Public Works Changes Could Cost Home Buyers More

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COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Development Council said Wednesday changes to Columbia's sidewalk, street, and sewer requirements could end up costing home buyers more in the near future. Those changes go into effect Jan. 1. Developers could pay more in the way of design costs, material requirements and warranty costs, CMDC Executive Director Don Stamper said.

Stamper said the council and the city have had a few meetings to reach agreements on the changes, and they agree on most of them. But both parties are in disagreement on the matter of accountability. Stamper said most of these changes are good and necessary, but it is not necessary that the responsibility for these requirements be left up to the developers.

Columbia Public Works said the new changes are due to "updated standards to ensure public infrastructure built to the best quality and latest specification used in the industry." Public Works also said the changes were minor in many categories, but developers have always been responsible for anything in their development plans.

Stamper also said that the extra expenditures will not end up costing developers much in the end. He said much of the extra costs will be passed to home buyers. These new changes are making housing less affordable, Stamper said, "which is not what we need right now." Stamper said he does not think the extra costs is going to turn away buyers though.