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News covering policy and issues related to city and county governments in the Ozarks.

Grandpa's Hospitality House Permit Denied

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Springfield City Council has denied a request for a conditional use permit for a house on the northwest corner of National and Sunshine.  Zoning would have remained unchanged.

Kathy Penrod of Illinois was behind an effort to turn the property into Grandpa’s Hospitality House—a place to stay for people with loved ones at nearby Mercy Hospital.

Council members voted unanimously to deny the permit, citing safety concerns.

Councilman Ken McClure said traffic is too heavy there for a bed and breakfast facility. 

"I believe the traffic and the safety concerns are very valid there, and, while I recognize what's been pointed out about the conditional overlay and not changing the zoning, I do think that this is probably a very poor location for such a facility," he said.

Justin Burnett and Phyllis Ferguson both agreed with McClure—saying they were concerned about safety, and they sided with neighbors who worried about changing the house’s use from residential.

But they said the hospitality house is a much needed resource.  Ferguson urged those behind the project to look for another location.

"Don't give up this dream I believe that--to honor your grandpa, you know, do it someplace else where it might be a little safer," she said.

Councilman Ken McClure is concerned about future use of the house, which is currently unoccupied.  He encouraged neighbors to look at what’s best for the property.

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