Ridgefield Road neighbors considering legal help to stop road connection

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COLUMBIA – After last week’s Planning and Zoning approval of a new subdivision on Ridgemont Drive, and the road extension and connection on Ridgefield Road, neighbors are seeking an attorney to help stop the road connection.

Kim Kraus, a long-time resident of Ridgefield Road and head of the Ridgefield Neighborhood Association, said they’re considering an attorney because of the decision P&Z made.

A resubdivision of land shall not be approved by the council if the council determines that:

  • The replat would eliminate restrictions on the existing plat upon which neighboring property owners or the city have relied or
  • The replat would be detrimental to other property in the neighborhood and the detriment to the property in the neighborhood outweighs the benefits to the subdivider and the public.

“We feel like we need somebody besides just us, continuing to say that the reliance is there, in which the road shouldn't go through," Kraus said. "It seems like from the P&Z meeting from the other night and just talking with the city that they are disregarding the ordinance that a final plat is a final plat.'

Kraus said both points in the ordinance are true in regards to Ridgefield Road.

"The neighborhoods have relied on the final plat with many of us having bought our homes since the dead-end final plat in 2005, and as shown, even the city recognizes the detriment this road connection would cause to our area," she said.

After the Ridgemont Park development hearing last week, P&Z commissioners discussed and passed another unrelated development that frustrated Ridgefield neighbors even more.

The Highland Properties developers requested a 3,000 feet permanent cul-de-sac at the end of Stonehaven Road, which is against subdivision regulations. The maximum is 750 feet.

In the original map-out of the neighborhood, Stonehaven Road was originally designed and intended to be a through drive, not a cul-de-sac. 

Columbia's Development Services Manager Pat Zenner wrote in the staff report that, "This request undermines the intent of the originally planned and platted subdivision layout."

City Planners recommended to deny the request, but commissioners went ahead and approved it.

Kraus said this is unfair because the dead end on Ridgefield Road was originally mapped out as a cul-de-sac, but commissioners voted to make it a through drive. 

"The length of the dead end and the way it was platted, a couple of exceptions that they got that we didn’t," Kraus said.

In emails that Kraus wrote to her neighbors, she said:

“It is outrageous that our methodical rational supported by ordinances case for keeping our little 8 house 50-year-old dead end was met with so much hostility and ultimate defeat that night. That P&Z threw in some extra traffic calming to be worked out between the city and the developer is now even more reprehensible to me. This is an appalling case of inconsistency made worse because it was all done on the same night as our case. Decisions in favor of those neighborhoods in circumstances so glaringly over-the-top it defies justification."

City council is scheduled to vote on the Ridgfield Road case on January 3.

Kraus said she and her neighbors hope city council denies the plan and sends it back to re-do without a road connection. KOMU 8 News contacted Zenner but couldn't reach him.