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With a 6-to-3 vote, Springfield City Council opts to let the Loose Goose fly

Loose Goose rendering
City of Springfield screenshot
A rendering of the Loose Goose, an establishment expected to be built on the Grant Avenue Parkway including a drive-through coffee shop, bar, pickleball court and green space.

A team of local business owners want to put in a drive-through establishment, the Loose Goose. It would include a drive-through coffee shop, a bar, food and packaged liquor sales, pickleball courts and 33 parking spaces.

The Loose Goose project site is a defunct gas station located near the busy intersection of Grant Avenue and Grand Street. On Monday night, Springfield City Council voted 6-to-3 to allow a zoning change permitting the project to go forward.

The drive-through aspect of Loose Goose proved to be just one of a few issues in the developers' proposal.

Just last year, Council decided the intersection of Grant and Grand was supposed to be part of a pedestrian- and bike-friendly plan for the new Grant Avenue Parkway.

But as Council heard on Monday night, developers' Loose Goose plan and the city's Grant Avenue Parkway plan didn't quite match up on paper.

“It doesn’t meet the intent of the plan,” Brendan Griesemer, city assistant director of planning and development, told Council members.

City Councilman Craig Hosmer asked, “Is that both the mixed-use and the drive-in or the...?”

Greiesmer's response: "Yeah, there’s three components: the mixed-use piece, as well as the drive-through and the packaged liquor.”

Loose Goose proposal
Gregory Holman/KSMU
A team of five entrepreneurs want to transform this derelict gas station at Grand Street and Grant Avenue — shown Friday, August 12, 2022 — into a drive-through food, coffee, cocktails and package liquor shop that would also offer pickleball games.

Hosmer was one of three no votes on the Loose Goose rezoning, along with Councilman Mike Schilling and Councilwoman Monica Horton.

Councilman Richard Ollis voted for the Loose Goose. He said he thinks it will be "the anchor activity center" for the new parkway. He told his fellow Council members, "I really believe we're getting hung up... there will be lots of pedestrian activity here."

The Loose Goose wasn't only divisive among City Council members. City staff recommended that Council deny the rezoning, while the city Planning & Zoning Commission voted in favor of it earlier this month.

But the privately funded project is now set to go forward, alongside the $26 million Grant Avenue Parkway redevelopment. Much of the redevelopment is funded by a Trump-era federal program.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs and investigations.