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

Rezoning for Menard's Store Debated at Springfield City Council Meeting

The debate on a rezoning case in southwest Springfield continues.  During last night’s Springfield City Council meeting, 13 people spoke for rezoning 39 acres of land at 3705 W. Sunshine from a county R-1 suburban residence district and general commercial district to a highway commercial district. Twelve people spoke against rezoning.  Menards wants to build a store on the site.  The Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission recommends denial and the staff recommends approval. Tyler Edwards spoke on behalf of Menards.

"I was, on the face of it, a little baffled when we ran into trouble with the Planning Commission Meeting.  Menards picked this site because it is zoned in the comprehensive plan as a commercial site for retail just like Menards," he said.

He pointed out that nearby properties are zoned commercial.  And he said there will be plenty of buffer space between the property and nearby homes.  According to Edwards, the store would create 200 jobs and generate $30 million in revenue.

Patricia Mobley leaves near where the Menards would be built if the rezoning is approved.  She’s concerned about increased traffic on Farm Rd. 129 if the store is built.

"It's a very narrow, 19 foot wide, two-lane asphalt road with no sidewalks, curbs or shoulders and deep ditches along both sides.  The parcels on the east side of 129 may be zoned commercial but currently most are residences.  We often have bicycles and scooters on the road as well as pedestrians," she said.

She said the city needs to address the traffic concerns if it decides to approve the rezoning request.

Dennis Perry lives three houses down from the property on the Portland side.  He’s concerned about litter from a store if it’s built.  He showed pictures of Menards stores with trash on the ground near their parking lots.

Jarrod Rasmussen is in favor of rezoning—he echoed Edwards in saying the city decided as part of its comprehensive plan that the proposed store would be a good use for the property.

Council will vote on the issue in two weeks.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.