Voters will decide a 4-year-long rezoning debate in east Springfield

Published: Oct. 30, 2022 at 9:50 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Voters will decide on a heated four-year-long debate between an east Springfield neighborhood and a development company at the polls on November 8.

Developers from Elevation Enterprises want to rezone a property across the street from Sequiota Park on Lone Pine Avenue in Springfield. Their plans call for an apartment building and commercial space.

Protesters set up across the street from the property on Sunday to voice their disdain for the project.

“Simple fact of it is, we are against the proposed development that we feel will take away the very heart of Galloway Village,” said Galloway Village Neighborhood Association Vice President Ron Boles.

Protesters cite issues of flooding risks if developers remove certain trees in the construction process. They also say that the construction will make an already busy street even busier, making it dangerous for pedestrians.

“If the vote goes in our favor, it’s our hope that this developer will sell,” said Galloway Village Neighborhood Association President Melanie Bach. “He has broken any potential relationship with this neighborhood beyond repair. And I don’t see that there’s anything that he could ever do to become an integral part of our community.”

Mitch Jenkins, the owner of the development company in question, Elevation Enterprises, says if he sells, it could actually guarantee what protesters fear.

“If Amanda and I then decide that we need to sell the property and move on, you know, the next developer, there’s nothing that’s going to stop them from going and getting a building permit, and, you know, immediately within a matter of a couple of weeks demoing those buildings and those trees,” said Jenkins. “So I think there’s kind of a misconception.”

He claims the fears cited by outspoken residents are not relevant to his plan, and the development will actually improve the community and address pedestrian concerns.

“So we’ve got 75% more green space than what the city requires, we’re keeping over 100 mature trees, as I mentioned a moment ago, planting an additional 29, planting 500 native species of plants, all of those things help with stormwater runoff,” said Jenkins. “If we talk about traffic specifically, we have a raised crosswalk across from Sequiota Park that helps. That’s a calming traffic measure.”

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