City considers further change to large scale development oversight

The Springfield City Council is considering another change to its oversight of large scale developments, potentially specifying that certain multi-family residential projects and storage unit projects would be subject to review.

In May, the council approved raising the project acreage which would trigger the review process.

On Tuesday, the council's Committee of the Whole forwarded a proposal by Mayor Jim Langfelder to make subject to review any development containing more than one principal structure for multi-family residential use or storage units on more than one-half acre of land.

"For me, this goes way back to before I was even in elected office, as president of a neighborhood association," Langfelder told aldermen at the meeting. "The developments that always raise questions are those dealing with apartment units and storage units."

The current proposal was voted down in May when it was discussed during the debate over the previous change to the large scale development definition. Langfelder said he is raising the issue again because of the demand new housing and storage developments place on infrastructure.

Sharon Riffey, representing Springfield Inner City Older Neighborhoods (ICON),  said her group supports the mayor's proposal.

Ward 8 Ald. Kris Theilen suggested tabling the proposal to provide more time for public input. Langfelder opposed tabling the proposal, saying that the city already met with 15 developers regarding the previous change, and bringing the proposal before the full city council would allow for public debate.

"I think we should invite all the neighborhood associations, too, because they're impacted," Langfelder said. "It's not just a developers' issue. ... If your intent is to kill it, let's vote on it and do it the right way instead of tabling it so it doesn't see the light of day."

A motion by Ward 1 Ald. Chuck Redpath to table the proposed ordinance didn't receive a second. The committee voted to move the proposal to debate.


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