COLUMBIA — The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans for construction for the Clary-Shy Agriculture Park in a Thursday night meeting at the Columbia City Hall.
According to a meeting agenda report, the request was made by McClure Engineering Company on behalf of the city. It included requests for facilities that would help operate and support a farmers market in the park, including office space for the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and outdoor classrooms.
The farmers market would use about 35,000 square feet of the northern portion of the total 17.21 acres of property, located next to the Columbia Activity and Recreation Center at Ash Street and Clinkscales Road. The market venue will include space for 66 vendors and will be built in phases, according to the report.
The plan allows for agriculture growth on the site of the property for things such as fruit and vegetable production and nut production trees. The plan would also include "extensive pedestrian connectivity throughout the site, connecting different areas within the site to the public sidewalk via trails," the report said.
"Having a dedicated place for the farmers market has been a long time coming," said Shane Creech, Columbia Building and Site Development manager. "The farmers markets been pretty popular in Columbia, so I would assume having a permanent location would only enhance that."
Creech said the construction of the park will also allow for the city to have another place to hold events, as the space will be under the Columbia Parks and Recreation department.
The plan was approved unanimously by the commission on Thursday, after receiving a grant from the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program and being denied funding by the Convention and Visitors Advisory Board in July.
Creech explained that approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission means that McClure Engineering has been granted permission to move forward with the project. He said the company has not yet developed a full construction plan, but Columbia Park Services manager Gabe Huffington previously told the Missourian that construction on the project is expected to begin later this fall.
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