Neighborhood association discusses land purchase, Neighborhood Response Team

EAST CAMPUS

By KATHRYN LANDIS

neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

The East Campus Neighborhood Association met April 27 to elect new officers, collect dues and discuss upcoming events and issues within the neighborhood.

Janet Hammen was elected chair and Kathy Love was elected vice chair. Betsy Peters and Rachel Brekhus will continue in their respective positions as treasurer and secretary.

Brekhus proposed the purchase of a Japanese honeysuckle bush removal machine, saying it should cost around $200 in addition to shipping from Ohio. Brekhus said the machine will be roughly the size of a golf club carrier and she believed it would be powered electrically. The machine will be bought using neighborhood funds.

Currently, the Association has about $3,432 in their funds with plans to spend them on the machine and possibly a neighborhood party this summer.

Brekhus also read a resolution at the meeting thanking Adam Stansfield, Boy Scout Troop 121 and MU students from the Newman Center for their recent work rebuilding the bridge near the Rockhill entrance of Clyde Wilson Memorial Park. Copies of the resolution will be sent to Stansfiend and Troop 121.

The Association also discussed plans for land acquisition to add 1.2 acres to the park. A formal offer has been made to the landowners, according to a memo sent by resident Paul Wallace.

The Association has raised $23,580 toward the purchase of the land through the collection of 60 donations, allowing city Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hood to put in a bid for the land. The bid amount is unknown; however, the neighborhood originally planned to offer the owners around $60,000, though the land was originally estimated to be worth more.

Hammen told neighbors the Neighborhood Response Team would be touring East Campus for three days in May.

“They look at homeowner occupied houses as well as rental properties, and they just look at it from the sidewalk (and) from the curb to see what meets or doesn’t meet city ordinances,” Hammen said.

If residents are having problems with neighboring properties, they are allowed to invite the response team onto their property to view more angles of the neighborhood.

“I’ve got a Dudley Roth house next to me that’s just a disaster in the back. It’s painful for me to look at,” resident Lesley Sapp said. “There’s a gutter flapping in the wind, and students have been stealing signs.”

The Office of Neighborhood Services will be putting five dumpsters throughout East Campus sometime between May 7 and May 16. The exact dates have not been set, but the neighborhood association would like to see them placed on May 9 and picked up on May 16.

“It’s an innovative idea,” Hammen said. “I thought, “Let’s try it.’”

Hammen and others said they plan to oppose the Bouchelle Avenue zoning proposition being introduced into new business at Monday’s City Council meeting. Several attendees mentioned problems with overcrowded properties next to their own. Hammen said that while they may be good neighbors now, when the property is sold and passed along to new hands, there will be issues with readdressing the fact that it is a limited-resident property.

The final issue discussed was fraternity Beta Theta Pi’s plans to tear down their existing fraternity house along with two other properties on Rosemary Lane to rebuild a larger house. The plans have been approved, but the city has denied them a building permit because they have not met the storm water management plan. According to Hammen, the house has illegal sump pumps that are draining into the street.

“If you’ve driven up Wilson, the street might as well be thrown away. It is completely torn up,” resident Laurie Hines said. “It has huge potholes everywhere, it has no curbs left because of this constant flow of water.“

Hines said she blew a tire earlier in the day due to the poor condition of the street.

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Filed under Columbia-Boone County, East Campus

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