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City Beat: Council blocks historical designation at old CVS building

Second Eden Village rezoning doesn’t meet supermajority vote requirement

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A second historical designation vote this month failed at the June 17 City Council meeting, this time for the former Katz City Drug Store and CVS Pharmacy building on South Glenstone Avenue.

Council members cited an absent owner and their reluctance to impede on property rights for the 7-1 vote in opposition of the Springfield Historic Register designation. Councilman Craig Hosmer cast the lone supporting vote.

At 1735 S. Glenstone Ave., the property is owned by SCP 2006-C23-089 LLC, a company the city was unable to contact about the application for the designation, said Planning & Development Director Mary Lilly Smith.

“The property owner has been advised of the nomination but has not responded to any of our communications,” she told council.

The nomination was made by Landmarks Board member Paden Chambers at the request of the board at its April 10 meeting, according to city documents.

CVS Pharmacy ceased doing business in the 74,500-square-foot building April 1, and it has been vacant since.

Chambers said the building was a significant example of 1960s commercial design. At the May 22 Landmarks Board meeting, he said the building is eligible for historic preservation tax credits through a listing in the National Register of Historic Places. He recused himself from the Landmarks Board vote. It’s the second time this month a property has failed to receive a listing on the Springfield Historic Register.

At council’s June 3 meeting, members voted against a historical designation for the Sequiota Store/Treadway’s General Store & Gas Station, also citing the lack of consent by the property owner.

Council members are now discussing an amendment to the land development code to add a requirement for owner consent and involvement for the designation. They plan to consider a resolution for the amendments at the July 1 meeting.

Second Eden Village
After being tabled multiple times, the bill to rezone 5 acres at 3303 W. Division St. for the second location of Eden Village failed by a narrow margin.

While the vote was 5-3 in favor of the rezoning, a protest petition required a supermajority of six votes for passage.

Council members Phyllis Ferguson, Abe McGull and Ken McClure voted in opposition. Councilwoman Jan Fisk was absent.

Eden Village officials sought to rezone the property to low-density housing from light manufacturing. Organizers plan to develop another tiny homes community for the homeless on the west side following last year’s completion of 31 housing units at 2801 E. Division St.

The west-side plan had faced opposition by nearby property owners.

Eden Village Chief Operating Officer Nate Schlueter said the failed vote doesn’t change the overall goal. “I think that ultimately we’re happy most of our officials believe in a city where people shouldn’t have to sleep outside,” he said. “Our vision doesn’t rely on a single piece of property.”

Schlueter said Eden Village still plans to buy the property from Jet View LLC and will plan for future use within the current zoning.

He said Eden Village has other properties under contract but declined to disclose the locations.

Tobacco 21
A spattering of doctors’ white coats adorned the rows of the council chambers for first reading of the Tobacco 21 proposal, which would raise the legal purchasing age for tobacco products to 21 from 18 in Springfield.

The intent of the law is to reduce youth tobacco use, said Clay Goddard, Springfield-Greene County Health Department director.

“It includes all tobacco products as defined by the (Food and Drug Administration), and that includes e-cigarettes,” he said. “That’s an important distinction because under current code, we do not address e-cigarettes.”

Goddard cited statistics from the American Community Survey by the Census Bureau and the 500 Cities Project, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, that showed 25% of Springfield adults are smokers, compared with a national rate of 16%. The goal of Tobacco 21 is to decrease smoking among 15 to 17-year-olds by 25% and among 18 to 20-year-olds by 15%, Goddard said.

According to Missouri Student Survey data from the Institutes of Medicine, the average age a person tries cigarettes in Greene County is 12.6 years old.

Doctors and health care representatives comprised the bulk of the 11 speakers to council on raising the minimum purchase age.

“The market share of smokers who are 18, 19 and 20 years old is such a small percentage of overall tobacco sales that this is not going to have any economic impact as far as folks who sell tobacco products,” said Jerry Saavedra, a representative from the American Heart Association, in favor of the legislation.

A secondary bill was introduced to eliminate language that monetarily penalizes minors who are caught with tobacco products. Confiscation of tobacco products would still be an option for law enforcement, but a ticketed fine up to $1,000 would be eliminated for minors in possession, according to city documents. Council is scheduled to vote on both bills July 1.

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