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Should a land developer sit on Springfield’s Planning & Zoning Commission? City Council votes no.

Developer Andrew Doolittle is part of a team planning to build the Loose Goose drive-through coffee shop complex on Grant Avenue.
City of Springfield screenshot
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Developer Andrew Doolittle addresses Springfield City Council on August 8, 2022.

As Springfield struggles to fill unpaid seats on city boards and commissions with volunteers, City Council faced a choice on September 19.

Correction: an earlier version of this report miss stated the Council vote tally, but not the outcome of the vote.

Should a land developer sit on a city board in charge of making decisions about land development?

With a 5-to-4 vote Monday night, City Council said no.

General Seat A Councilwoman Heather Hardinger, Zone 1 Councilwoman Monica Horton, General Seat C Councilman Craig Hosmer, Zone 2 Councilman Abe McGull, and Zone 3 Councilman Mike Schilling voted against the confirmation.

General Seat C Councilman Andrew Lear, General Seat D Councilman Richard Ollis, Zone 4 Councilman Matt Simpson and Springfield Mayor Ken McClure voted for the confirmation.

The nominee was Andrew Doolittle. Along with two other developers, he’s planning to build the Loose Goose drive-through coffee shop on Grant Avenue. Doolittle was nominated for a Planning & Zoning Commission appointment running through January 1, 2024.

He got the nod shortly after the Loose Goose team received a zoning variance from City Council allowing their project to go forward.

But Doolittle’s nomination prompted opposition. Some members of the community say it would present an ethical conflict of interest for a land developer to sit on the Planning & Zoning Commission.

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