City Council recap: Approval of special election for marijuana sales tax, youth homelessness grant, decisions on Sunshine & National corner

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 9:43 PM CDT|Updated: May. 22, 2023 at 10:18 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield City Council had a lot to discuss and vote on Monday night.

People in Springfield will vote in August on whether the city can put a three-percent tax on the sale of marijuana.

The money would go to public safety, mental health services, housing, and substance-abuse services.

And council voted to apply for a grant to tackle youth homelessness. The $600,000 could develop a plan to reduce homelessness among 13-to-24-year-olds.

Regarding the controversial corner at Sunshine and National, council denied a 210-day admin delay on development in the Sunshine and National corridor for public input and a staff report.

The admin delay was sponsored by Councilman Craig Hosmer. Mayor McClure, Mayor Pro Tem Simpson, Councilman Lee and Councilwoman Carroll voted in opposition.

The council also moved to refer the rezoning request by the developer of the corner of Sunshine and National, to go back to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The current proposal is to rezone the property from a single-family residential district to a general retail district. Developer Ralph Duda, III, said there are concessions to the conditional overlay district.

According to Duda, project changes include:

  • The total height of the building will be reduced from 75′ to 55′(following a 30-degree bulk plane).
  • The developer will build a masonry wall as opposed to a six-foot wooden fence along the perimeter abutting University Heights Homes.
  • The developer will plant 60-70 non-deciduous evergreens in the buffer yard along the perimeter abutting University Heights Homes and the neighborhood. Trees are to be planted 8-10′ apart, and each tree is to be a minimum of 12′ tall when planted. An irrigation system will also be installed to ensure maintenance, life, and growth.
  • Trees will fill out to create a wall, so University Heights will only see a wall of trees vs. development. In 3-5 years, these trees are anticipated to reach a height of 20-25′ tall.

The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended against approval at its April meeting. The Planning & Zoning Commission has not reviewed the current step-down proposal.

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