Opponents of new Break Time to re-collect petition signatures

Oct 2, 2012

It’s back to the drawing board for Columbia residents fighting a rezoning that would put a new Break Time in their neighborhood near Grindstone Parkway and Rock Quarry Road.

Monday night Columbia City Council members postponed a final vote on the Break Time property in order for protesters to recollect signatures on a petition against the rezoning request. Protesters put together a petition that was marked “valid” by city staff. But Columbia City Attorney, Fred Boeckmann later ruled the petition invalid, saying the petition did not have enough signatures. Jan Pritchard lives five hundred feet from the rezoning area. She says the residents won’t have a problem getting the additional signatures from the nearby Crossing Church.

“They had offered to sign the petition if we needed them to sign it and we were told we did not need them to sign it well now apparently we do need them to sign it,” Boeckmann said.

If a valid petition is filed it requires a super majority vote, a 5-1 vote, from the City Council to pass the rezoning. Pritchard says building a Break Time gas station will negatively affect the quality of life in the area.

“As one of my neighbors says this will ruin them financially because like most people most of our net worth is in our houses and those people that own those houses, the houses will never be worth what they paid for if this goes in,” Pritchard said.

The City Council plans to take a final vote on the rezoning request at the next city council meeting.