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Council hears from public on 3 housing developments

The Columbia City Council will meet Monday night to allow the public to comment on three downtowncollegiate housing developments that were introduced March 12th.

The city council voted on February 17th to reject a resolution to determine specific projects tobe funded through the proposed Central Columbia TIF District.

The first bill would allow a development agreement with Collegiate Housing Partners, called Columbia Properties II.This group is proposing a housing development on the south side of Conley Ave., between 4th and 5th Street.

Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine confirmed to ABC 17 News there are currently 8 Central ColumbiaTIF District projects on hold, including Columbia Properties II.

The Columbia Properties II project was halted due to inadequate sewer capacity. The project would house351 students. The bill said Columbia Housing Partners has agreed to contribute $150,000 to fund a part ofthe cost needed for reconstruction of the city’s connecting sanitary sewer main.

The second bill would authorize an agreement with Opus Development Company, LLC. This development wouldbe located on the north side of Locust Street, between 7th and 8th Street.

This project has also been placed on hold due to inadequate sewer capacity to handle 256 tenants, andimprovements needed for stormwater and water systems.

Opus has agreed to contribute 100% of the estimated $200,000 needed to fund the reconstruction orrepairs of the connecting sanitary sewer main.

The company has also agreed to pay 100% of the $250,000 cost for the City of Columbia to build a dedicatedwater service agreement.

The third bill would authorize housing development with ACC OP Development LLC on the northeast corner ofProvidence and Turner, and on the northwest corner of Turner and Fifth.

ACC’s project has also been put on hold due to inadequate sewer capacity to serve 718 beds, and improvementsneeded for water and electric systems.

ACC agreed to pay $300,000 to fund a portion of the cost necessary for reconstruction of the city’s connectingsanitary sewer main.

The Council will second read these bills and take public testimony into consideration before voting, whichwill not take place Monday night.

St. Romaine said the council will vote in special session on Wednesday.

Aside from these bills, the council will also hear a report Monday night on C-2 District interim amendments.

Currently there is no parking requirement for new construction or changes in use in C-2.

The draft ordinance being proposed would involve changes for three things; building height, residentialparking, and street-level retail.

Under this proposal, instead of unlimited building height, buildings greater than 10 stories or120 feet in height would be subject to special review by the Planning and Zoning Commision and the City Council.

The Council will introduce a bill to amend the city code regarding marijuana. The bill says,”Seriously ill people who possess marijuana or have up to 6 marijuana plants and use it for medical purposeswill not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or punishment,” which was submitted by marijuana activist Dan Viets.

St. Romaine said the city law department has reviewed the proposed ordinance and found that it is notconsistent with state and federal law on the same matter. The manufacture of a controlled substance is a felonyunder state law.

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