Welcome to our live coverage of tonight’s city council meeting!
There are a large number of Phelps Grove people in attendance tonight as most of us in the media expected with the neighborhood on the agenda.
This is the last meeting for Councilman Tom Prater.
Mayor McClure called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m.. Fisk is not in attendance tonight.
1. ROLL CALL.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. March 25, 2019 City Council Meeting.
3. FINALIZATION AND APPROVAL OF CONSENT AGENDAS. CITIZENS WISHING TO SPEAK TO OR REMOVE ITEMS FROM THE CONSENT AGENDAS MUST DO SO AT THIS TIME.
Councilman Schilling moves to add Council Bill 2019-086 to agenda as publicly notified it might be. Passes 8-0.
4. CEREMONIAL MATTERS.
5. CITY MANAGER REPORT AND RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE PREVIOUS CITY COUNCIL MEETING.
City Manager Jason Gage thanked voters for passing the 1/4 cent tax renewal and congratulated Council members who won re-election. He also thanked Councilman Prater for his service.
Gage also congratulated the members of the police and fire department who were promoted or honored.
Councilman Schilling asked about the delay in certifying the election.
City Clerk Cotter said the charter requires certification within ten days, but the state has changed law for County Clerks to keep the certification process open for 30 days, and the city “is at the mercy” of the County Clerk. The Council cannot certify the election if the County Clerk does not certify the election.
The Mayor thanked the voters for passing the 1/4 cent tax and congratulated the winners of the election. He also thanked everyone who ran for office.
6. SECOND READING AND FINAL PASSAGE. Citizens Have Spoken. May Be Voted On.
7. Council Bill 2019-067. (Fisk)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to apply to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Federal Fiscal Year 2019 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Program funds under the Consolidated Plan, to accept Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Program funds, to enter into any necessary agreements to carry out the grants, and to exercise any and all powers necessary to implement selected projects; selecting projects for funding for the City of Springfield Fiscal Year 2019-2020; to reaffirm the Community Development Objectives and Priorities; and to declare that this Ordinance qualifies as a one-reading bill pursuant to City Charter Section 2.16(25). (City Council is not expected to vote on this Ordinance after the first reading on March 25, 2019.)
8. Council Bill 2019-068. (Ollis)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield City Code, Chapter 2, ‘Administration,’ Article VI, ‘Finances,’ Division 2, ‘Purchasing,’ Section 2-401, ‘Purchasing Manual adopted,’ by adding Section 13-3.312 for the purpose of allowing retired police officers to purchase their service weapons.
Lear noted that many citizens had reached out to him about allowing the officers to just have their weapons as a thank you for their service. He explained that he researched and it appears that would violate state law. City staff is exploring ways to see if gifting the firearms could be done.
Mayor McClure noted that Lear described the situation “correctly” and anything the do needs to be “Constitutional.”
9. Council Bill 2019-069. (Fisk)
A special ordinance amending the General Fund budget of the City of Springfield, Missouri, for Fiscal Year 2019, by appropriating a portion of the 2018 Fiscal Year carryover funds in the amount of $2,800,000.
10. Council Bill 2019-070. (Prater)
A special ordinance approving the plans and specifications for the “Cherry Street Widening – Barnes Avenue to Oak Grove Avenue” Project; accepting the bid of Hamilton and Dad, Inc., in the amount of $2,051,509.32; and authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a contract with such bidder; for the purpose of constructing said Project.
11. RESOLUTIONS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
12. Council Bill 2019-084. (Fisk)
A resolution authorizing Mayor Ken McClure to participate in the United States Conference of Mayors and Workforce Board Leaders Meeting on Local Innovations in Preparing a Highly-Skilled Workforce to be held in Houston, Texas, April 23, 2019.
City Manager called this and the next item “housekeeping in keeping in line with your policies on Council travel.”
One-reading bill, passes 8-0.
13. Council Bill 2019-085. (McClure)
A resolution authorizing certain Council members to participate in a one-day mobility study tour of Northwest Arkansas, hosted by LaneShift, LLC.
One-reading bill, passes 8-0.
COUNCIL BILLS FOR PUBLIC HEARING. Citizens May Speak. Not Anticipated To Be Voted On. Except Item No. 19. Council Bill 2019-071 Was Advertised As A Legal Public Hearing; However, Will Be Read As A One-Reading Bill. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
19.Council Bill 2019-071. (Prater) Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
A resolution adopting the 2019 Amendments to the Phelps Grove Neighborhood Plan as an element of the City’s Comprehensive Plan for the development of the City of Springfield, Missouri. (Planning and Zoning Commission and Staff recommend approval).
20. Council Bill 2019-072. (Simpson)
A general ordinance amending Urban Conservation District No. 4, generally referred to as the Phelps Grove Urban Conservation District, Section 2 – ‘District Regulations,’ by creating a new Subsection D, regarding minimum lot width. (Planning and Zoning Commission and Staff recommend approval.)
Bills read together at the request of the Mayor.
Note: Most of the people in attendance seem to be here for these particular bills. Likely a high number of speakers for the public hearing.
Senior City Planner Alana Owen addressed Council.
Staff said the residents in the area did not want to allow commercial entities to grow in the neighborhood.
Councilman Ollis said he wanted to reaffirm that this isn’t a regulatory document but that regulatory issues are handled through amendments to the urban conservation district. Staff said that was correct. They also told him he is correct the lot width change is the only regulatory change in the next few weeks.
Councilwoman Ferguson asked how the work done with Phelps Grove will be worked into the city’s future overall comprehensive plan. Owen said the neighborhood plans are smaller-scale, more detailed looks at specific areas within the city that fit within the overall comprehensive plan.
Councilman Lear asked how many homeowners actually showed up at the meetings, with about 800 households possible, only 90 showed up at one meeting and 70 at the other.
Councilman Simpson clarified that a current homeowner can replace their existing structure but can’t develop multi-residential homes.
Councilman Ollis asked about the landowner who wanted to build a development on his lot that was blocked by the moratorium and if this amendment impacted him. Staff said yes, this measure and those who back it would be forcing this landowner to only be able to build two structures on the land.
Phelps Grove Neighborhood Association President Eric Pauly addressed council.
Councilman Simpson asked about the Art Museum’s involvement and Pauly said that they have been involved in the process to talk about their master plans.
A speaker submitted a card after the bill was read, and Council suspended the rules to allow the speaker to address council.
Eddie Tims addressed council. A resident since 1984 in the neighborhood.
He is against the bill because it will negatively impact his ability to use his property. He said that he’s having his rights as a landowner taken away. He said that this is in reaction by planning and zoning to one particular landowner’s developmental proposals.
He said what was put in place in the 90s is still strong and “stabilized the neighborhood.” He said people who have moved into the neighborhood “are trying to change the college rental population” and that landlords are doing a good job keeping up properties.
He said if some people want to make their own properties historical, to “go for it” but that they shouldn’t force their will on other landowners.
-071 voted on and passes 7-0 with Schilling out of the room, -072 will be voted on in two weeks.
And with that…..1/3 of the room gets up and leaves.
21. Council Bill 2019-073. (Ferguson)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning approximately 40 acres of property generally located at 1777 North Packer Road and the 2800 Block of East Blaine Street from GM, General Manufacturing, Planned Development 128 and R-SF, Residential Single Family, to GM, General Manufacturing District; and establishing Conditional Overlay District No. 168; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: Rice & Heer Leasing Company, H&C Partnership and City of Springfield; 1777 North Packer Road and the 2800 Block of East Blaine Street; Z-7-2019 w/Conditional Overlay District No. 168.)
(Basically expansion of the Coke bottling plant.)
The CEO of Ozarks Coca-Cola addresses council if there are questions.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
22. Council Bill 2019-074. (Ferguson)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning 1.1 acres of property generally located at 529 West Division Street from R-SF, Single-Family Residential District to GR, General Retail District; and establishing Conditional Overlay District No. 170; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: Springfield R-12 School District; 529 W. Division Street; Z-1-2019 w/Conditional Overlay District No. 170.)
Councilwoman Ferguson said that soup kitchen was not prohibited and she wants that addressed because it’s different than “overnight shelter.”
Mary Smith said that soup kitchens are not allowed in general retail but wants to check that tomorrow.
She is concerned that traffic will be entering via a residential street rather than a secondary arterial. Staff said safety-wise is better to have access on a residential street connected to a primary arterial.
Councilwoman Ferguson is concerned about pedestrian traffic in the area.
Councilman Hosmer asked if the parcel is completely surrounded by residential property and staff said yes.
Public hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
23. Council Bill 2019-075. (Fisk)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield, Missouri City Code, ‘Land Development Code,’ Article III, ‘Zoning Regulations,’ Division 4, ‘District Regulations,’ Section 36-409 – ‘West College Street District,’ and ‘Division 5, Supplemental District Regulations,’ Section 36-451, ‘Home Occupations,’ to remove inconsistencies with existing occupancy requirements. (Planning and Zoning Commission and Staff recommend approval.)
Mary Lilly Smith said this is to fix a problem within the new short-term rental policies that was caught by Councilman Hosmer.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
24. Council Bill 2019-076. (Ollis)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield, Missouri, City Code, ‘Land Development Code,’ Article III, ‘Zoning Regulations,’ Division 4, ‘District Regulations,’ Section 36-383 ‘R-MD – Medium-density multifamily residential district,’ and 36-384 ‘R-HD – High-density multifamily residential district,’ to reduce the minimum lot area required for development. (Planning and Zoning Commission and Staff recommend approval.)
This was brought up by a private resident. It makes all multi-family zoning districts will have the same size.
Robert Shattuck addresses council. He proposed the change.
No questions from Council.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
25. Council Bill 2019-077. (Hosmer)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield, Missouri, City Code, ‘Land Development Code,’ Article III, ‘Zoning Regulations,’ Division 3, ‘Administration, Enforcement and Review,’ Section 36-367 – ‘Amendments,’ Subsection (3)(a) relating to legal descriptions for rezoning. (Planning and Zoning Commission and Staff recommend approval.)
The aim of the bill is to streamline the process for the city to allow better accuracy, speed, and overall lower cost with consistent legal descriptions.
Public hearing closed. Vote in 2 weeks.
26. Council Bill 2019-078. (Schilling)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 36 of the Springfield, Missouri, City Code, known as the ‘Land Development Code,’ Article III, ‘Zoning Regulations,’ Divisions 1 through 5, Sections 36-303, 36-321, 36-363, 36-421, 36-422, 36-423, 36-424, 36-425, 36-430, 36-431, 36-432, 36-433, 36-434, and creating a new section 36-474; for the purpose of allowing the sale of Medical Marijuana as required by Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution. (Planning and Zoning Commission and Staff recommend approval.)
The facilities would be closed to the public from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Councilmembers in previous meetings about the matter asked why that should be the case if pharmacies are allowed to be open 24 hours. Manufacturing and cultivation can go on 24 hours, but no public access.
The definition of church is being changed because the current zoning talks about building specifically built for churches; staff noted many churches now meet in “non traditional church buildings.”
The businesses will be prohibited from being “dominant” in the area if it’s near a residential area.
Planning and zoning wants to have the limitation on hours to the public be dropped from all definitions.
Mayor McClure asked if a church meeting in a storefront would impact locations if there is only a meeting there once a week. Staff said they would be looking at the property to see if there are religious services or if there are other functions being done in the space.
Councilwoman Ferguson asked about locations where there residential areas in the same building as retail, such a storefront with lofts above them. Staff said marijuana facilities would be prohibited in those cases.
Councilman Simpson asked about the definition of churches again, giving an example of the Gillioz where a church meets once a week. Staff said they would look at overall use of the facility.
Hosmer is against the 200 foot restriction from schools and daycares, saying it’s too close, and wants it 1000 feet.
Mary Lilly Smith said “there’s quite a bit of available land” for medical marijuana if there’s a 1000 foot requirement.
Hosmer said that Denver, Fort Collins, Boulder and a half dozen other Colorado cities have 1000 foot restriction when schools and daycares are in the area. He said 200 feet would have those locations a block away from schools and that’s “too close”.
Hosmer asked if staff has talked with school officials about this matter and Mary Lilly Smith said she was playing “phone tag” with them.
Councilman Ollis asked about the hours of operation. Major Greg Higdon came forward to answer questions. Ollis asked for his input about what happens around marijuana operations.
He said that any time a business “has a higher possibility of being exposed to the criminal element” it’s not wise to be open 24 hours. Ollis asked if pharmacies have seen an increase of crime when open 24 hours. Major Higdon said yes, and some have even hired off-duty officers to provide security.
Councilman Hosmer asked his view on the 1000 foot restriction. Major Higdon said they would believe a longer distance would be better to protect students walking to and from schools.
13 speakers are signed up. The Mayor asks people to please not repeat what has already been said.
Dr. Jim Blaine comes to address council. He said marijuana has been restricted in research because of its classification by the DEA. He is hoping it ends up being a good thing.
David Broadsky addresses council. He’s from Colorado and claims to be here representing Springfield residents who want to build businesses. He operates marijuana businesses and wants “reasonable local rules” that don’t create negative PR for the industry or problems for the community.
“We in Colorado have seen all the pitfalls,” he said.
He said that the rules in place have been in answer to problems and should not be ignored. He said the 200 foot buffer for dispensaries is too small. He said a 1000 feet is usually standard. He said he supports Hosmer’s amendment to extend separation to 1000 feet.
Councilman Ferguson asked if the distance was smaller and then expanded. He said as far as he knew, they were all set at 1000 feet.
Councilman Ollis asked about hours of operation.
He said in Steamboat Springs, where he lived, they could be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and widened to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.. He said was to time closing with the shift change for the police department and to be closed when police have a lower overall staff level and he said that it has worked well.
Hosmer asked if dispensaries that were medical turned retail when all use was allowed in Colorado and the speaker said that would be reasonable to assume.
Councilwoman Ferguson asked about security. He said in Steamboat Springs, it’s pretty laid back, so they are at the bare minimum for security. He said “by and large, we haven’t seen [businesses] being big targets.”
Stephanie Montgomery addresses council.
She is a real estate developer who supports medical pot. She doesn’t think hours should be restricted for pot dispensaries if it’s not for pharmacies.
Kevin Hite addresses council and hopes the council takes into account the tax revenue they will get from these businesses.
Larry Ellison addresses council.
“We’re not going to have a dispensary on every corner,” he said. He was part of the group that worked to put the measure on the ballot. He claims his company won’t be involved in medical pot, but his family and friends will be involved with it.
He claims that “it’s almost impossible” to find a property that’s not within 1000 feet of school. He said it’s just fine to have pot dispensaries within 200 feet of a school.
Hosmer points out in Colorado and Washington dispensaries are 1000 feet from schools and asked if Ellison is just fine with marijuana with 200 feet of Springfield students and Ellison said yes.
Dr. Chris Stout addresses council. Local physician. Not in favor of medical marijuana. If he says it’s a useful drug, the city needs to remember it’s a drug and not an illegal substance. He says he has patients he discharges at 8 or 9 at night.
Councilwoman Ferguson asked the doctor is if he would take a patient off opioids and put them on marijuana and he said he would look at it.
Ashley Marcum addresses council. She said her son has epilepsy and cerebral palsy and that her son will benefit from the availability of medical marijuana.
Justin Petrillo addresses council. Co-founder of the “Wholesome Bud Company.” He brings up his daughter and says there’s no way she could walk into the medical marijuana building as a kid.
(NOTE: Councilman Hosmer, who is pushing for the 1,000 foot restriction, has not stated his concern is with students walking into dispensaries as several speakers are trying to frame his words as saying; it’s that those who obtain the drug will then be close to students outside the facility.)
Kevin Ellison addresses council. He supports the bill. He provides security to medical pot facilities.
Chip Sheppard addresses council in favor of the planning and zoning’s recommendations. He was one of the people who helped craft Amendment 2. He wants to allow medical pot within 200 feet of schools and allow the places open 24/7.
Hosmer pointed out to Sheppard it was sold to voters that there would be a 1000 foot separation and now he wants the city to do something different. Sheppard said the actual law didn’t specifically say it would always be 1000 feet.
“The only voters who would be fooled were the ones who started in the middle of that sentence,” Sheppard said.
Sheppard admits the language wasn’t on the ballot so those voting didn’t know the distance could be less than 1000 feet.
Hosmer wants to know why he thinks we should ignore Colorado and Washington, where pot’s been there for a longer time, who have the distance to schools as 1000 feet.
“Colorado and Washington need more churches,” Sheppard snapped at Hosmer, who then pointed out to Sheppard the distance from churches is 200 feet, only schools are 1000 feet.
Hosmer asked if your group would never try to bring medical marijuana into the state and Sheppard said that “no one’s talking about it right now.”
“We don’t want to be anything like Colorado,” Sheppard said in noting the limits of licenses for marijuana facilities.
Ariel Lewis addresses council. She is coming after Hosmer’s comments and the business hours restrictions. She doesn’t want any restrictions on distances from churches.
“We are oversaturated with churches in the area,” Lewis stated.
She says bars can be open until 1 a.m. so there’s no reason pot dispensaries should be restricted more than bars.
Public hearing closes.
Councilman Hosmer makes his motion to extend the separation to 1,000 feet from schools and daycares but keep the distance 200 feet from churches. Hosmer said that we’ve seen it work in Colorado and Washington, so there’s no reason not to do it in Springfield.
“We can always move closer if we find problems with access,” Hosmer said. “We can’t move them back farther away.”
Motion fails 4-4, with Simpson, Prater, Schilling and Lear voting in favor of keeping the distance of marijuana dispensaries to be 200 feet from schools.
Councilman Prater moves to remove the hourly restrictions on marijuana. Hosmer asks council members to vote against the amendment and making laws more liberal here than other states in the union who have had medical marijuana.
Mary Lilly Smith says it’s not unusual for manufacturing in Springfield to be open for third shifts. So while not open to the public, the business can operate 24 hours. Smith said that Planning and Zoning thought the market should determine what happens in terms of business hours.
Prater’s amendment passes 7-1 with Hosmer voting no.
Public hearing closed, with hearing held open on amendment until next meeting.
27. FIRST READING BILLS. Citizens May Speak. Not Anticipated To Be Voted On. Council Bill 2019-086 Is Being Added As A Possible Addition To The Agenda; However, A Determination Of Whether It Will Be Added Will Be Made By City Council At The Meeting.
28. Possible Addition To City Council Agenda; However, A Determination Of Whether It Will Be Added Will Be Made By City Council At The Meeting.
Council Bill 2019-086. (Schilling)
A general ordinance adopting a new Fee and amending the Fee Schedule for certain City services as provided in the Springfield City Code, by establishing a fee for a Medical Marijuana Zoning Certificate. (Staff recommends approval.)
Desmond Morris addresses council. He is in favor of the increased fees, and he is involved in the industry.
Public hearing closed, vote in 2 weeks.
29. Council Bill 2019-079. (Lear)
A special ordinance amending Sections 3103.9.2 and 3103.9.3 of the Fire Code, relating to tents and membrane structures, by adding specific local addendums to the 2018 International Fire Code.
Fire Chief Pennington addressed council about the changes to the fire code.
Councilman Ollis asked if the changes allow the fire department to pull a permit if the winds are too high for tents. Chief Pennington said yes.
30. PETITIONS, REMONSTRANCES, AND COMMUNICATIONS.
Patricia Reynolds addresses Council.
Asks to have the Payday Loan ordinance put onto the Council’s agenda as soon as possible so it can be voted on.
Mayor McClure is going out of order and allowing Councilman Prater to speak.
“Being a city councilman was not on my bucket list,” he said, adding he was glad to be able to serve when asked to do so.
He applauded the work of council and the effort put in my so many council members. He praised the city staff for their work and “putting up with me when I came up to speed” for being on council.
He says he sees Springfield on the cusp of greatness and he’s excited to see what the next 10 years will bring for the city. He thinks Abe McGull will be a great addition to City Council.
“I will miss most of you,” Prater said in conclusion.
Mayor McClure thanked Prater for his “wise counsel” and his “commitment to public service.”
The Mayor recommends the following appointment to the Public Housing Authority: Rusty Worley with term to expire April 11, 2020.
The Mayor recommends the following reappointment to the Public Housing Authority: Lisa McIntire with term to expire April 11, 2023.
The Mayor recommends the following appointment to the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc.: Todd Brage with term to expire January 1, 2022.
The Mayor recommends the following reappointment to the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc.: Brent Parker with term to expire January 1, 2022.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following appointment to the Board of Equalization: Janet Blair with term to expire April 1, 2022.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following reappointment to the Board of Equalization: Lyle Foster with term to expire April 1, 2022.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following appointment to the Citizens Advisory Committee for Community Development: Trish Hubbell with term to expire May 1, 2022.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following reappointment to the Citizens Advisory Committee for Community Development: Delilah Jackson with term to expire May 1, 2022.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following reappointments to the Citizens’ Tax Oversight Committee: Daniel Furtak and Ryan Kelly with terms to expire May 1, 2022.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following appointment to the Landmarks Board: Richard Crabtree with term to expire November 1, 2021.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following appointment to the Police Civilian Review Board: Samantha Spartan with term to expire May 1, 2022.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following reappointment to the Police Civilian Review Board: Chris Nease with term to expire May 1, 2022.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following reappointments to the Police Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System Board of Trustees: Nancy Martin-Hinds and Justin Milam with terms to expire April 30, 2022.
As per RSMo. 109.230 (4), City records that are on file in the City Clerk’s office and have met the retention schedule will be destroyed in compliance with the guidelines established by the Secretary of State’s office.