requiring the number of gross square-feet per parking space from 250 to 400.

Under the current 250-square-foot regulations, there is a minimum required number of 3,567 parking spaces at the mall.

The proposal reduces the minimum number of required spaces to 2,331.

Currently the mall has seven extra spaces. If it’s rezoned, there will be 1,158 excess spaces.