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Columbia Westbury Village development causes concern for nearby residents

Developers want to build a commercial and residential neighborhood at Smith Drive and Scott Boulevard in west Columbia.

The new neighborhood built on about 45 acres of land would promote “walkability, recreation, shops and eateries,” according to the development’s website.

Some residents living in neighborhoods near the proposed development are concerned about the traffic and noise impacts.

“It’s tough enough with the increased traffic on this end of town,” Jon Weekley said. “We only have one way to get out from our neighborhood,”

Weekley said the traffic is already heavy on Scott Boulevard and adding businesses to the area could make the congestion worse.

“This has been strictly residential development since I moved here in 1999, almost 20 years ago, so it would be a big change,” he said.

Resident Cliff Mayberry said he is concerned about traffic but is not against the land’s development.

“I knew that it would be developed eventually and I would rather see something productive rather than those scrub trees I see over there now,” Mayberry said.

In an email to case manager Clint Smith, resident Lanelle Baskett said the development would create an “undesired thoroughfare within the neighborhood” and asked the commission to deny the developers request.

Baskett said the development “would impact the noise exposure and the safety of the residents who routinely walk within the neighborhood.”

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the multiple-family dwelling zoning at Thursday’s meeting. The commission rejected re-zoning land for most commercial uses.

The commission’s recommendations will be sent forward for the consideration of city council.

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