Bill introduced in Columbia City Council would mediate between developer and petitioners

May 6, 2014

opus group proposed housing complex
The Opus Group wants to build this student housing complex in downtown Columbia, but it's being debated in the Columbia City Council.
Credit The Opus Group

A compromise may be in sight between a high-density student housing complex and a group of petitioners who are against the development. 

New First Ward Council member Ginny Chadwick introduced the bill at the Columbia City Council meeting Monday night. The bill came after The Opus Group threatened to sue when a repeal campaign known as Repeal 6214 attempted to change their agreement.

The bill would replace the ground floor apartments with an active living space. Some Columbia residents hope this will create a friendlier feel along the sidewalk. Repeal 6214 organizer Jeremy Root said he appreciates the process the bill will go thorough, but he still doesn't support it.

“It’s going to go through a normal process, not at noon time meetings that are called in a very irregular way," Root said. "That’s not the process we like to see in Columbia. Our citizens are very invested and engaged.  And they want to maintain the vision they’ve sponsored and paid for for years.”

The 256-bed apartment building will be on Locust Street near Seventh and Eighth Streets. The Opus Group will pay $450,000 before construction starts for sewer and water upgrades.

The public will have an opportunity to comment on the bill at the next City Council meeting on May 19.