Columbia planners ask for public input on Vista future

The people of the Midlands can help decide what the Vista will look like in the future. Columbia’s Planning and Development Services department is asking for public input on decisions that will shape developments to come in the area.

Visitors to Friday's public forum in the Vista consider planning options (photo by Allen Wallace)

Visitors to Friday’s public forum in the Vista consider planning options (photo by Allen Wallace)

The department held two informal meetings in the Vista Friday, near the intersection of Lincoln and Gervais Streets. Posters showed pictures of different possibilities for the area, including types and height of new buildings, public art, street design, plazas, and traffic calming measures.

Participants put colored dot stickers on the posters to indicate which of the choices they preferred. Columbia Planning Administrator John Fellows said his department started by examining the city’s current codes and zoning laws. “We’re going to consider that information along with the public input, and that will determine what our recommendation should be,” he said.

Fellows added that the city’s planners also try to predict which businesses are most likely to come to the Vista. For example, he mentioned the early trend in the Vista was toward locally owned restaurants, but recently more chains have arrived.

He said he hopes to have a presentation ready for the City Council by spring of 2014, but residents and Vista visitors have plenty of time before then to share their thoughts. Another public forum is being planned for December, and a survey online offered by the city is available by clicking here.

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