Collegiate Housing Partners seeks parking variance for project

May 15, 2013

At a city hall meeting last night, a St. Louis company looking to set up a new housing complex in downtown Columbia addressed several issues it’s facing regarding the construction plans.

Collegiate Housing Partners’ plans for the 106-unit housing complex include only 120 parking spaces. The city currently requires 301 parking spaces for the planned size of the complex.

The company’s director of development Brandt Stiles says that their solution to the parking issue is to stress less need for cars.

“We are planning on working with the university to incorporate the bike share program into the project as well as having two bike storage locations located in our garage." said Stiles. "We really just want to promote a pedestrian-friendly development and based on our location we feel it’s an ideal site to do that.”

The St. Louis company also is requesting permission to allow the building to be built 180 feet tall and to reduce the required setback of the structure from 25 feet to four feet from the street.

City councilwoman Barbara Hoppe says that stressing less need for cars to those living at the complex would help with getting the variance approved.

“I think parking is the big thing that the community is concerned about." said Hoppe. "So if they really follow through with promoting bus use and biking and conveying to the students that they don’t need cars and they have the rental zip car then it may adequately address the parking.”

Another concern of Hoppe’s is the sewer capacity in the area. Columbia’s development services manager Patrick Zenner says that there will have to be a public sewer extension since there is no public sewer currently in the area.

The public hearing for the complex is scheduled for June 6th.