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Springfield City Council tables controversial 7 Brew drive-through after lengthy debate

7 Brew proposal nov 28 2022
City of Springfield
The latest proposal for a drive-through 7 Brew coffee shop at the corner of Sunshine Street and Jefferson Avenue was tabled by Springfield City Council until Dec. 12, 2022.

On Monday night City Council postponed until Dec. 12 a vote on developer Royce Reding’s plan to put a drive-through 7 Brew Coffee shop at the corner of Sunshine Street and Jefferson Avenue.

The controversial 7 Brew proposal has been rejected by the city planning & zoning commission three times. Council has approved the area for limited business, but not for a drive-through business at this time.

Neighbors have argued another 7 Brew in town will draw unwelcome noise and hazardous car traffic.

A divided Council discussed the newest version of the proposal for some 45 minutes Monday night. The latest plan for the 7 Brew includes tweaks like shorter hours of operation, an added sidewalk and a move of the drive-through’s dumpster.

In response to questions from Councilwoman Heather Hardinger about traffic impacts to nearby areas, City Manager Jason Gage said he believed 7 Brew’s drive-through system is one of the quickest ones in town.

He also said traffic generated by a potential 7 Brew in that location was not enough to require a formal traffic study — and discussed the idea of adding one more drive-through café into Springfield’s mix of coffee shops.

Gage told Council, “I always looked at it and say, OK, is it the first coffee shop in Springfield? No. Is it the first Starbucks, a name that we all think about? No. Are there other 7 Brews in our community? Yes. In other words, is it that big a deal? Well, it is for the business, it is for the developer, it is for certain people, but from the impact perspective, we wouldn’t expect it to be that big a deal.”

Council voted 5 to 3 to table the matter and allow more time to hash out some sort of compromise.

Councilmen Schilling, Hosmer and Ollis voted against the extra time, and Councilwoman Horton was absent from the meeting.

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