Rezoning Consultants Will Take Tour of Columbia

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COLUMBIA - Two consulting firms will arrive in Columbia Tuesday to take a tour of the city and look at zoning codes currently in place.

Clairon Associates from Denver and Ferrell Madden Associates from Washington D.C. will look at different areas of development and help update zoning codes.  The two firms will analyze whether the current code created beneficial development or not and how the code will be changed to better approach development in the future.

An outline of the areas the consulting firms will drive by Tuesday afternoon are as follows:

-Downtown Columbia

-Stephens College/Hagan Academy

-Boone Hospital

-East Campus

-Broadway Bluffs/Broadway Marketplace

-Keene Avenue

-Mix of County/City subdivisions

-Old Hawthorn

The consultants will also be taken to open land out near Battle High School to discuss future residential and interchange commercial development in process.

Some highlighted areas the consultants will view on Stadium Blvd., Forum Blvd., and Providence Rd. include:

-Highway 63 interchange

-Columbia Mall

-Future Boone Hospital clinic site

-Cherry Hill neighborhood design

-Scattered subdivisions

The city and consultants will hold a public forum Tuesday evening at 6:30 to give community members an opportunity to voice their opinions.

Columbia's development services manager Pat Zenner said the consultants visit will help redesign the way Columbia is developed in years to come.

 "Changes that are going to facilitate goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan," Zenner said. "We want to try to promote increased densification downtown, higher densities. To do that, you deal with the problem of parking, utility insufficiency. How do we address those issues? Is it a developer cost? Is it something that we partner with a developer city? That's something we're going to work through."

Zenner said the city and consultants will place an emphasis on creating form-based code.  This focuses more on the relationship between building structure and the public, building form in relation to one another and the scale and types of streets and blocks.  They are key to a regulating plan that designates the appropriate form and scale, rather than the building's use.