Although the historic Niedermeyer house likely will remain standing, the ordeal sparked a city-wide conversation about historic preservation, zoning and development. North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association gathered Monday night to discuss changes they would like to see for the city’s zoning ordinances. Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes asked the group to prepare their thoughts about C-2, commercial zoning in the central business district, after a January 22nd City Council meeting. The Niedermeyer is classified as a C-2 zone.
Dan Cullimore is a North Columbia Neighborhood Association board member. He says when property is built under a C-2 commercial zone a lot of important requirements may get lost.
“It means that there are no setbacks, there are no parking requirements, there are no height limits. None of those things that normally apply to residential properties are applicable in a C-2 zone,” Cullimore said.
Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid commented on the Niedermeyer and on development in a recent interview about his upcoming election. He says he supports the private party preservation of the Niedermeyer. At the same time, he continues to support development that some universities in Columbia say they need, which may include more student housing. “I’ve always said this and I know some people don’t like me saying this, but we’re a company town. Our company is education. And as long as that company is successful it gets a lot easier being mayor.”
The North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association will continue their discussion this month and submit their recommendations on March 31st.