Possible new development project sparks concerns from Columbia residents

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COLUMBIA — A Planning and Zoning Commission meeting saw outbursts from people upset over a proposed new development in their subdivision.

The city of Columbia wants to expand Ridgefield Road to connect with Stadium Boulevard. 

Jeff Gould has lived on Ridgefield Road for 17 years, and said there are no sidewalks and his kids and neighbors play in the street.

"Pushing the access to Stadium would mean an increase to traffic that would just be dangerous to everybody," Gould said.

According to Rusty Palmer, the case manager for this development, the city wants to create the extended road to connect a new development that would create 25 housing units on a minimum of 7,000 square feet.

Palmer said in the meeting the layout has built-in sidewalks in the area that the street would connect.

The plans for now show two streets to split traffic and help make it less busy.

"That has never been an issue in the past. We have had large fire trucks easily turn around in this cul-de-sac," Gould said.

Gould said residents in the cul-de-sac rarely see help from the city when it comes to snow removal and have been "largely ignored down here."

Dillon Falk said he is very concerned about the city not putting pedestrian safety first. 

"We have tried for years around here to get speed bumps put on this road, as there is already plenty of commuter traffic, and that the fact that they are turning a blind eye to the consequences of putting a road through all the way to stadium increasing commuter traffic through here ten-fold is very very concerning," Falk said.

The next planning and zoning meeting is scheduled to take place on December 8th.