City Council, Planning & Zoning Receive Forward SGF Issues and Opportunities Report

A joint session of the Springfield City Council and the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission heard a report from comprehensive planning consultant Houseal Lavigne Associates that provided an overview of key issues.

A draft of the Forward SGF Issues and Opportunities Report is now available to the public. The report outlines what those who responded to surveys during the fall of 2019 identified as “critical issues and opportunities” that should be part of the city’s comprehensive plan.

“Several of the outreach themes highlighted in this report can be dealt with directly in the Comprehensive Plan, while others will require an indirect approach. For example, the plan will be able to directly address housing issues using established mechanisms such as the zoning ordinance and code enforcement,” Planning and Development Director Mary Lilly Smith said in a statement. “However, issues such as education and crime are less impacted by land use and development policy and infrastructure projects. For these issues, the Comprehensive Plan can play an indirect role by addressing environmental contributors to the issue and raising awareness of community priorities that need to be dealt with outside of the Forward SGF planning process.”

The report includes a variety of suggestions. The responses from community members showed their top five priorities included dealing with poverty, crime, and homelessness issues; a lack of public transportation; and low wages in the region. Beautifying the city, improving sidewalks, and trail connectivity were also mentioned in the report.

The report also notes many in the community are concerned about “brain drain,” defined as the most well-educated and talented employees leaving the community for better jobs. The people who expressed that as a concern want to make a priority finding ways to retain better jobs in the area to keep those people in Springfield.

The Forward SGF comprehensive plan process is being keyed by an “Advisory Team”:

  • Tom Prater, Chair – Zone 2
  • David Atkisson – Zone 4
  • Laurel Bryant  –  Zone 2
  • Brad Erwin –   County 
  • Leslie Forrester –  Zone 2
  • Tammy Jahnke  –   County
  • Britton Jobe – Zone 4
  • Amy Kern Stanfield – Zone 3
  • Ashley Norgard –  Zone 4
  • Dee Ogilvy – Zone 1
  • Daniel Ogunyemi-  Zone 2
  • John Oke-Thomas –  County
  • Paige Oxendine  – Zone 3
  • Danny Perches  – County
  • Pete Radecki –  Zone 1
  • Tom Rankin –  Zone 4 
  • Robin Robeson-  Zone 4
  • Tim Rosenbury – Zone 4
  • Debbie Shantz Hart  – Zone 2
  • Amanda Stadler –  Zone 1
  • Susie Turner –  Zone 2
  • Judy Wyrick – Zone 3
  • Becky Volz – Zone 1

Here is the draft report:

DRAFT-Springfield-Issues-and-Opportunities-Report-01232020-1

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