Welcome to our live coverage of tonight’s Springfield City Council meeting. There are a lot of Galloway area residents in the house tonight.
Mayor McClure called the session to order 6:33 p.m. by asking those in attendance to remember the victims of the Virginia Beach shooting.
1. ROLL CALL.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. May 21, 2019 And May 28, 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.
Consent agenda passes unanimously.
4. CEREMONIAL MATTERS.
5. CITY MANAGER REPORT AND RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE PREVIOUS CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS.
City Manager Jason Gage noted the flags at the city are at half-mast for the victims of the shooting and that it hits city staff particularly hard because of the nature of the incident.
He noted the 2019-2020 HUD proposal for the city is available for public comment.
Councilman Simpson mentioned that between OTC, MSU and Drury that over 10,000 students have obtained their higher education degrees and noted many want to stay and be a part of the community.
City Manager Gage said the city always needs new members for committees to provide “new eyes, new ideas.”
Mayor McClure said that many of the Springfield Lasers team has many members at the French Open right now, will be heading to Wimbledon and then coming to Springfield.
6. SECOND READING AND FINAL PASSAGE. Citizens Have Spoken. May Be Voted On. Council Bill 2019-111 Was Tabled At The May 20, 2019 City Council Meeting. For Council Bill 2019-119, Public Hearing Is Being Continued. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
7. Council Bill 2019-111. (Ferguson) Tabled At The May 20, 2019 City Council Meeting.
A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation, by rezoning 5 acres of property, generally located at 3303 West Division Street from LI, Light Industrial District to CS, Commercial Service District; establishing Conditional Overlay District No. 171; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission recommend approval.) (By: Jet View, LLC; 3303 W. Division Street; Z-10-2019 w/Conditional Overlay District No. 171.)
A protest petition was received for this bill, so six votes are required for passage of the bill.
Councilwoman Ferguson asked staff about whether the tiny homes that could be put on the new property would be unable to be the same size as the East Springfield location or could allow FEMA trailers.
Staff said they would not be permitted in a commercial services district. They said that they are aware of whatever would be placed there would have to be an RV type trailer, smaller than the definition of a manufactured home.
Councilman Ollis noted there is an item on the agenda about tiny homes and that it would come after this vote, referring the matter to a committee. The law department said that whatever happens in the committee it cannot be imposed retroactively as it is currently written.
Ollis said the council could clear up issues in the future with the changes to policy that could be discussed in committee. Staff said yes, that could happen.
Councilman Simpson asked if Eden Village was spoken to about the fact tiny homes could not be placed there and staff said EV staff replied they could comply with the zoning ordinance.
Councilman McGull said “when we design a city, we have an idea of what’s going to develop there. When we start to mix and match intent…I don’t think that area has really changed. It’s still light industrial there. When we change zoning, we change the whole scheme. It kind of conflicts with new property owners there.”
Councilman Lear noted that staff believes the rezoning is a wise step down in the zoning for the area and he agrees with staff on this zoning issue.
“I have not heard any testimony that persuades me that this project would not work well,” Lear said.
Councilman Ferguson said the council has to look at the overall issue versus what could be an end project. She noted that in several cases, having residential next to light industrial could be a issue. She said it’s not conducive to the city’s overall plan.
“We have to do what’s best for the residents, where they live, where it is in our communing and zoning and how we’re to look at that,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson moved to table the bill until plans and policies comes forward with plans for tiny homes for the Council to consider.
The city attorney was asked about tabling indefinitely and she said it should have a date. It can be re-tabled if the issue is not back from the committee. There are also issues with how long a zoning case can be tabled. She suggests to only table it for a single meeting until she can research and advise council on how long it can be tabled.
City Manager Gage said it would depend on if a moratorium would have to go in place.
Ferguson withdrew her first motion and made another motion to table the bill until June 17, 2019. McGull seconds.
The tabling passes 5-4, Schilling, Hosmer, Ollis and Lear all vote no on the tabling of the bill.
8. Council Bill 2019-119. (Ferguson) Public Hearing Is Being Continued. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
A special ordinance approving a Petition to Amend and Restate the Petition to Establish the Commercial Street Community Improvement District and directing the City Clerk to notify the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Greene County Clerk of the amendments. (Staff and the Commercial Street Community Improvement District Board of Directors recommend approval.)
Former Councilwoman Mary Collette addressed Council.
Councilman Hosmer recused himself from the vote.
Vote is 8-0 with Hosmer abstained.
9. Council Bill 2019-120. (McClure)
A special ordinance adopting a budget for the City of Springfield, Missouri, for the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2020; appropriating those certain amounts shown in the budget for the various departments and purposes specified in said budget; and declaring an emergency.
10. Council Bill 2019-121. (Fisk)
A special ordinance setting a preliminary tax levy on real and personal property for current expenses and debt retirement of the City of Springfield, Missouri, and its boards and agencies for the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2020; and declaring an emergency.
This is the budget companion bill to set the tax levy.
The mayor thanked the City Manager and staff for their work preparing the budget.
“The staff made it pretty easy,” Gage said.
11. Council Bill 2019-122. (Simpson)
A special ordinance declaring the necessity of condemning rights-of-way over, under, and through the following properties generally located near Battlefield and Fremont: 1417 East Woodland Street, 2800 South Fremont Avenue, 2814 South Fremont Avenue, 2900 South Fremont Avenue, and 1415 East Battlefield Road in the City of Springfield, Missouri; authorizing certain officers, or their designees, to do all things necessary to carry out the terms of this Ordinance for the purpose of completing the Battlefield Road and Fremont Avenue Intersection Improvement and Fremont Avenue Widening (Battlefield Road to Sunset Street) Project #2013PW0019T funded through the ¼-Cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax.
12. Council Bill 2019-123. (Ferguson)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a contract for the purchase of land generally located at 1824 West College Street, for the purpose of constructing Fire Station 13, and to execute all necessary documents in support thereof. (Planning and Zoning Commission approved this Request to Acquire, and staff recommends approval.)
13. Council Bill 2019-124. (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,’ Section 74-404, ‘Permitting growth of weeds over 12 inches in height,’ Section 74-405, ‘Abatement procedure, subsection (b); 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.
Councilwoman Ferguson thanked staff for getting the bill ready so nuisance properties can be taken care of in an expedited manner.
14. RESOLUTIONS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
15. Council Bill 2019-128. (McGull)
A resolution adopting the Springfield, Missouri, Walkability Guide, which identifies guidelines and fundamental elements of a walkable environment that can be used to increase walkability in the City of Springfield.
Staff said there are four main goals:
Staff shared about a trip they took to examine walkability in the Atlanta area.
Susie Turner addresses Council, current Ozark Greenways President and speaking for the group.
She is in favor of the measure. She wants Springfield to make the walkability program a priority for the city.
Ryan Mooney speaks to Council. He is with the Chamber of Commerce. He is in favor of the measure.
Addison Jones addresses Council. He called himself an example of that talent that the Chamber wants to keep in Springfield and says a walkable neighborhood is important to him. He said that he and his wife got rid of one of their two cars because they could walk downtown. Said it saved money they could put back in the local economy.
Amy Blansitt addresses Council. She is in favor of the measure.
Greg Morton addresses Council. He is in favor of the measure.
Laurel Bryant address Council. She is in favor of the measure. She spoke about her blind mother and how walkability has helped her get around the community.
She said lighting in the city is above the tree canopy making walking areas dark at night.
Public hearing closed.
Councilman Simpson says walkability makes a huge difference for OTC.
Councilwoman Fisk thanked those involved in the walkability committee and those involved with the resolution. She noted the passion among the members.
Councilman Ollis thanked the Springfield Walkability team.
“They have done a tremendous job putting all of this together,” Ollis said.
Councilwoman Ferguson says that many in Zone 1 have to walk because they don’t have other options and is thankful these proposals can benefit them but she also noted a culture of walkability that benefits the city.
16. Council Bill 2019-129. (Simpson)
A resolution designating the Sequiota Store/Treadway’s General Store & Gas Station, generally located at 3535 South Lone Pine Avenue, as a Historic Site on the Springfield Historic Register.
Mary Lilly Smith spoke to Council.
She called this the “lowest level of protection” for a property. It requires the landowner to go the landmark board for changes and if the board doesn’t approve, the city will issue the permission to make the changes. For example, demolition could be done despite the landmark board’s objection.
Councilman Ollis asked staff if the city has had previous designations when the landowner did not ask for it and Smith said not in the last 20 years. (The owner of the property does NOT want the designation of the building as historical.)
Councilman Schilling was asking about other properties in the area that are seeking the designation and staff said none of them are seeking it.
Betsy Johnson addresses Council. Vice President of Galloway Village Neighborhood Association. She thanked Matthew Simpson for his “dedication to our neighborhood.” She said the building was built in 1929.
Said the design is characteristic of the “rural small town life.” She said this is the only remaining building of this structure in Sequiota. The stone buildings behind are reminiscent of classic Route 66 structures.
Councilman McGull asked if she was part of the negotiations with the landowner. If anyone with the neighborhood association reached out to the landowner before making this application and she said no. She said they’re reaching out now after the measure was proposed.
Another speaker named Jackie addresses Council.
Councilman Lear asked if other landowners have approached them about being historical. She said no landowners in their neighborhood have done so as of yet. Lear asked if there are other buildings they want to go after and she named a few.
Marcie Kirkup, current Galloway Village neighborhood association president, addresses Council. She said she wanted to clear up an earlier statement by saying they have sent an invitation to the landowner to talk to them but it just has not happened yet for a variety of reasons, including being a volunteer group and a moratorium in the area.
Ron Bowles addresses Council. He is in favor of the designation.
Ray Bergstrom addresses Council. He currently lives in Rogersville but his wife was born in the area. He is in favor of the designation.
Wendy Huscher addresses Council. Treasurer of the neighborhood association. She is in favor of the designation and is disputing information in the letter from the landowner objecting to the designation. She claims he bought the land knowing there was “significant opposition” to his plans.
Melanie Bock addresses Council. Member of the association. She said residents didn’t understand a blight designation in the area and what it would allow developers to do. She is in favor of the measure.
Kaitlyn McConnell addresses Council. She is on the Landmark Board and is representing the board on their recommendation. She said the items that reached her as a board member was its location next to Sequiota Park, which is a landmark and gathering place. She also said the building fits the criteria of being unique to that community’s development, and noted that until about 50 years ago Galloway was a separate town.
Councilman Hosmer asked if the designation earns them historical tax credits and staff said no, this designation has no bearing.
Councilman Lear asked about the building being added on to and the roof modernized, and asked when a building is no longer historical because of changes and improvements.
McConnell replied it qualifies to her on the emotional ties, if not necessarily on the architectural grounds.
Councilman Simpson asked if the Landmarks Board was presented with a proposal to change the structure, how they would respond. McConnell said there are regulations about what can be done to a structure after designation, so it would depend on the changes but they would not be in favor of dramatic changes to the exterior from this point on.
Mitchell Jenkins addresses council. He is the property owner. He talked about his love of Galloway Village and how he proposed to his wife in Sequiota Park four years ago.
He said that he held neighborhood meetings, including one that had to be stopped because it was so hostile and they were verbally attacked. He said that he’s been told by residents who want the designation they are not interested in meeting with him.
He noted that neighborhood association noted they felt they had been listened to because the bike shop being kept was in their plan.
He said the neighborhood association has not worked in good faith and that he opposes the measure as this is a threat to property rights in the city.
“As owner of this property, I neither initated or endorse this,” he said. “Despite being slandered by the neighborhood association…we are willing to meet with them.”
Councilwoman Ferguson asked if the property was for sale and he confirmed that it is for sale. He said it’s on sale during an administrative delay because they’re funding debt service when they “don’t have opportunity to lease it at current rates.”
Ferguson asked if there’s anything that can be done to persuade him. He said with the property for sale, it would be hard for him to be for anything which could hamper potential sales to developers. He said developers are very few and far between who want to preserve. He said most developments are from the ground up.
Councilman Lear said the designation is basically a 60 day cooling off period, so he asked what the practical purpose of it would be if passed. The landowner said that what this would do is that the neighborhood association would wait to then file on another of their four properties in the area, causing another 60 day delay, and continue to drag things out.
Councilman Hosmer asked if the blight designation was one of the reasons they bought the property. The landowner said he wasn’t familiar with the designation at the time. Hosmer said that the landowner’s had the land for six months while the building’s been there for 90 years and he should understand why some people are mad. Hosmer said his concern is that some of the things that draw people to Galloway like the park is being lost by the buildings being lost to apartment complexes.
Hosmer says all this does is make him wait 60 days before removing a building that would be gone forever. Hosmer says he understands as a landowner Jenkins wants to be able to do what he wants with his property, but he would love to have him think about it.
Councilman McGull said it sounded like he was not given an opportunity to sit down with the people who are demanding this be made a historical site. He said there might be a place to people to talk if the Council provides an opportunity for that to happen. McGull said his experience with historical designations is from New Orleans and the historical association down there is strong.
The landowner said with having the property to sale, “it’s very challenging to me with the hope of selling the property to agree to historical components that could hamper a future developer.”
Public hearing is closed.
Mayor McClure asked the city attorney about whether tabling is not an opportunity. She said that Council has to vote on the measure at the meeting after the Landmark Board’s action.
Fisk asked about a comprehensive plan for Galloway. Staff said there is no comprehensive plan, but a moratorium on combining lots. The delay expires in August or September, a July 23rd council lunch is scheduled to discuss it.
She asked if the area was made a historic district, then if all the buildings in the area would be impacted. Staff said that if designated, a property would go through the full zoning process and including Landmark Board consideration. The district designation is much more restrictive than what is being discussed tonight. For example, changing windows in a building a historic district has to be reviewed by the Landmark Board.
Fisk that it seems to be moving fast, “putting the cart before the horse” and is very disappointed that this is being done against the landowner’s wishes and wished they could have come together to find a solution.
Councilman Ollis supports historic preservation and that more needs to be done in the community. He also thinks that Galloway area should be preserved. He said that he also owns a home and commercial business, and if he got a notice that someone else applied for historic designation on his property without his knowledge, he would be frustrated and offended.
He said an effective process was not put forward here and if he was the landowner, he would be very frustrated. Because of that, he will not support the resolution tonight.
McGull said from listening to the comments, he sees strong sentiment about the community and he respects it. He said is hometown of New Orleans people want to preserve that way of life. He said a historic district should be done if that’s what people want, so everyone knows ahead of time if you buy property, you have to meet requirements.
Councilman Simpson said he’s supporting it because of the landmark board’s recommendation. He said in the future that people should at least talk to the landowner before applications are made for historical status.
Councilman Lear said that the reason this moratorium was done was “to avoid these kind of piecemeal things.” He wished it could be tabled. He asked staff if it were denied, if it could be brought back up.
Staff said nothing in the landmark ordinance addresses that, so general Council regulations can apply.
“No ordinance is going to soothe over hard feelings and lack of discussion,” Lear said. He’s still going to vote yes, though, because of the Landmark Board’s action.
Mayor McClure asked when the application was filed. Staff said March 20. McClure noted 7 designations in 20 years, all of those with the landowners in agreement. If the Council passes it, the Council is setting a new precedent in doing this against the landowners wishes.
Councilwoman Ferguson asked if under the old comprehensive plan if this kind of issue was addressed. Mary Lilly Smith said she remembers discussion in the early 2000s but it wasn’t part of the comprehensive plan and she didn’t think it discussed historical preservation.
Ferguson said she feels rushed and that it’s also an issue of property rights, but she also appreciates historical nature. She asked staff if the landowner came to apply for demolition, would the clock start ticking. Staff said no, it would have to go the Landmark Board, and at that point the clock starts ticking, and it could take a month to get to the Landmark Board. Ferguson said “this could be a 90 day delay” and staff agreed.
Councilman Hosmer again asked if the landowner needs to agree and staff said many times a landowner in a historical area want to make changes but can’t because of the designation. Hosmer said asked if he can make changes and staff said he would need a building permit. Hosmer said the landowner can tear down the property anyway, it would just delay.
Hosmer said that the people wanting it went to the city body that recommends this issue and that Council “doesn’t need to override” the Landmark Board.
The Mayor noted that the building today “looks nothing like” the other building. He said that it’s disrespectful to the property owner to move for this designation without notifying the property owner. He said it’s a dangerous precedent to set.
The vote is 5-4 in favor, but Mayor McClure’s vote is being registered as being in favor. Mayor McClure says there is a mistake on the vote, as the mayor’s vote was recorded as being in favor of the measure, when he did not intend to vote in favor.
Mayor McClure moves to reconsider. Councilman Hosmer asked if the reconsideration can be done at the same session. Legal said it has to be done in the same session and can be debated.
Councilman Ollis asked for clarification, that an error was made. McClure said yes, and that’s why the motion is made. Motion to reconsider passes 7-2, with Schilling and Hosmer voting no.
So the reconsidered vote on the measure is taken and the bill is not approved 5-4, with Simpson, Schilling, Hosmer and Lear voting in favor of the designation.
21. COUNCIL BILLS FOR PUBLIC HEARING. Citizens May Speak. Not Anticipated To Be Voted On.
22. Council Bill 2019-130. (Simpson)
A general ordinance amending the Official Map of the City of Springfield, Missouri, adopted pursuant to General Ordinance 1478, by changing the name of the 3000 to 3100 block of East Farm Road 188 to the 6400 to 6500 block of South Innovation Avenue. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.)
23. Council Bill 2019-131. (Ferguson)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning 1.69 acres of property, generally located at 1820, 1830, 1834 and 1838 North Nixon Avenue, from a R-TH, Residential Townhouse District to RI, Restricted Industrial District and establishing Conditional Overlay District No. 173. (Staff recommends denial and Planning and Zoning Commission recommend approval.) (By: A&D Group LLC; 1820, 1830, 1834 and 1838 North Nixon Avenue; Z-12-2019 w/COD No. 173.)
Councilman McGull asked if this would be “a buffer.” Staff said yes.
The property owner across the street to west and is wanting it rezoned to create a proper buffer between heavy industrial and residential areas.
He hopes the move can help elevate the property values of the area.
Councilman McGull asked what buildings are on the property. Proposed landowner said an abandoned trailer house and a three car garage and the sale to him is contingent on the rezoning.
Councilman Schilling asked staff about what appeared to be a dead end road and staff said it was a “paper road” that’s platted but not built.
24. FIRST READING BILLS. Citizens May Speak. Not Anticipated To Be Voted On.
25. Council Bill 2019-132. (Fisk)
A special ordinance approving the Second Amendment to Article 18 – ‘Wages,’ of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City and the Springfield Police Officers’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 22, and authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to acknowledge and deliver the Second Amendment on behalf of the City to the Bargaining Unit; and declaring an emergency.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
26. Council Bill 2019-133. (Ollis)
A special ordinance approving the Collective Bargaining Agreement by and between the City and the Bargaining Unit of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local No. 753 affiliated with the AFL-CIO, by authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to acknowledge and deliver the Collective Bargaining Agreement on behalf of the City to the Bargaining Unit; and declaring an emergency.
Councilman Ollis noted an incorrect exhibit was attached initially and the correct exhibit is now available, so he moved to amend by attaching the new exhibit 1.
Amendment passes 9-0.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
27. Council Bill 2019-134. (McClure)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield City Code, Chapter 2, Article III, Division 1, Section 2.92, known as the ‘Salary Ordinance,’ relating to salary grades for various job titles within the City service as contained in the Professional, Administrative and Technical Schedule and the Crafts, Trades and Labor Schedule, by making provision for twelve new job titles and by deleting seven job titles; by establishing the Crafts, Trades and Labor Non-Union Schedule and providing pay adjustments for employees on the Crafts, Trades and Labor Non-Union Schedule; by providing pay adjustments for employees on the Professional, Administrative and Technical Schedules, as well as for certain non-union salary grades in the Fire Protection and Law Enforcement Schedules; by amending General Ordinance 6459, Section 6 and General Ordinance 5432, Section 3 relating to the Law Enforcement Schedule and Fire Protection Schedule, respectively; by amending General Ordinance 6288, Section 9 relating to educational allowance by eliminating the eligibility of Police Major to receive educational allowance; and by declaring an emergency.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
28. Council Bill 2019-135. (Schilling)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into an agreement with the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc., in the amount of $3,755,400, for the purpose of promoting travel and tourism within the City of Springfield.
29. Council Bill 2019-136. (Hosmer)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into an agreement with the Greater Springfield Area Sports Commission, Inc., in the amount of $91,500, for the purpose of promoting the attraction of sporting events to the community.
Public hearing on both bills closed. Vote in two weeks.
30. Council Bill 2019-137. (Lear)
A special ordinance approving the Annual Maintenance Contract for Traffic Signals for Fiscal Year 2019-2020; accepting the bid of Ewing Signal Construction, LLC, in the amount of $149,035.00; and authorizing the City Manager to enter into a contract with such bidder for the purpose of maintaining the City’s traffic signal infrastructure.
Councilman McGull asked if this money is going to be used to synchronize traffic lights. Staff said it contributes to that.
Public hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
31. Council Bill 2019-138. (Ferguson)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to approve the plans and specifications of the Environmental Services Parking and Material Storage Building Project, to accept the bid of $620,000.00, and to enter into a contract with Branco Enterprises, Inc., for completion of the Project.
Public hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
33. NEW BUSINESS.
The Mayor recommends the following appointment to the Springfield/Greene County Public Library Board: Tez Ward with term to expire July 1, 2022.
Refer to the Plans and Policies Committee the topics of tiny homes, tiny home communities, and campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks.
Council adjourns 8-1, Hosmer as usual voting no.
Thanks for joining us for an eventful evening!