Possible new neighborhood causing stir in northeast Columbia

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COLUMBIA - Where rural and suburban Columbia start to come together in the northeast part of the city, a development is starting to expand.

A plan is in place to add a new neighborhood, just past the northeast edge of city limits, and some nearby residents aren’t too happy with that.

“The whole area out here is really not ready for that much subdivision or that many more people. The infrastructure, the sewers, the roads, you know, everything,” resident Charlie Lohse, said.

City Councilman Karl Skala said, with the addition of Battle High School in the area, it is hard for the area to stay the same.

“To be honest with you, unless you purchase the properties around you, or you have purchased property within an established large tracked area, for example, you never have those guarantees,” Skala said.

Resident Charles Paxton said he sees housing development is a given.

“If development is inevitable, I think we’re better off with someone who is concerned with some of the green issues that would be involved in it and would take care of that water,” Paxton said.

With the work by JR2 Development LLC being finalized, Skala said he has to do what’s ultimately best for Columbia residents.

“My job is to make sure that it’s devolved to the best standards that it can be. And that the taxpayer is not providing incentives to the developer to make this happen, since it is beyond the urban service area.”

However, some of the biggest concerns for Lohse have yet to be discussed by the City Council.

These issues include making the new neighborhood environmentally friendly, traffic from all the new houses and construction and water runoff from the additions.

Lohse is not alone in not wanting a new neighborhood.

“All the neighbors are against it,” he said.

Houses in the new area, according to Skala, should range from $150,000- $200,000.