By JEFF DURBIN, Missourian staff writer

January 24, 1999


Tom Kardon says his name belongs on a proposed city ordinance.

"Say Kardon's Law," he said.

The City Council will hold a public hearing Feb. 15 to consider a once-per-year limit for submitting the same or similar zoning request to the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission.

After Kardon's third visit to the council last month, frustrated members began exploring a way to limit redundant requests.

Chuck Bondra, the city's assistant planning director, said repeated submissions are a burden on the public and members of the council and commission, who are volunteers.

"It wastes a lot of people's time," Bondra said.

On Thursday, the commission recommended approval of the proposal. If passed, the limit could be waived at the council's discretion.

Kardon, 51, owner of Tom's Imports, 810 Business Loop 70 E., has tried three times since September 1997 to rezone two houses at the corner of Providence Road and Third Avenue as planned commercial. Kardon wants to tear down the houses and build a foreign auto parts store. The houses are empty and boarded up, and they would be too costly to repair.

Kardon said he'll present his case at the public hearing, but he expects the once-per-year limit to pass anyway. If necessary, he'll wait a year before resubmitting his plan.

"I'm not going to give up that easy," Kardon said. "I'll keep trying because I'm right."

The location, across from Hickman High School, is appropriate for a business, Kardon said. People don't want to live on Providence Road because of traffic noise, while his parts store can bring tax revenue and jobs to the city.

However, leaders of the Ridgeway Neighborhood Association argue that the store would commercialize a residential neighborhood and increase traffic.

Columbia is also considering charging a fee for rezoning requests, as do many Missouri cities. The fee, expected to be about $150, will be discussed at the commission's Feb. 18 meeting.