Large crowd of neighbors voices opposition at long meeting

Joe Bednar speaks at the Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Thursday against a proposed development that will add a street right next to his driveway.

Joe Bednar speaks at the Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Thursday against a proposed development that will add a street right next to his driveway. Photo by Stephen Brooks.

It took nearly four hours to reach the final vote, but Jefferson City’s Planning and Zoning Commission ultimately endorsed a proposed subdivision plan for the Missouri River bluffs just east of Hayselton Drive.

It took five separate votes to approve developer Dick Otke’s proposal to build 14 single-family homes along a new street, River Bluff Court, with an intersection with Hayselton Drive as the only access.

The multiple votes were needed because the proposal actually combines two property owners into one development.

The requests to rezone 4.3 acres from RS-3 Single Family to Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning, then approve the subdivision project on 10.86 acres, were the only issue on the commission’s agenda.

Commissioners voted 6-2 to endorse the rezoning request, and 7-1 to approve the preliminary subdivision plan.

One of the votes, to cancel the previous PUD zoning for a previous condominiums project, was approved unanimously.

More than 70 neighborhood residents attended the meeting, with 21 of them speaking for a total of 90 minutes, giving commissioners various reasons to oppose the plan.

Their biggest concerns focused on the street going into the project, which is to meet Hayselton on a tight, hairpin curve that residents said would be unsafe.

Right now, a driveway connects Hayselton to Paul and Rayma Chinn’s home on the bluffs, which would become one of the 15 homes in the subdivision.

But that driveway would have to almost double in size to carry the subdivision traffic.

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