The Springfield City Council viewed a presentation by city staff at their weekly council lunch concerning the moratorium on the Galloway area and staff recommendations for moving forward with redevelopment.
The staff presented a report to council with a number of recommendations, but noted that many of the issues facing Galloway are “city wide issues” that would be best managed by the Comprehensive Planning process the city has already begun to develop.
“The public engagement process itself has been of great value. We estimate more than 500 people have participated in providing input over the past six months,” said Senior Planner Olivia Hough. “Although there’s been controversy over the level of development that should occur, we have had an overall positive response to this engagement effort, and many common goals for the area have been established. It has been great to see how many people love Galloway and are committed to helping shape its future in our community.”
The report showed city staff’s major recommendations focused on public safety, environmental safety, and image enhancement.
The city held stakeholder and public meetings with residents of the area to discuss what they wanted to see happen in their community, finding several common themes including:
- Preserving the village atmosphere of the area
- Increasing pedestrian and cyclist safety
- Expanding and improving Ozark Greenway trails
- Preserve the natural environment, especially the tree canopy
- Protect Sequiota Park
- Make sure new construction and architectural changes fit the neighborhood surroundings
City staff’s examination of public safety for the corridor suggested a number of changes, including pushing forward on the Battlefield/Lone Pine interchange improvements suggested by voters in the Capital Improvement tax votes; installing a physical barrier between the road and hiking trails, especially along Lone Pine; maintain safety of the Galloway Trail and address quality issues with the oldest trail in the Ozark Greenways system; and determine ways to manage flooding in the area.
The report from city staff also recommended expansion of amenities in Sequiota Park, such as planting of trees and focus on maintaining water quality and the tree canopy of the area, and also developing “pocket parks” along the trail where residents can engage in activities like picnicking.
While the staff did indicate major issues such as zoning changes should be handled through the Comprehensive Plan, they also suggested under the guise of “Image Enhancement” limiting size and placement of signs, the type of businesses who can be in the area, parking lot placements, and limiting the amount the land can be moved to protect the “rocky, sloped topography” of the area.
Should Council choose to adopt the recommendations of staff, it would then be the city’s policy paper for the area. The moratorium in the area ends on August 2, 2019.