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City leaders call for west Columbia planning study

Members of the Columbia City Council are calling for a large-scale study of the western part of the city.

The study would help determine the council’s preferred uses of land in the growing part of the city, clustered around Perche Creek.

The council rejected two subdivision proposals this month in west Columbia, citing issues with floods, road connectivity and traffic. Those requests, along with several multimillion dollar road projects coming to southwest Columbia, prompted many council members to ask for a deeper dive into the future of west Columbia.

“Columbia I would generalize as a low-density, sprawling city with poor connectivity and lots of cul-de-sacs,” Second Ward Councilman Michael Trapp said at Monday’s meeting during a discussion of one of the neighborhood proposals. “This causes lots of problems in regards to pushing snow and also getting from place to place.”

The city and county partnered on a similar plan for the area east of Columbia in 2010 to help guide development. Boone County commissioners have discussed a possible study for the area southwest of Columbia, particularly along Route K. Commissioner Fred Parry said the growing residential area poses traffic dangers on the two-lane highway.

Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas said the study should include data on how developers could help pay an equal share of the cost of expanding the city.

“It would be really helpful if, whatever plan comes out, there is a way to pay for the infrastructure that’s going to be needed that’s identified that’s consistent with the development that’s part of that plan, whether it’s in the city or stays in the county,” Thomas said.

Trapp told ABC 17 News that he wants to engage the community on what the future of the area might look like. The study should identify land best suited for residential and commercial use, and flag sensitive areas the city should protect.

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