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Columbia City Council unanimously approves more residential lots near Richland Road


The Columbia City Council on Monday night unanimously approved more than 200 new residential lots in east Columbia, however, some residents still have traffic concerns. 

Last year, the Columbia City Council approved a development agreement with Richland Olivet Farm, LLC for the annexation of 103.73 acres of land at 6800 Richland Road. Richland Olivet Farm wanted 97.02 acres for R-1 zoning and 6.71 acres for M-N zoning. It also requested a 161-lot preliminary plat to build 146 residential lots, one commercial lot, and 14 common lots, known as Richland Estates. 

In May, the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to approve a plan to build more residential lots near the intersection of Richland Road and Olivet Road.

Crocket Engineering Consultants, who is working on behalf of Richland Olivet Farm, LLC, asked the city to annex an additional 29.98 acres of land on the property for 272-lot to build 86 more residential lots and six more common lots. The revised Richland Estates plat increased the total residential lots from 251 and common lots to 21. 

Two traffic studies were conducted to measure the potential traffic impacts of the project. The first study recommended the construction of an eastbound right-turn lane on Richland Road at the new Burghley Drive and that Bodiam Drive would need to align with Bonita Bay Drive on the north side of Richland Road.

The second study was done after Richland Olivet Farm, LLC, asked to build more lots. That study determined that a roundabout would be needed to help control traffic flow at the intersection of Richland/Rolling Hills/Grace Lane intersection. Richland Olivet Farm, LLC, was required to pay $103,455.57 for the road improvements. 

Jack Donelon, has lived on Grace Lane for more than 20 years. As the former president of the Lake of the Woods Homeowner Association, he said traffic and speeding have been an issue in the area for years. But he claims another roundabout is not the solution. 

“If they are going into this roundabout as a way to ease traffic out here and speeding, forget it.  Roundabouts do not stop speeding,” Roland says. 

According to the Federal Highway Administration, studies show that roundabouts reduce speeds and the chances of crashes that cause serious injuries. However, Donelon argues that drivers in Columbia don’t know how to properly use a roundabout. 

“The law is if you're in a roundabout,  traffic has to yield to you and I have yet seen that happen very often in any roundabout, so I don't see where a roundabout is going to help any bit of traffic on Grace Lane,” Donelon said. 

Because of the additional study, the city believes the developer's contribution should increase by $37,623.48. According to the council memo, the city can use that money for “any improvements or maintenance of Richland Road within 3 miles of the property.” 

Donelon believes the solution is another road. 

“My solution to this whole thing is go to the woods right behind me or under the street,” Donelon said.   “You've got another outlet up St Charles to get you over I-70,  and that would split the traffic that way.”

Other concerns expressed by residents at the meeting included the project will have on the wildlife, and adding "more rich people housing instead of affordable housing."

The city says that all costs associated with public infrastructure will be covered by the developer. They also believe there will be a minimal ling-term impact other than some increased sewer maintenance and trash collection.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Mitchell Kaminski

Mitchell Kaminski is from Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a degree in sports communication and journalism from Bradley University. He has done radio play-by-play and co-hosts a Chicago White Sox podcast.


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