Springfield City Council LIVE August 26, 2019

Welcome to tonight’s live coverage of Springfield City Council’s August 26th meeting!

City Council Meeting: City Council meets every other Monday at 6:30 pm in Historic City Hall, Springfield MO.

Posted by City of Springfield, MO – Connect with SGF on Monday, August 26, 2019

The meeting is called to order at 6:32 p.m. by Mayor Ken McClure.

1. ROLL CALL.

Councilmember Richard Ollis is not in attendance tonight.

2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. August 12, 2019 City Council Meeting And August 20, 2019 Special 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.

Consent agenda passes 8-0.

Councilman Schilling moves to add the following to the agenda:

Council Bill 2018-203.  (Schilling) 

A resolution directing the City of Springfield, Missouri, to withdraw as a member of the Missouri Clean Energy District created pursuant to the “Property Assessment Clean Energy Act;” and directing the City Clerk to send a certified copy of this Resolution to the Board of Missouri Clean Energy District.

Documents: 2019-203.PDF

Council adds the item on an 8-0 vote.

4. CEREMONIAL MATTERS.

5. Council Bill 2019-194. (City Council)
A resolution recognizing the Springfield Lasers for winning the 2019 World TeamTennis Championship.
Documents:

  1. 2019-194.PDF

The staff and management of the team are being individually honored in front of Council.

Councilman Schilling wishes good luck to Lasers players currently in the U.S. Open and reminds citizens of the “world class facility at Cooper Tennis Complex.”

Councilwoman Ferguson agreed many people do not realize the asset the Lasers are to the community.

The Mayor shared his praise of the team.

Resolution passes 8-0.

6. CITY MANAGER REPORT AND RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE PREVIOUS CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS.

City Manager Gage talked about the “PulsePoint” app that connects those who know CPR with people in need of CPR and how it’s saved lives in Springfield.

Gage mentioned revenue down last month compared to the previous year.

“It’s still really early in the year,” Gage said in noting this budget year’s revenue is behind projections but over the last 12 months is ahead of projection.

Gage called the launch of the Forward SGF planning process a “success” and the Mayor commented with his agreement and thanked staff who made the event take place.

7. SECOND READING AND FINAL PASSAGE. Citizens Have Spoken. May Be Voted On.

8. Council Bill 2019-184. (Schilling)
A special ordinance vacating approximately 1.15 acres of public right-of-way between the 4600 and 4700 block of South Lyon and Campbell Avenue. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval with conditions.)
Documents: 2019-184.PDF

Passes 8-0.

9. Council Bill 2019-185. (McGull)
A special ordinance authorizing the issuance of Conditional Use Permit No. 437 for the purpose of allowing an electronic message center sign in the R-SF, Residential Single-Family District, generally located at 1551 East Portland Street.
Documents: 2019-185.PDF

Passes 8-0.

10. Council Bill 2019-186. (Ferguson)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning 0.17 acres of property, generally located at 613, 615, and 617 West Division Street, from R-SF, Single-Family Residential District to LB, Limited Business District; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: Alfred and Sandra Mase; 613, 615, and 617 West Division Street; Z-17-2019.)
Documents: 2019-186.PDF

City Clerk Cotter noted there was a protest petition but it fell well short of the requirement to mandate a super majority.

Councilman McGull discloses that his wife has an interest in land connected to this measure but is voting because the measure impacts all landowners connected to the route.

Passes 8-0.

11. Council Bill 2019-187. (Ferguson)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning 25.3 acres of properties generally located at the 2200 Block of North Golden Avenue and the 3200 Block of West Turner Street, from LI, Light Industrial District to HM, Heavy Manufacturing District, subject to certain conditions; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (By: Doing Leasing & Equipment LLC; 2200 Block of North Golden Avenue & 3200 Block of West Turner Street; Z-16-2019.)
Documents: 2019-187.PDF

Pasees 8-0

12. Council Bill 2019-188. (Ferguson)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning 18.02 acres of property, generally located at 1024 North West By-Pass, from R-SF, Single Family Residential District and GM, General Manufacturing District to HM, Heavy Manufacturing District; establishing Conditional Overlay District No. 174; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: South Campbell Investments LLC; 1024 North West By-Pass; Z-13-2019 w/Conditional Overlay District No. 174.)
Documents: 2019-188.PDF

Passes 8-0

13. Council Bill 2019-189. (Ollis, Lear, Hosmer, And McGull)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 98 of the City Code, Article VII, ‘Encroachments on City Property,’ sections 98-323 and 98-325; and amending Chapter 36 of the City Code, Article III, ‘Zoning Regulations,’ Division 5, ‘Supplemental District Regulations,’ section 36-454; for the purpose of modifying the City’s sign regulations to allow for the administrative approval of certain encroachments on City right-of-way, modifying the insurance requirements for certain encroachments, and increasing the authorized size of certain signs. (Recommended by Plans and Policies Committee.)
Documents: 2019-189.PDF

14. RESOLUTIONS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On. Except Item No. 15. Council Bill 2019-180 Was Tabled At The August 12, 2019 City Council Meeting. Citizens Have Spoken. May Be Voted On. Council Bill 2019-203 Is Being Added As A Possible Addition To The City Council Agenda; However, A Determination Of Whether It Will Be Added Will Be Made By City Council At The Meeting.

15. Council Bill 2019-180. (Simpson) Tabled At The August 12, 2019 City Council Meeting. Citizens Have Spoken. May Be Voted On.

A resolution granting a Short-Term Rental Type 2 Permit for the property located at 4553 South Graystone Court, for the purpose of allowing the establishment of a Short-Term Rental Type 2 pursuant to General Ordinance 6497.
Documents: 2019-180.PDF

This measure was tabled at the last meeting because of issues related to notification of surrounding property owners. At one point the landowner had the required number of signatures; it was then under the number due to a technicality.

Councilman Lear said he is firmly behind supporting the petitioner. He said that when the law was passed, there was concern for protecting landowners and in this situation landowners are protected.

“The issue is that one out of four signatures has not been obtained,” Lear said. “I think this is an example of why we put an appeal to Council in the bill.”

He said surrounding landowners who did not respond were businesses who were renting properties and that their businesses are not negatively impacted by this resolution.

Councilman McGull agrees with Lear, noting that landowners need to be vigilant about their properties. He said he’s concerned that landowners did not respond; showing no interest at all in their neighborhood. He said there is no protests at all against the property.

He called it “our obligation as Americans” to be attentive to property issues in our neighborhoods.

Councilman Simpson agrees with Lear that this is the kind of case the appeals process to Council was created and this landowner has done all they could reasonably ask them to do for this situation.

He said that Council needs to consider how to handle those who are non-responsive.

Councilman Schilling asked staff is anything new came to staff after the bill was tabled two weeks ago. Staff said there is no new information.

Councilwoman Ferguson concurred with fellow Councilmembers. She noted she asked the measure to be tabled and staff addressed her concerns. She said that the assessor provided addresses, “the best known process”, and that no letters were returned. She apologized if there was any issue for the property owner.

Hosmer said he’s voting against it. He says the ordinance says if you don’t send something back you approve, it says “if you don’t get 55%, you don’t get the short term rental.” He said the ordinance “doesn’t envision” what’s happening in this case.

Councilwoman Fisk said “this is going to be one of many scenarios” the Council will have to consider. She says they should required return receipt on letters sent for this measure so it can be known if the letters arrived to landowners. Staff noted that other city letters sent are not done in that manner.

McGull addresses Hosmer’s comments by saying he sees Hosmer’s point of view and at one point agreed with it. McGull says he sees this has a way to “game the system” by not returning something rather than responding. McGull says people in the neighborhood need to be encouraged to voice their opinion.

Hosmer asks staff if the neighbors are told to submit something if they don’t agree as they do if they agree. Staff said the neighbors don’t get the form that needs to be signed, they get a letter invited to a neighborhood meeting. The landowner wanting the rental takes the consent form to the meeting.

“If they choose not to go to that neighborhood meeting, they have no idea of they can consent or not?” Hosmer asked. Staff agreed.

Lear notes the landowners not responding are rental property owners, real estate business owners who are not regulated at all, that didn’t respond and not the people living in those properties.

The Mayor thanked staff for answering questions.

Passes 7-1, Hosmer voting no.

16. Council Bill 2019-195. (McGull)
A resolution designating the J.H. Hinerman Home, located at 1051 South Pickwick Avenue, as a Historic Site on the Springfield Historic Register.
Documents: 2019-195.PDF

Hosmer recuses himself.

The property owner asked for the designation, which means the landowner must get Landmark Board approval for outside structural changes or wait 60 days for their permit. Landmarks Board approved of the measure 5-0.

Councilwoman Ferguson asked for clarification that it was on the main dwelling or if it covers the entire property. Staff said it includes accessory structures.

Amy Boyd addresses Council on the measure. She is the landowner.

She said that running the carriage house as an AirBnB would allow the landowner to keep stricter control on the quality of renter.

McGull asked for clarification on the designation for the overall property and was told it is for the parcel.

Simpson said the outbuilding does not qualify even if the land is given historical designation because of the date it was constructed after 1940.

Councilwoman Fisk said the landowner has done a great job restoring the property and is deferring to the Landmarks Board on it and is inclined to improve because the landowner wants the designation as well.

Public hearing is closed.

McGull said the only issue is the Landmark Board designation and unlike other cases the landowner is wanting this designation. Because the landmark board approved and the landowner wants it, he’s supporting it.

Mayor McClure said the neighborhood needs to be looked at for historical designation.

“I don’t want to tell the Landmarks board what to do,” McClure said, “But they may want to look at the area.”

Resolution passes 7-1, with Schilling voting no.

17. Council Bill 2018-203. (Schilling)

A resolution directing the City of Springfield, Missouri, to withdraw as a member of the Missouri Clean Energy District created pursuant to the “Property Assessment Clean Energy Act;” and directing the City Clerk to send a certified copy of this Resolution to the Board of Missouri Clean Energy District.
Documents: 2019-203.PDF

Staff notes that the Greene County Commission has withdrawn from the agreement.

Councilman Simpson asked if this is just residential or if it applies to commercial properties as well.

Councilman Schilling, who initially proposed this to the city, is moving to withdraw. He notes that liens are being placed against property owners and other items that were unforeseen problems that necessitate the removal from the program.

The Springfield-Greene County Environmental Board recommended withdrawal from the agreement.

City Manager Gage said it would be beneficial to be in sync with Greene County on this measure and to honor Councilman Schilling’s desire to withdraw.

Matt Wine addresses Council opposing the measure. He feels the commercial side benefits the community and withdrawal from the district will benefit residential landowners but hurt commercial.

He has a $51 million development that would be impacted that he feels would be good for the city.

Jeff Barber addresses council. He is an architect. He has “followed PACE, very attentively.” He said he was with the governor when the measure was signed and here when there was a unanimous vote to approve it.

“Standing up for PACE, and residential PACE, is very difficult,” he told Council.

He mentioned to the Council about a number of projects bringing solar to homes in the community and county. He acknowledged there are liens on properties but “they can be cleared at closing.”

McGull notes there are serious allegations including no economic reports being provided.

“You have direct benefit from this, but we have accountability issues,” McGull said.

Barber disclosed that he has recently been appointed to the Missouri Clean Energy District. He said that he does not benefit from the district.

He said he’s seen the concerns but isn’t sure that’s grounds to “throw the whole thing out.”

Schilling noted that PACE appears to not be following the law on accountability.

“It’s really a red flag,” Schilling said.

“We should give them some reprimand and some instruction,” Barber said.

Councilwoman Ferguson said that the residential component wasn’t quite ready and perhaps they need to go back, revamp it, and then bring it forward again.

Barber is now bringing up the fires in the Amazon and climate change.

He said the biggest solar installer in the area came from Houston, Missouri to Springfield.

The Mayor notes that banks are not notified about PACE loans.

Barber is suggesting that the council find a replacement measure.

“You’re going to tell a $51 million development to go fly a kite?” Barber said.

He called the measure a “hastily, Friday-afternoon placed resolution.”

City Manager Jason Pace said it’s a resolution, so it’s easy to get back in with another resolution after changes are made to PACE.

Councilman Simpson said he will be moving to table the measure to look at commercial development related issues.

The Mayor said if the motion is made, that serious looks need to be taken at the residential problems.

“Residential cannot continue the way it is,” Mayor McClure said.

Councilman Simpson moves to table the measure until the September 23rd meeting. The tabling passes 8-0.

18. EMERGENCY BILLS. Citizens May Speak. Be Voted On.
19. Council Bill 2019-196. (Hosmer)
A special ordinance amending Special Ordinance 27186 and Special Ordinance 27187, for the purpose of reflecting the final assessed valuation of real and personal property; levying a tax on said real and personal property for current expenses and debt retirement of the City of Springfield, Missouri, and its boards and agencies for Fiscal Year 2019-2020; and declaring an emergency.
Documents: 2019-196.PDF

Passes 8-0.

21. GRANTS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
22. Council Bill 2019-197. (Fisk)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to execute a First Supplemental Agreement to the Airport Aid Agreement between the City of Springfield and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, providing for a grant of funds under Section 305.230, RSMo, to the City, by and through the Springfield-Branson National Airport Board of $885,896, to pay for Phase Two of the General Aviation Apron Reconstruction at Springfield-Branson National Airport; amending the budget of the Airport Board in the amount of $984,330, which includes matching funds of $98,434, from the Airport Board; and declaring that this bill qualifies for approval in one reading.
Documents: 2019-197.PDF

Phase 2 of a project that started in 2014 and was completed in 2015.

Councilman McGull asked if they’re addressing parking at the airport. Staff responded that the new parking is coming and will be ready “by this time next year.”

25. FIRST READING BILLS. Citizens May Speak. Not Anticipated To Be Voted On.
26. Council Bill 2019-198. (Ferguson)
A special ordinance approving the plans and specifications for the Division Street and Commercial Street Intersection Improvement Project; accepting the bid of A.T. Urban Development, Inc., in the amount of $212,891.00, for the project; and authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a contract with such bidder.

  1. 2019-198.PDF

“We’ve had a lot of near-misses,” staff said in regards to traffic at this intersection. Staff said there were two fatal motorcycle crashes at the intersection in 2017.

Public hearing closed, vote in two weeks.

27. Council Bill 2019-199. (Ferguson)
A general ordinance amending the Fee Schedule for certain municipal services as provided in the Springfield City Code, Chapter 2 ‘Administration,’ Article VI ‘Finances,’ Division 3 ‘Charges for Various Municipal Services,’ Section 2-425, ‘Fees for city services; license and inspection fees’ by amending the fee schedule for the Department of Building Development Services, in order to eliminate the double fee charged for building or wrecking permits required by dangerous building proceedings.
Documents: 2019-199.PDF

Harlan Hill of Building Development Services says the measure is aimed at “dangerous and unfit dwellings” who would cause a potential buyer to pay a double fee. This is aimed at encouraging developers to buy dangerous buildings and renovate them.

“It would be a benefit to the neighborhood if that money were dedicated to rehabbing structures,” Hill said.

Councilwoman Ferguson said she hopes that like Lebanon we can do things like this in Springfield to encourage neighborhoods to make them better and not just commercial development.

28. PETITIONS, REMONSTRANCES, AND COMMUNICATIONS.

Debra Freeman addresses Council. She is concerned about an neglected home in her neighborhood. She says a dog has been locked in the home for 24 hours for “at least 120 days.”

She says the health department and animal control are restricted from removing the animal “without owner approval.”

Staff said you have to have a municipal court order to seize an animal and city code says “food, water, and shelter” is the bare minimum and under code the animal is not being neglected.

“We’re trapped in a box.”

Councilman Simpson asked what defines shelter. Staff said “anything that can cover the animal” like a doghouse.

Councilwoman Ferguson said she would like to see changes to better protect animals in these situations like when a pet owner moves and leaves the animal behind at their former property.

Councilman Lear noted the owner is deceased, and asked who the new owner is and the citizen said the son took over after the woman’s death in 2010 and the grandson is the owner of the dog.

Danny Lee Henderson addresses Council who will not give out his address “for security reasons.”

He is talking about the “vulnerable walkers” who are endangered because of drivers who do not stop at crosswalks. He wants pedestrian crosswalks to have barricades like at railroad crossings if tunnels can’t be made for all crosswalks.

Councilwoman Ferguson asked if he means intersections with lights.

Henderson claims that he had a friend who died of a heart attack partially because of the terror he felt as a crossing guard at a school crossing.

David Gilchrist addresses Council about blighted properties.

He said he had four rental properties on Main Street and Dale Street. He said life is “almost untenable” because tenants had police coming to the home “almost weekly.”

He would like the city to look into a resolution to make property owners liable for problems that come up from renters.

Councilwoman Ferguson said she lives in that neighborhood and knows the issues.

“I feel like except for a few isolated spaces, we’re an engaged neighborhood,” Ferguson said, “but I also know the corner you speak of and I’m glad you said men were their cleaning it up. “

She asked the speaker to stay in contact with her. He noted the buildings are boarded up.

Councilwoman Fisk asked if the property is fenced with “no trespassing” signs and the speaker said it is.

Meeting adjourns 7-1 with Hosmer as always voting no.