Columbia Considers New Plan for the City

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COLUMBIA - The Planning and Zoning Commission is meeting Thursday night to discuss a new plan for Columbia.

In 2001, the Planning and Zoning Commission created a city plan called "Metro 2020." The new city plan is called "Columbia Imagined: The Plan for How We Live and Grow." Columbia's Development Services Manager Pat Zenner said Metro 2020 was only a land-use plan.

"Metro 2020 did not have a holistic approach to what affects development in Columbia. The new plan is much broader in terms of what affects and impacts development. Columbia Imagined looks at creating a sustainable community and what it takes to create that. It looks at how all the elements are intertwined to create the place we call home," Zenner said.

Columbia Imagined has 7 thematic areas:

1. Land use and growth management
2. Environmental management
3. Infrastructure
4. Mobility, connectivity, accessibility
5. Economic development
6. Inter-governmental cooperation
7. Livable and sustainable communities

Zenner said another difference between the two plans is Columbia Imagined had a significant public engagement process that Metro 2020 did not have.

"Metro 2020 was not nearly as inclusive in terms of public engagement. Columbia Imagined had over two years worth of public engagement," Zenner said.

Planners received public input through several different methods:
• 26 public meetings throughout the community
• 700+ public input surveys for each of the five plan phases
• 24,000 information sheets sent to families with elementary school children on three separate occasions
• 55,000 articles describing the plan and how to get involved sent to utility customers
• 7 survey boxes around the city
• Sent 75 neighborhood associations, 50+ city boards and commissions, and 234 email accounts subscribed to the Planning and Zoning listserv information electronically

Zenner also said the new plan can be changed if it is approved.

"This is not a static document, it is a living document. It can and will be regularly amended as more documents become available, such as the Census. In fact, the plan recommends updating every five years," Zenner said.

The plan will be presented to the City Council if it is approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday night.

Visit to view the Columbia Imagined plan.