Jefferson City Council expected to vote on replatting proposal

Shown above is the main entrance to the John G. Christy Municipal Building, commonly known as City Hall, at 320 E. McCarty St. in Jefferson City.
Shown above is the main entrance to the John G. Christy Municipal Building, commonly known as City Hall, at 320 E. McCarty St. in Jefferson City.

The controversial replatting of a Jefferson City subdivision is finally up for a vote Monday, and the developer of the project says he's committed to seeing it through, no matter the outcome.

The proposal would replat six properties in the 1000 block of Marshall Street and 600 block of Roland Street into 10, with plans to sell the lots and build houses there. The proposal was approved to head to the city council by the Planning and Zoning Commission but has been a contentious topic within the council chambers.

Developer Tim Joseph, owner of Zeal Enterprises, said he planned to live in the neighborhood himself and sought to build affordable homes in response to the city's housing shortage, which was worsened by the 2019 tornado that devastated the city, including the neighborhood he plans to build in. While he's confident the council will approve the plan during Monday's meeting, he said he wouldn't give up on the project if it didn't go his way. He said he would build one house on the property as a proof of concept, then try his 10-plot plan again.

"I'm not going anywhere," Joseph said last week. "I would build and then come back later and say, 'OK, this is what I had.' At that point, the community can look at something tangible to look at and say 'OK, well, we get it. We get the vision.'"

The proposal has received pushback from homeowners in the area, who have appeared at the last several council meetings to oppose it. Citing a lack of notice about the development -- which city Planning Manager Eric Barron said was not required for such projects outside of zoning and rezoning -- and difficulties communicating with Joseph during an open house he held for the neighborhood, local homeowner Patsy Johnson also said the addition of newer homes would raise property values in the area.

"You bring higher-priced homes in our area, it increases taxes and it ends up removing people of our economic level out of the community, bit by bit," she said.

Barbara Randall, who bought the property with Joseph and handed the reins of development over to him, argued any increase in property values wouldn't affect current homeowners: they would come into effect when the homes were up for sale, she said, and appreciation would only impact future buyers.

While that bill sits on the informal calendar for now, there are two pending bills also expected to see action this week. Those items would reallocate American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds previously earmarked for community projects to eliminate spending deadlines and add a new private stormwater conversion program to the city's code.

This week's resolutions up for action would authorize a retainer agreement for the city's wastewater utilities, authorize a Missouri State Transit Assistance Grant application and authorize a real estate agreement with the Missouri Primary Care Association and the Missouri Behavioral Health Council for the sale of nearly two acres of the Missouri State Penitentiary grounds.

Another resolution would authorize the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and JeffTran Title VI nondiscrimination plan, which keeps the groups in line with the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The resolution will also receive a public hearing.

Bills to be introduced include authorization of a $1.79 million contract with WHP Training Towers for a new fire training tower, appropriation of additional funds for the Wastewater Enterprise Fund, altering purchasing codes regarding electronic tablets, and approving a $59,000 contract for Structural Engineering Associates, Inc. to conduct repairs on the Madison and Jefferson Street parking garages.

The consent agenda, a list of items voted on in one motion, includes 12 items that approve various bids for repair services and supplies.

The council will also consider the appointments of Jonathan ABoott and Terry Rackers to the Airport Advisory Committee, Ken Hussey, Lori Simms and Natalie Eickhoff to the Cultural Arts Commission and JoDe Layton-Brinker to the Human Relations Commission.

Fire Fighters Local 671, the union representing local firefighters that has been in negotiations with the city for a progressive pay plan contract.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall.