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City provides services to aid property development

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For would-be developers, help is available through the city of Springfield's Department of Building Development Services and Planning & Zoning Department.

The city offers a number of publications related to property development and services available to aid that process, among them A Guide to Commercial Development Requirements.

The guide, about half the size of a typical brochure, offers information on site development, plan review, stormwater detention and floodplain issues and includes important phone numbers for various departments.

The following information was obtained from the city guide.

Site development. Developers interested in sites or existing structures in the older portion of Springfield may wish to meet with the city's Redevelopment Review Team, which represents a variety of city departments and can give the potential developer detailed information about what will be required to develop or redevelop the property. For information on arranging a review, call Building Development Services at 864-1059.

Redevelopment. Those considering renovation of an existing building may request a pre-plan review inspection. This entails a meeting between a plan reviewer and the developer or design professional to discuss code requirements and the feasibility of renovating. A $60 inspection fee is charged.

Site development and redevelopment review services enable the developer to have a clear picture of just what he or she is getting into in terms of codes, construction and costs.

New structures. When it comes to developing a new structure, a property owner may wish to request a review by the Site Review Committee to determine whether the site is buildable. Complete civil drawings are submitted for review by all disciplines involved with site approval. Construction documents are not required for this review, and no fee is charged.

Before a site may be developed, according to the city of Springfield, it must be zoned for the proposed use. Zoning questions may be addressed at Planning & Zoning, 864-1611. A permitted use of the parcel may be addressed by Building Development Services at 864-1056.

To develop a lot, the lot must be a complete lot in a recorded subdivision or an existing tract of land identified in city records. If the lot is not a complete lot, a minor subdivision is required. Contact Planning & Zoning for information about lots.

Plan review. Drawings are required for all commercial projects and residential projects larger than one- or two-family residences, and the drawings must bear the seal of a Missouri-registered design professional.

New structures submitted for the permitting process must conform to the New Structures Checklist, available at 864-1055.

Meanwhile, if a developer is considering an addition, renovation or new structure, a variety of disciplines may be called upon to review the project, depending on its scope. For answers to specific questions, the city recommends calling representatives of these disciplines at the following numbers:

Air Pollution Control: 864-1662

Building Development Services: 864-1056

City Utilities: 831-8888

Food Control: 864-1850

Licensing: 864-1617

Zoning: 864-1611

Sanitary Services: 864-1921

Stormwater: 864-1901

Traffic Engineering: 864-1980

Stormwater, sinkholes and floodplains. According to the city, stormwater detention is required to be installed and operational prior to the issuance of any building permits.

This may be addressed by building a pond on site, draining to a regional basin or by buying out the detention obligation. Buyouts are only possible in certain areas, and a request to buy out must be submitted to the city.

Additionally, any site comprising five acres or more must obtain a Land Disturbance Stormwater Permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 895-6950. (See related article on page 34.)

The prevalence of sinkholes in the city affects the ability to develop land. Development of a parcel with or adjacent to a sinkhole requires a sinkhole report compiled by a Missouri-registered engineer. For more information regarding such development, contact the Public Works Department, stormwater engineering, at 864-1901.

Likewise, development of a site in a floodplain requires a floodplain permit and an engineering study by a Missouri-registered engineer. Applications and information are available from Building Development Services at 864-1055.

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