Columbia Parks and Recreation
Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs
In 2007, a company called St. Charles Road Development sold 80 acres of land in northeast Columbia off E St. Charles Road to the school district for about $900,000. This site was to be the home for Columbia's third high school - Battle High School. (Another four acres were acquired after the initial sale.)
In January 2008, the City Council passed a motion directing staff to proceed with discussions with the appropriate individuals regarding a joint park project in conjunction with the new high school being proposed by the Columbia School District. Parks and Rec staff initiated negotiations with the property owners of the land adjacent to the new high school property. Acquisition of land in the vicinity of the new high school is in keeping with the City's long standing policy/goal of providing public park land adjacent to the community's public schools.
After extended negotiations, a 30.18 acre tract located adjacent to the north boundary of the high school property was identified as the most desirable option for a future park. This tract adjoins a 31 acre tract acquired by the School District as the site of a new elementary school. The 30.18 acre tract was owned by St. Charles Road Development, LLC.
The City's appraisal, completed by Allen Moore, MAI, of Moore and Shyrock, LLC, valued the property at approximately $14,600 per acre. The property owner's appraisal, completed by John Kirby, MAI, valued the property at approximately $29,670 per acre. Because of the difference in land value between the two appraisals, an independent third party appraiser was asked to review the two appraisals. The review appraiser's report suggested a reasonable valuation might be in the $20,000 to $21,000 per acre range.
Based on the review appraiser report, the property owners offered to sell the property to the City of a price of $681,280. This amount was derived from the sale of the 30.18 acres at $21,00 per acre, plus fifty percent of the estimated cost to extend sewer to the property (estimated sewer cost of $95,000 - City's share = $42,250). The offer was contingent upon the contractor agreeing to complete construction of Battle Avenue northward from its terminus to a point where the City would have access to the new park site and the extension of the sewer line to the park site.
The City Council approved the ordinance authorizing the acquisition of the property at the December 5, 2011 Council Meeting. The City closed on the property in December 2012. Funding for the park land acquisition came from the 2005 Park Sales Tax.
Battle High School opened for the 2013-2014 school year.
The development of the park will likely depend on voters extending the Park Sales Tax in 2015.
|Capital Improvement Projects and City Council Legislation|
|Year Completed /
|Project Description / Council Item|
|Battle Avenue Park land acquisition|
|Battle Avenue Park property annexation|