Tempers flare at rezoning meeting over property near Mercy Hospital in Springfield

Tempers flair at rezoning meeting
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 10:42 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Nearly 50 University Heights residents piled into Messiah Lutheran Church in Springfield to speak out against a development company’s plan to rezone four historic homes into commercial business locations.

The company, BK&M LLC, which stands for Be Kind and Merciful, held the meeting to gauge what those living around the property would want to see in their neighborhood. They didn’t expect that meeting to be anything but kind.

Ralph Duda and former NBA player and Springfield native Anthony Tolliver own the development company. The discussion centered on homes at the corner of National Avenue and Sunshine Street. Residents came against the development for two reasons. They are worried the already traffic-ridden intersection will become worse with the addition of more commercial locations. The other worry concerns the history of the neighborhood. One resident says the number of historic areas growing smaller in Springfield as it is, he doesn’t like the idea of standing by and watching more disappear.

The meeting ended early due to one of the University Heights residents insulting Mr. Duda’s wife and using profane language.

“It’s very disappointing when we feel we are doing something positive for the city of Springfield,” Mr. Duda said.

The process moving forward includes a September 8 hearing before the planning and zoning commission, an October 3 city council hearing, and an October 17 vote on what will become of the intersection.

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