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Controversial Gas Station Zoning

***UPDATE 11:20 P.M.***After a four-hour meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission concluded in a 5 to 4 vote to re-zone the land from residential to commercial.Far fewer neighbors of the property showed up in opposition of the plan on Thursday night. Five MFA Oil representatives spoke of their position for about a half an hour, then five people spoke out against the project and one man spoke in favor of it.Now the decision of whether to actually re-zone the property at Grindstone and Rock Quarry is left in the hands of the Columbia city council.***ORIGINAL STORY***A plan to build a controversial gas station in Columbia is up for debate, again.MFA Oil wants to build a BreakTime at the intersection of Rock Quarry and Grindstone, an area zoned for residential housing only.The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss the plan at 7 p.m. Thursday. This isn’t a new topic, but it still has some people on edge.Many people opposed to this gas station are expected to voice their opinions at the meeting.For months neighbors have been urging the city to not rezone the property to commercial. They said the gas station would only bring negativity to the area, such as like crime, traffic, and noise.This time MFA Oil representatives argue they have solutions for that. One is building an eight foot privacy fence behind the building and another is adding two turn lanes that could help with traffic. The initial decision is up to this zoning commission; however the final say is up to the Columbia city council.

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