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Petition to change Jefferson City street name rejected

ABC 17 reported Tuesday night members of the Jefferson City community met to voice concerns over a possible name change to a historic street.

Lincoln University put in a request to change the name of Lafayette Street to University Avenue.

Community members said the name change would have erased one of the last remaining symbols of their neighborhood. Due to segregation, the neighborhood had their own grocery store, gas stations, hotels, and restaurants in that block. Neighbors told ABC 17 Lafayette Street is one of the last remaining pieces of their heritage in the Capital City.

On Wednesday, ABC 17 was told the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to vote on the change was canceled.

City Attorney Drew Hilpert confirmed the petition to change the name was rejected because it did not have the correct number of applicants.

The legal opinion reads, “the process may be initiated by either city staff or affected property owners. A petition may be submitted by a majority of property owners along a street.”

The legal opinion calls the majority more than half of the total property owners. Including Lincoln, there are 24 individual property owners along that section of Lafayette. That means the petition to change the name would have to be signed by at least 13 property owners, therefore the petition must be rejected since it’s only signed by a single property owner, LU.

Lincoln University released a statement Wednesday afternoon, stating, “A community begins as soon as one steps from your front lawn to that of your neighbors. A sense of community begins when one considers our neighbors when taking action. In respect of the latter, Lincoln University is withdrawing the petition to change the name from the 600 through 1200 blocks of Lafayette Street to University Avenue.”

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