Should be a lively meeting with the election of the Mayor Pro Tem, marijuana revisiting and what appears to be an organized political group wearing T-shirts with left-wing activist groups on it who are not in favor of payday loans. If you’re hanging in for the live blog, get your snacks ready.
Mayor McClure calls the Council Meeting to order at 6:33 p.m..
1. ROLL CALL.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. April 8, 2019 City Council Meeting And April 16, 2019 And April 18, 2019 Special City Council Meetings.
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 Lear moves to remove this bill from the agenda because of a technical error in the bill:
Council Bill 2019-097. (Fisk)
A special ordinance amending the General Fund budget of the City of Springfield, Missouri, for Fiscal Year 2018-2019, by appropriating $1,100,000 in additional sales and use tax revenue received in the current fiscal year for the purpose of funding City inmates housed pursuant to a contract with Greene County.
4. ELECTION OF MAYOR PRO TEMPORE.
Jan Fisk does not run for another term. Nominates Phyllis Ferguson, who is elected unanimously when no other candidates are nominated.
5. CEREMONIAL MATTERS.
6. Council Bill 2019-090. (McClure)
A resolution recognizing Linda Charles for her thirty-one years of dedicated service as an employee of the City of Springfield.
Council approves 9-0.
7. CITY MANAGER REPORT AND RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE PREVIOUS CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS.
Councilwoman Ferguson asked if apartment dwellers on a second floor can get a rope ladder from the Fire Department and Jason Gage said he believes that is the case.
The Mayor congratulated Workforce Development on the recent Build My Future event that allowed students to investigate careers in construction and related fields.
8. SECOND READING AND FINAL PASSAGE. Citizens Have Spoken. May Be Voted On. Except Item No. 15. Council Bill 2019-078 Was Amended At The April 8, 2019 City Council Meeting. Citizens May Speak To Amendment Only. May Be Voted On. Item No. 16 For Council Bill 2019-086 Was Added To The Agenda At The April 8, 2019 Council Meeting.
9. 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.)
City Clerk Cotter noted a protest was filed but failed to reach the required amount of signatures.
Councilman McGill thanked Phelps Grove residents who support the bill coming out.
10. 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.)
11. 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.)
Passes 8-1, with Hosmer voting no.
12. 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.)
13. 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.)
14. 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.)
15. Amended Council Bill 2019-078. (Schilling) Was Amended At The April 8, 2019 Council Meeting. Citizens May Speak To Amendment Only. May Be Voted On.
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.)
Councilman Hosmer moves to require a 1000 foot distance between these facilities and schools or daycares. He points out that those who keep comparing these places to bars and pharmacies are being disingenuous in that bars are not open 24/7 and marijuana locations will not have a pharmacist on duty.
He said 1000 feet works in Colorado and Washington and provides a good guide for Missouri communities.
Councilwoman Fisk says he concern is child care facilities. City staff has asked that Councilman Hosmer to use the zoning law definition of child care centers because the state licensing doesn’t apply to some church daycares or things related to Missouri State.
Mary Lilly Smith said that the city uses the strictest definition for any measurement, so if a facility would fall under 200 feet and 1000 feet, the 1000 feet would be the standard for the city.
Fisk moves to remove the definition of childcare facilities from Hosmer’s motion so the state’s definition is used for the amendment.
Mayor McClure asks for confirmation on church groups or Missouri State’s childcare. Under the amendment, the Missouri State child care center would not be protected at all by any measure; church daycares would only be 200 feet away.
Under Hosmer’s bill, ALL child daycares would have the 1000 foot restriction.
Lear confirms that if they pass this change, and an unlicensed daycare today is then licensed, whether it would retroactively apply to marijuana businesses and it does not; that means any unlicensed facility would not be able to try and get licensed before the marijuana laws would go into effect.
Hosmer is noting the amendment would discriminate against religious childcare facilities. He notes there are over 6,000 parcels where these marijuana locations can be placed and only 24 in the city.
Fisk said she just wanted to make sure that no one could claim they were a childcare provider in their home to keep medical marijuana out of their neighborhood.
Fisk’s amendment fails 5-4.
Councilman McGull asks if Hosmer’s bill has a firm definition of a childcare center and staff responds it’s the current city zoning ordinances.
McGull is expressing concern that people downtown would not have a location for a dispensary. Staff highlighted downtown areas where a marijuana business could be located.
Hosmer’s amendment passes 6-3; Lear, Fisk and Simpson vote no.
Kim Andrews addresses council about the amendment.
She and her family are trying to get a dispensary. She said once she gets the license it’s not an easy thing to move. They have to get state permission to move, a debt-free facility and infill makes it hard to move. She claims that changing the laws later to allow moving closer it’s not easy to do.
Cynthia Northcutt addresses council.
She claims that when people drafted the Amendment to allow medical marijuana, the 1000 feet was meant for big areas like St. Louis or Kansas City, not places like Springfield.
She claims people aren’t going to invest in a dispensary and then move two years later so it’s not right to make the argument that if they use a 1000 feet and there are no problems they can reduce it later.
Desmond Morris addresses council.
He will be attempting to open a marijuana related business and is against Hosmer’s amendment.
He said that Hosmer noted in states where medical marijuana came first, causal use soon followed and that it’s an unfounded concern.
He said that he’s never found a child who’s been influenced by a medical marijuana dispensary in research he’s conducted on the matter.
He mentioned other cities like Kirksville (population 17,536 in 2017) which is considering 400 feet. Other cities mentioned were in the same general size range.
Kevin Ellison addresses council speaks to Council about security measures around marijuana dispensaries. He says no one will be going in that doesn’t have a card. He said if a patient gives it to someone who doesn’t have a patient card, they lose their card.
He said he has customers that are impacted by the law.
He said if cities have bigger distances, people look at other cities where the distance is smaller.
John Price addresses council.
He claims to be representing a group that is applying for dispensary licenses. He said it’s throwing “uncertainty” in their business plans for dispensary plans.
He said that after the licenses are issued in other states, lawsuits came from people saying a location isn’t valid for a marijuana facility or that the wrong person received the bill.
He claims that all churches likely have a facility that could fit as a childcare service. He said he called churches and spoke to 8 of them who had one childcare center open to the public, another that had a private one that’s not open to the public and two others referred him to other churches who have them.
He mentioned another church that said they planned to start one. (City staff said earlier that marijuana facilities established before a church’s daycare would not be impacted by the new church daycare as it would be grandfathered in under the law.)
He notes he has a client that want to go into a location that’s 200 feet from a church but not 1000 feet from a child daycare.
Councilman Hosmer asks the man speaking if his partner was involved with the drafting of the Amendment and he said yes and said he didn’t speak to his partner.
Hosmer says that people behind the Amendment are attempting a bait and switch by putting a 1000 foot separation in the Amendment and now trying to get it changed on a local level after voters approved the 1000 foot separation.
McGull said he’s concerned about the 1:1 ratio that was brought up that only person per employee would be allowed in a dispensary. He said that it would not be efficient and people would be in a line outside the facility waiting to get in.
Price claims that in other states there is not long lines in other states.
Chip Sheppard, who helped write the Amendment, addresses Council.
Sheppard is bringing up events like a “mother’s day out” at a church which is not covered under the law.
Sheppard claims that it’s impossible to check if every church has a daycare and that any business person will have to assume a church has a daycare and thus a 1,000 foot separation.
Public hearing is closed.
Public hearing continued at the next meeting in the Hosmer amendment.
16. Council Bill 2019-086. (Schilling) Was Added To The Agenda At The April 8, 2019 City Council Meeting.
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.)
City Clerk Cotter says because the previous bill is being held over, this bill will need to be tabled until the next meeting.
Councilman Hosmer moves to table the bill. Passes 9-0.
17. 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.
18. RESOLUTIONS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
19. Council Bill 2019-091. (Ferguson)
A resolution accepting a report on the status of all existing Tax Increment Financing plans within the City of Springfield, and determining that the redevelopment projects of each Tax Increment Financing District are making satisfactory progress under the proposed time schedule contained within their respective plans.
Public hearing closed.
20. Council Bill 2019-092. (Hosmer)
A resolution amending the 2019 Capital Improvements Program Plan, which identifies a schedule of public improvements for 2019 through 2024. (Planning and Zoning Commission and City staff recommend approval.)
Public hearing closed.
21. Council Bill 2019-093. (Hosmer)
A resolution endorsing the use of $750,000 in Comprehensive Housing Assistance Program Loan funds, with a modification of loan repayment terms and subject to the Rules and Regulations for the Comprehensive Housing Assistance Program, for the development of affordable housing, generally located at 1255 East Chestnut Expressway, to serve youth aging out of foster care. (Staff and Loan Committee recommend approval.)
Staff said there is a critical need for housing for youths who are aging out of the foster care system. They said there is a high rate of homelessness for youth exiting the foster care system in the area.
Annie Busch addresses council.
She said she has been working on homeless issues for years and was a co-chair of the homeless task force.
She said she used to think of homeless people as old men who wouldn’t work but had her eyes open when she worked with the task force. She said the highest chance of being homeless comes if you were homeless as a child and the highest rate of homelessness comes from youths that are homeless out of foster care.
She said affordable housing is a huge issue. She said this is a start, a model program that can be replicated.
She said that “young ladies at Rare Breed told me they would rather go home with a nice gentleman for a night than go to a shelter if they can find one.”
“This city could be a model for what could happen to our kids.”
This woman’s supporters in the crowd begin to loudly applaud; Mayor McClure gavels them down and reminds them that Council chamber rules require no response from those watching the proceedings.
Casey Ray of the Good Samaritan’s Boys Ranch addresses council.
He said it’s hard to find landlords that understand the process of working with the situation of kids coming out of foster care.
A young lady who said she aged out of foster care spoke to council. She said that she came to Springfield to go to college and without a co-signer, a parent or rental history she couldn’t find a place to live. She said she was 18, had a job, and ended up couch surfing and going home with people she shouldn’t just to live.
She said by “pure luck and fate” and offered her a place to live to build her life.
She said that a program like this would have helped her tremendously when she was 18 and it would help kids right now.
Public hearing closed.
Bill passes 9-0.
22. Council Bill 2019-094. (Ollis)
A resolution authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to apply for a Youth Homeless Demonstration Program Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, for a minimum amount of $1,000,000, for the purpose of developing and implementing a coordinated community plan to end youth homelessness.
A spokeswoman for Community Partnership of the Ozarks addressed council.
She said that Springfield is “program rich and system poor.” She said this grant would allow them to put systems in place to help youth in the community.
Public hearing closed.
23. Council Bill 2019-095. (McClure)
A resolution authorizing Councilmember Matthew Simpson to participate in a one-day mobility study tour of Northwest Arkansas, hosted by LaneShift, LLC.
Councilman Hosmer joked that it would encourage mobility if they made him walk to Northwest Arkansas.
29. FIRST READING BILLS. Citizens May Speak. Not Anticipated To Be Voted On.
30. Council Bill 2019-096. (Ollis)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding between the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the City of Springfield for the purpose of the Fire Department serving as a host agency for the International Association of Fire Chiefs International Fellowship Program.
The department will host firefighters from Saudi Arabia.
Vote in two weeks.
32. Council Bill 2019-098. (Fisk)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with Greene County to share in the costs related to the Accurint Crime Analysis software.
Republic dropped out of a three way cost sharing agreement for the software; this allows the city to split cost with the county.
Vote in two weeks.
33. Council Bill 2019-099. (Ferguson)
A general ordinance amending Springfield City Code Chapter 74 – ‘Nuisance and Housing Code,’ by revising Section 74-31, ‘City manager’s authority,’ subsection (b), Section 74-33, ‘Notice requirements,’ subsections (d)(4) and (5), Section 74-403, ‘Weeds over 12 inches in height declared nuisance,’ and Section 74-404, ‘Permitting growth of weeds over 12 inches in height,’ for the purpose of accelerating nuisance abatement; and, revising Section 74-406, ‘Charges for abatement by city,’ subsections (b) and (c) for the purpose of enhancing cost recovery.
Councilman McGull asked about how often the city responds to high weeds and staff estimated about 2,000 times a year.
Rusty Worley of the Neighborhood Advisory Council addresses Council.
“Chronic nuisance properties have been our number one problem for the Neighborhood Advisory Council for years.”
Vote in two weeks.
34. Council Bill 2019-100. (Simpson)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to execute a Preliminary Funding Agreement between the City of Springfield, Missouri, and RW Development, LLC; and amending the budget of the Department of Planning and Development for Fiscal Year 2018-2019, in the amount of $100,000, for the purpose of funding the preparation and review of certain documents related to utilizing public funding mechanisms.
Vote in two weeks.
35. Council Bill 2019-101. (Schilling)
A general ordinance authorizing the termination of the Downtown Springfield Special Business District and authorizing staff to complete the necessary steps to finalize termination of said District. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission recommend approval.)
Vote in two weeks.
36. Council Bill 2019-102. (Fisk)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 2, Section 2-92 of the Springfield City Code, known as the ‘Salary Ordinance,’ for the purpose of adding seven new job titles and deleting three job titles from the Professional, Administrative and Technical Salary Schedule.
Councilman Schilling issues an amendment to change a PAT-10 to a PAT-9 on line 72 of the bill.
Amendment adopted 9-0.
Vote in two weeks.
37. Council Bill 2019-103. (Hosmer)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield City Code, Chapter 2, Administration, Article VI, Finances, Division 4, Police Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System, by amending Section 2-455, ‘Amount of employee contributions; deductions from salary,’ by revising provisions regarding Police participants’ Additional Funding Contribution and Additional Three-Tenths Percent Multiplier and by amending Section 2-456, ‘Return of participant contributions upon leaving service or death’ by revising provisions regarding the return of contributions to certain Police participants.
The Mayor thanked all those involved for a “very fair and equitable discussion” on the matter.
Vote in two weeks.
38. Council Bill 2019-104. (Schilling, Hosmer, Ollis, And Simpson)
A general ordinance adopting Springfield City Code Chapter 70, ‘Licenses, Permits and Miscellaneous Business Regulations,’ Article XVIII, ‘Short-Term Loan Establishments,’ to establish regulations for short-term loan establishments, including a permit requirement and registration fee.
39. Council Bill 2019-104. Substitute No. 1. (Schilling, Hosmer, Ollis, And Simpson)
A general ordinance adopting Springfield City Code Chapter 70, ‘Licenses, Permits and Miscellaneous Business Regulations,’ Article XVIII, ‘Short-Term Loan Establishments,’ to establish regulations for short-term loan establishments.
Councilman McGull asked if the imprisonment part of the bill is used in St. Louis and Kansas City. The City Attorney said she didn’t have the bills with her but that without the measure there’s no way to really enforce the law and that judges don’t have to impose it.
The fee is considered a tax by law so that voters will have to approve the fee in the first measure.
There are 12 people signed up to speak; we will make notes if individual speakers bring up new information and not post repeats of the same information.
The first speaker said she’s met several women who spiraled into homelessness because of a payday loan. She said she knows other families that have split up because of the strain payday loans put on their families.
She said the fee is a way to keep some of the profit of the out-of-state companies who own these businesses here in Springfield. She notes these businesses contribute nothing to the community.
“I think if this were put before the voters that they would pass it overwhelmingly,” she tells Council.
A speaker brought up a number of talking points against payday loans and Mayor Ken McClure cut in and asked him how anything he said he had anything to the actual bills being discussed rather than an overall issue with payday loan businesses.
“You are asking us to address a problem for which we have no statutory ability,” the Mayor said in cutting off the speaker.
Councilman McGull praised the man’s organization for their efforts in the overall battle with short term lenders who gouge the poor.
Barbara Burgess said that because of a car title loan “I’ve paid for my car three times over” and that she’s facing foreclosure because of the payday loan. She said if she loses her car, she loses her job and then her home. She says she’s working four jobs.
Megan Short told Council she is concerned that the application of a fee on a business the community finds abhorrent poses a potential danger in the future in that fees could be imposed on any business such as construction businesses.
Public hearing closed.
Vote in two weeks.
Council adjourns on an 8-1 vote, with Councilman Hosmer as usual voting no.