Galloway Village Zoning Issue Goes to the Voters

Springfield City Council decided Monday night not to reverse their decision on a zoning matter on Galloway Village despite a small group of activists that submitted a petition demanding it; the Council decided to let the public decide.

The Council voted 8-1 Monday night to put the matter on the ballot for the August 3, 2021 election. The move was the Council’s only option according to city charter after voting not to reverse their previous decision.

“I feel like when something gets bigger than the council, and this has been bigger than the council for a while now, that the people’s voice is the voice that must be heard,” Zone 1 Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson said during the meeting.

The activists, known as the Galloway Village Neighborhood Association, had wanted the Council to reverse their action rather than putting it on the ballot.

The ballot language will read:

“Shall the City of Springfield amend the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning 4.2 acres of property, generally located at 3503, 3521, 3527, and 3535 South Lone Pine Avenue from R-SF, Single-family Residential, GR, General Retail, and LB, Limited Business District to Planned Development No. 374; and adopt an updated Official Zoning Map?”

The Council’s action doesn’t guarantee the matter will be on the August ballot. Similar situations have resulted in legal action that found the action of placing it on the ballot unconstitutional. A lawyer for the developer spoke to Council at a previous meeting and said they would be looking at legal options.