Lawsuit aims to halt development near Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Jun 12, 2014

Hikers might see muddy streams and broken rock when they walk through Columbia’s Rock Bridge State Park. 

Southside Trail Estates began building the Parkside Estates subdivision on 35 acres next to the park this past April.  Columbia residents Ken Midkiff, Sandra McCann and non-profit group Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park filed a lawsuit on June 6 against the city of Columbia along with the developer and contractor over the building project. 

The lawsuit alleges the contractor and developer failed to comply with plans designed to protect the park and its streams. 

The group claims that the development adversely affects the water quality in the streams, which could pose a threat to wildlife, and would like an injunction to put an end to the project.

However, McCann thinks it might already be too late.

“The park will be forever hurt by the development,” McCann said.  “The blasting of the rocks, the crushing of the rocks already destroyed it.”

McCann has lived on the park’s border since 1999 and said she wants others to be able to enjoy the park the same way she does now.

“I just don’t want to see it damaged for future generations,” McCann said. “I’d like to have it similar to the way it is now for future generations.”

McCann said at the current location, runoff is collecting from the development site, coating rocks and filling the park’s streams with mud. 

She said she isn’t against development, but would like the density to be lowered and the builders to be more respectful of the land.