Woodbridge Neigborhood Residents to See Development Plans

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COLUMBIA - Tuesday representatives from LDG Development of Louisville will unveil its development plans for the Berrywood Forest.

The forest, an 11 acre patch of woods behind Columbia Regional Hospital, sits next to the Woodbridge subdivision and has been in the sights of developers for years. The forest contains many native Missouri trees including oak and hickory.

The Columbia City Council rezoned the land in 2008 so a retirement home could be built on the property. But that project fell through.

"I know several residents do not want the forest to be developed," 3rd Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl. "I don't know how many residents are opposed to it exactly."

The land is currently owned by a bank in Oklahoma and is valued over at over $1 million.

Kespohl has seen the preliminary plans and says that LDG is trying to address some the concerns of residents.

"They've told me that they are going to leave three to five acres on the east side of the tract as buffer to the neighborhood," Kespohl said. "That seemed to satisfy some of the neighbors."

Kespohl praised other LDG properties (retirement homes in Louisville) he has seen.

"I have seen other developments done by this company in Louisville," Kespohl said. "From what I have seen their developments are good, but as far as this one goes I will wait until I see the final plan before judging it."

Kespohl and members of the neighborhood will meet with representatives from LDG Development on Tuesday. Kespohl and Mayor Bob McDavid will also meet with representatives of LDG on Wednesday. The Columbia City Council must approve any final plan.