City of Columbia to look at annexation property

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UPDATE: City council approves annexation.

COLUMBIA - A couple is requesting around 10 acres of Boone County zoned land be annexed into the city of Columbia. 

The Columbia City Council will be reviewing the request during its Monday night meeting and will decide on whether or not to approve the annexation.

During a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting in February, Tim Crockett with Crockett Engineering Consultants spoke on behalf of Blaine and Ann Alberty. He said the land would be a M-N (mixed-use neighborhood) development.

“The purpose of M-N is intended to provide commercial shopping and service facilities in or near a residential neighborhood,” Crockett said at the meeting. 

The plot of land is located at the southwest corner of Highway KK and Scott Boulevard near the Wyndham Ridge neighborhood and right across from Beulah Ralph Elementary School. 

One neighbor, who chose to go unnamed, said she moved to the Wyndham Ridge subdivision because it wasn’t commercialized.

The End of The Rainbow Southwest Childcare Center, across from the elementary school, is currently under construction. During subdivision meetings, she said there was a lot of discussion and concern from homeowners of what would be built on that corner. She said she’s happy the daycare is being built and not something else. 

But If something were to be built, she said she would like something that’s “an attribute for the neighborhood,” but nothing retail in the area. She said she would hate for a convenience store to be built there. 

Another neighbor agrees and said she does not want a convenience store or a Dollar General. But she said building a place they could walk to for breakfast or lunch would be great. 

“We’re far enough south that we don’t have enough commercial businesses near us and so we don’t have any restaurants that are close, so I think it would be great to have a coffee shop or a little restaurant,” Becky Spicer said. “Just anywhere that allows us to have something closer to home.” 

Another homeowner agrees. Hassan Elkhatib said what the area needs is something of “quality”. He said it would be good for the city. 

One homeowner said she would like to see “family-friendly type stuff” and “not really a gas station.”

“As long as there’s not too much traffic,” Sarah Devoto said. “Quiet, calm stuff, not bars or gas stations.” 

Greg Baker said the closest grocery store is Gerbes or Hy-vee, which is a little far to get to. He said adding a grocery store or restaurant wouldn’t be such a bad idea. 

Columbia's population is growing. According to city data, the city's population grew at an average rate of 1.77 percent per year between 2010 and 2016. If Columbia continues at this rate, its population will reach 219,620 in 2050. 

Councilman Ian Thomas wants to know how the people would like to see Columbia grow in the future. 

The city adopted its current plan, Columbia Imagined: The Plan for How We Live and Grow, on future development back in 2013. However, the plan does not include discussion of how much more Columbia should grow. That’s why Thomas is looking to spark this discussion with the community.

One of his interns, Lily Kraxberger, a student at Hickman High School, is studying this question for a school public policy project. Thomas is asking people from the community to take Kraxberger’s 10 minute survey. He said he will provide survey results in one of his future newsletters. 

The city council meeting starts at 7 p.m.