A myriad of restricted uses for a plot of land at the corner of Clark and Ballenger lanes in northeast Columbia were removed Thursday when the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a rezoning.
The 10.8-acre lot went from planned district to mixed-use neighborhood, eliminating certain commercial development restrictions that were previously imposed on the land in historic rezonings.
“Development here would improve the area services at a transit and pedestrian scale. It would serve the adjacent residential (area) to have a walkable commercial function instead of traversing all the way down Clark Lane in either direction,” said Rusty Palmer, planner with Columbia’s Community Development Division.
Previous development limitations lifted with the rezoning include indoor recreation or entertainment sites, such as a bowling alley; armories; research and development labs; trade schools; or personal services, such as laundromats or salons. These developments do not need an additional conditional use permit, so do not need Columbia City Council approval.
Other allowed developments under the rezoning that would require a conditional use permit include car washes or auto repair shops, assembly halls, bars or nightclubs, halfway houses and mortuaries. These would need city council approval.
The owner of the land is Omkara LLC. In a filing with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, the company’s main purpose is real estate development.
“The goal is to consolidate and eliminate the split zoning where we have one parcel with multiple planned district regulations on it,” said Caleb Colbert, a Columbia attorney representing Omkara. “When we looked at the site, we felt M-N (mixed-use neighborhood) was the most appropriate zoning classification.”
The fact someone would willingly choose mixed-use neighborhood over a mixed commercial land use at a transportation node is appreciated, said Michael McMann, with the commission.
An attempt to reach Colbert for confirmation about what this land could be used for was not successful by press time Friday.
“Staff do not believe there would be significant impacts from the additional zoning permitted uses,” Palmer said. “Contextual residential density is relatively underserved.”
In other words, development on the land could benefit the neighborhood.
Future P&Z meeting agendas
A significant single-family residential development will be up for discussion at the commission’s Aug. 18 meeting, said Patrick Zenner, Columbia development services manager.
A preliminary plat is being sought for acreage in the area of 7101 E. Richland Road, comprising upward of 300 lots, so potentially the building of 300 houses. The development also would lead to the northward extension of South Olivette Road. Large ponds on the land will remain.
“We are working through some transportation-related issues,” Zenner said. “… This is an entitled R-1 zone piece of property and has been annexed into the City of Columbia for quite some time.”
A work session Aug. 18 will include sidewalk master plan discussion and a likely vote on drive-thru revision criteria and eliminations of some zoning classifications from the city code.
September meetings likely will include discussion on short-term rentals, such as AirBnB and Vrbo.
Charles Dunlap covers local government, community stories and other general subjects for the Tribune. You can reach him at email@example.com or @CD_CDT on Twitter. Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.