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For a second time, Springfield City Council tables drive-through 7 Brew coffee shop bill

The controversial proposed 7 Brew Coffee drive-thru site is shown on Dec. 9, 2022, as seen from Jefferson Avenue looking northeast toward Sunshine Street.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
The controversial proposed 7 Brew Coffee drive-thru site is shown on Dec. 9, 2022, as seen from Jefferson Avenue looking northeast toward Sunshine Street.

On Monday night Springfield City Council tabled a developer’s plan to put a 7 Brew Coffee drive-through at the corner of Sunshine and Jefferson.

It’s the second meeting in a row that Council decided to delay a vote on zoning needed to allow a drive-through business on the corner opposite Sunshine Elementary. The vote was 5 to 3. Councilmembers Monica Horton, Craig Hosmer and Mike Schilling voted against tabling; Mayor Ken McClure was joined by Councilmembers Heather Hardinger, Abe McGull and Richard Ollis voting yes on the measure. Councilman Matt Simpson was absent.

At the latest meeting, city staff told Council about traffic modeling that indicates the proposed 7 Brew wouldn’t affect smaller nearby residential streets in terms of backed-up cars.

Staff said traffic modeling on the 7 Brew site — adjusted to model for more than double the peak number of cars per hour that the city has previously measured near Springfield's existing 7 Brew stores — showed that cars wouldn't back up on a nearby residential street, Roanoke Avenue.

But traffic issues weren’t the only aspect of the 7 Brew decision that troubled some members of Springfield City Council. Councilman Craig Hosmer spoke with City Manager Jason Gage about concerns that the city was meeting with developers, but not with neighborhood residents, to determine a path forward on the 7 Brew issue.

"There are more than just the traffic issues that are a concern to the neighborhood," Hosmer said. "I think there are sidewalks, the nature of the project, the noise, the buffer zone, the trash — it seems like some of those issues should have been addressed with the neighborhood as well.”

"Well, well, perhaps —" Gage began saying.

Hosmer continued, "Well, if we’re going to meet with the developer, they should be on an equal level with neighborhoods. Neighborhoods should have some input on what — you know, it just seems like we’re trying to drive a square peg into a round hole.”

Gage said city staff were only trying to accommodate what they believed council's "consensus" was when the matter was tabled at the last meeting: to fix perceived traffic issues around the proposed 7 Brew site.

The bill that would allow the controversial drive-through is set to go before Council again on January 9 after city staff can take a look at the issue once more.

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