Rezoning Consultants Will Review City\'s Past Development

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COLUMBIA - Two consulting firms hired by the city to look at zoning issues are holding a public forum Tuesday.

The city has given $150,000 to two consulting firms, Clarion Associates from Denver and Ferrell Madden Associates from Washington, D.C., to help update zoning codes and look at different development issues.

The two firms are in town this week to look at various areas around the city and analyze whether the current code yielded good development or not and how the code will be changed.

Pat Zenner, Columbia's development services manager, says the city will give the consultants tours of areas ranging from downtown Columbia to the Columbia Mall to look at landscaping and traffic and newer development areas like Old Hawthorne and the Stadium Boulevard and Highway 63 interchange.

The city and consultants will also hold a public forum at 6:30 pm at city hall on Tuesday so the public can voice their input into the process which Zenner says will reshape the way Columbia is developed in the future.

Zenner says the forum and the ride through the city is to give the consultants a background on the city before their work.

"The consultants have to go back and they have to figure out well how do we get the type of development the people want after looking at what the code can produce and that's really what we hope to achieve as the first stage of the development process," Zenner said.

Zenner says the city and consultants will likely focus on creating a form-based code, which means it'll be more focused on issues like window height and right-of-ways rather than the building's use.