The Columbia City Council has agreed to rezone two lots on Walnut Street to make way for a new apartment building. The decision came in a vote at Monday's city council meeting, where councilmembers voted 6-1 to rezone two lots on Walnut Street near College Avenue from residential to commercial, despite protests from neighbors.
After an earlier rezoning request was denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission, Jon and Nathan Odle, owners of the property, added two amendments to the request, including contributions to a new city bus system known as FastCAT Express.
Adam Saunders is the vice president of the North Central Neighborhood Association. He expressed concerns at the meeting: “We would like to see the a better planning process, where the city works with the developers to think through the logistics of high density infill and finds ways to finance things in the public realm.” Saunders says he worries the development will ruin the historic value of the homes in the neighborhood.
Third Ward councilman Gary Kespohl voted in favor of the rezoning, after meeting with North Central Neighborhood Association president Pat Fowler last week: “She and I and the public works director met with the mayor the week before the council meeting and addressed six issues that she had left on her list that were pretty well addressed before the vote was taken.”
The Odle brothers plan to build a new apartment building on the property, which is located across the street from another apartment project the brothers are working on that is currently under construction.