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Planning and Zoning Commission approves new student housing proposal to be brought before Columbia City Council

Thursday night, Columbia’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved the Collegiate Housing Partners project 7-2.

The group wants to build a six-story student housing complex on Conley and Fifth Street.

However, the final vote to officially approve the project will come from City Council. There is a chance that the council could send it back for further discussion before it is voted on.

The Planning and Zoning Commission showed support for the student housing complex, but they said they had a lot of concerns.

Parking was the top issue of debate.

There will be 124 parking spaces in the parking structure at the complex and there will be an additional 50 off-site spaces.

But some commissioners were still concerned that would not meet the demand.

The Collegiate Housing Partners said they’ve done their research and they believe they have enough alternatives for parking.

They said they plan to purchase more than 100 FastCat passes for residents and they will also have a rental car service where a student can reserve a car for an amount of time to use.

But one community member said she is concerned that the lack of parking at the complex could encourage students to park in nearby neighborhoods.

The Commission said traffic was another concern.

The developers said they worked with traffic engineers and they believe adding a roundabout at Fourth and Conley and Fifth and Conley will be needed to accommodate traffic.

But that means the sidewalks would have to be widened, which would be another setback in the project.

The issue will now be addressed at next City Council Meeting June 17.

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