Springfield, MO

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Springfield City Council is scheduled to vote in September whether to rezone a site on Lone Pine Avenue where Elevation Development Co. plans to develop a long-debated, mixed-use project.
Rendering provided by H Design Group LLC
Springfield City Council is scheduled to vote in September whether to rezone a site on Lone Pine Avenue where Elevation Development Co. plans to develop a long-debated, mixed-use project.

City Beat: Neighbors mixed on Galloway development ahead of council vote

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After two hours of public comment during the Aug. 24 meeting, Springfield City Council tabled the vote for a long-debated Galloway Village rezoning request for Sept. 8. Another voting delay on the rezoning bill will occur if council approves an amendment proposed Sept. 2 by the developer.

The rezoning of 4 acres at 3535 S. Lone Pine Ave. would make way for a mixed-use development, dubbed Treadway, by Elevation Development Co. The project, which includes retail, office, restaurant space and two multifamily buildings, largely has been opposed by Galloway Village residents since its introduction in 2018.

Council extended the public hearing from its Aug. 10 meeting because of the number of residents who were unable to sign up to speak before the deadline. Overall, 51 people spoke between the two meetings, with an almost even split between those for and those against the development.

Residents in opposition of the plan have cited increased traffic, stormwater issues and the aesthetics and size of the project, while those in support have pointed to the continued economic development of the Galloway Village area.

Councilperson Matthew Simpson moved to table the vote to allow council members to consider the additional public input and to allow city staff to facilitate a modification offered by developer Mitch Jenkins. Council unanimously agreed on the motion.

Council now is expected to amend the rezoning bill at its Sept. 8 meeting, which, if approved, would require another public hearing and push the vote to Sept. 21, according to a news release.

In the proposed amendment, Elevation Development is decreasing the height limit to 56 feet from 60 feet for buildings that are more than 60 feet from the street. The company also is amending the project to remove a planned underground garage and create additional parking that would result in less intensity and require less grading, according to the release.

The amendment marks Jenkins’ second revision in recent months, following a reduction in the scale of the buildings along Lone Pine Avenue to two stories and the building height to a maximum of 45 feet. Buildings that are more than 60 feet from the street have a height limit of 60 feet, according to city documents.

“It’s apparent that the height of our western-most residential structure is a concern, and our design team and engineers would like to look at potential modifications,” Jenkins said, after hearing the neighbor’s concerns.

He said he’s followed the design guidelines in the Galloway Redevelopment Plan – which includes parameters for preservation of significant structures, height and buffer requirements, and increased space for pedestrians and cyclists. Some speakers claimed the project did not meet the height and density requirements in the plan, though it was approved by the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission in July.

Greg Horton, CEO and co-founder of Integrity Home Care and Hospice, spoke in favor of the development, noting Jenkins and project architect H Design Group LLC have made changes over the last two years to adhere to neighborhood concerns and the redevelopment plan.

“When developers consider such economic development projects, certainty is a critical element – the certainty that if they play by the rules and follow the appropriate processes, they will be granted the ability to move forward,” said Horton, addressing council as a Springfield resident. “This developer has consistently played by the rules over the last two and a half years. … These developers have earned the right to proceed with this well-designed development.”

Bart Huscher, who co-owns About Faces Photography Inc. directly north of the planned development, said the project would permanently damage his photography business. Huscher’s wife, Wendy, is treasurer of the Galloway Village Neighborhood Association and also has vocalized opposition.

“(The development) will impact our ability to do business as we’ve done for all these years and will infringe on my property rights,” said Huscher. “Our business is distinctive in that we have an outdoor portrait park with a pond, several waterfalls and even a 100-year-old barn. All these natural park-like settings will be ruined, not only during the noisy construction process with all of the excavation and rock-breaking necessary to build an underground parking garage, but permanently due to the destruction of the scenery from the perspective of our property.”

Jerry Pollock, owner of marketing firm The Pollock Co. LLC, said the developer hasn’t compromised enough with the neighborhood on the aesthetics or density of the project.

“This development in its current state is an ugly, giant, smelly clown shoe being forced on the foot of a tiny, delicate princess. This shoe does not fit,” said Pollock.

Treadway is named after the family who owned the Sequiota Store/Treadway’s General Store & Gas Station, built on the property in 1929. Jenkins’ plans include keeping the four existing, vacant structures on the site – including the former Sequiota Bike Shop, which he said would reopen if the development is approved.

Widening Republic Road
City staff members are requesting the authority to condemn rights-of-way for construction and easements through properties near the intersection of South Campbell Avenue and West Republic Road.

This would allow the city to finish widening Republic Road from three to five lanes and add bike lanes. The project also includes stormwater and sidewalk improvements, according to city documents. The city plans to release bids for the project in December, and the project will be funded through the one-eighth-cent capital improvement sales tax, as well as state and federal funds.

City engineer Andrew Flippin said the city had acquired 16 of the 18 properties needed for completion. “In order to keep the project on time, we do need to proceed with eminent domain,” said Flippin.

Other action items:
Council unanimously passed a rezoning request for 5 acres on Boonville Avenue for the planned expansion of Jordan Valley Innovation Center. Plans call for a 100,000-square-foot office and parking garage that’s planned as part of the $55 million project, according to city documents. Also, 30,000 square feet will be added to the JVIC building.

In response to voter approval last month, council officially declared the results of the Aug. 4 election item concerning short-term loan establishment permits.

The vote, which passed by 56.7%, or more than 14,700 voters, means the city can begin collecting an annual fee of $5,000 – or $2,500 if there is less than six months remaining in the calendar year when the permit is issued – from payday loan companies.


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