Neighbors Say Columbia Did Not Enforce Zoning Provisions

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COLUMBIA - As the student housing boom continues, some residents of nearby neighborhoods want to make sure the city does not allow large developments to take over their community.

A new duplex on Windsor Street in the Benton-Stephens neighborhood near Stephens College has been a subject for debate for some area residents. The first of two duplexes planned for the lot, the building did not go up without a hitch. Columbia's Community Development Department rejected the building permit application from Baker Development Group, Inc. twice before granting permission to construct the first duplex.

Benton-Stephens neighborhood residents Kathy Doisy and Matthew Knowlton have filed an appeal regarding the building permit for an adjacent duplex near their home. Doisy said the developer and the city did not follow some provisions that are supposed to regulate construction in the Benton-Stephens Urban Conservation District. "This is an overlay that was passed by the city council in 2000," Doisy said. "It's binding law and they didn't want to do it."

The Columbia Board of Adjustment had schedueld a public hearing regarding the building permit appeal for its meeting last Tuesday, but at the request of Doisy and Knowlton, the board pushed the hearing back to its June meeting.