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City Council to Decide Rezoning

***UPDATE 8 P.M.***The Columbia city council will wait to make a decision regarding a proposed gas station on Grindstone Parkway.The council decided to table the proposal after a petition from residents was not accepted due to a technicality. City leaders gave residents two weeks to come up with a valid petition to present to the council.***UPDATE 5 P.M.***A proposed gas station in Columbia already has area residents opposing the plan.City council will consider a request to rezone the southwest corner of Grindstone Parkway and Rock Quarry Road from residential to commercial. MFA Oil wants to turn the site into a 24-hour Break Time gas station.Residents say they are concerned for their safety and believe traffic and crime will increase because of it. Neighbors say there are already enough gas stations along the stretch of road and a new 24-hour business will bring more bad business, rather than good.Residents living on Sun Court, within 185 feet of the proposed Break Time site, have been vocal about their opposition. From emails to letters, neighbors have outlined their concerns for the potential rezoning.In one letter addressed to the city, neighbors listed dates of fights, robberies and shootings at area Break Time stations and think the new station would be no different.”I think it would definitely bring a few more safety concerns,” said neighbor Andrea Martin. “This is a pretty quiet neighborhood. I don’t think we’d want more people around, especially that late at night.”MFA Oil officials say they are working with neighbors to ease the traffic and safety concerns. Spokesman Tom May says Break Time will not create additional traffic, but rather provide easily accessible service for the traffic that already exists in the area. According to May, the company is already working with are residents.”We’ve agreed to put up a full fence in the back of the property so that it kind of keeps visibility of the station and so forth, the noise levels down for the residents, as well as lighting concerns,” said May.One local property owner told ABC 17 News he was not opposed to a new Break Time. He believes it would create nearly a dozen full-time jobs and that is reason enough for the plan to keep moving forward.However, neighbors who signed the petition are not convinced and say they will be at Monday night’s city council meeting, where the council is expected to accept the petition.***ORIGINAL STORY***A controversial proposal will go before the Columbia City Council Monday night. There’s a proposal to rezone the area at Grindstone and Rock Quarry from residential to commercial. MFA Oil wants to build a Breaktime gas station at the site, but there’s already significant opposition.Neighbors have already signed a protest petition that will also be presented to council, that meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.

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