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Columbia city council discusses housing freeze proposal for downtown

The Columbia City Council first read a proposal Monday night to put a freeze on building multi-unit housing in a one-mile radius of the University of Missouri campus.

If approved, the bill would establish an administrative delay on the processing of applications for a building permit for developments within the area bounded by Elm Street, Providence Road, Stadium Boulevard and College Avenue.

New mayor Brian Treece has long criticized the boom in housing downtown.
Since Treece’s time on the Downtown Leadership Council, he’s asked for more clarity on how downtown Columbia’s old utilities can handle the hundreds of new people living there.

Treece said he wanted to see a “freeze” in demolition permits also added to the bill before the council takes it up for a vote.

The bill cites the downturn in the university’s enrollment for next school year.

It says that the “unique design” of buildings, like the ones planned for the old Quinton’s Bar and Deli site and the former Shakespeare’s downtown spot, are built almost exclusively for students, and won’t likely be re-purposed for other housing.

The council can take this up for a vote as early as May 16.

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