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With council approval, a 7 Brew Coffee shop is coming to land across from Sunshine Elementary School. 
SBJ file 
With council approval, a 7 Brew Coffee shop is coming to land across from Sunshine Elementary School. 

Council approves 7 Brew at Sunshine, Jefferson 

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Springfield City Council has come around to the idea of a three-lane drive-thru coffee shop  at the southeast corner of Sunshine Street and Jefferson Avenue, voting 5-3 yesterday to approve the long-contested 7 Brew Coffee. 

The vote approved a conditional use permit to allow a drive-thru within the limited business district that council approved last summer. The area was formerly zoned residential. 

In an email to Springfield Business Journal, developer Royce Reding, owner of Reding Management LLC and Redec LLC, thanked Mayor Ken McClure and council for their support of the project, which he proposed. 

“Under the leadership of Mayor McClure, City Council underscored tonight that Springfield is not closed to development,” he said. “This project provides a better quality of place for our community along the Sunshine corridor, and I thank council for their support.” 

There was no change to the plan by the developer nor any further staff recommendations since the matter was sent back to city staff for further review at council’s last meeting on Dec. 12. At that time, City Manager Jason Gage explained postponing a vote on the bill would allow further review of the item without sending it back to the Planning & Zoning Commission, which had thrice recommended denial of the permit. 

The matter also had been tabled by council Nov. 28 for more staff review, and the matter returned with a proposal for a concrete median to be installed along Jefferson Avenue if traffic backups are determined to be a problem. At that time, Susan Istenes, director of planning and development, said the developer would pay for that improvement, but at the Jan. 9 meeting, she reversed course and said the city would foot the bill if the median were deemed necessary. An estimated cost was not provided. 

Istenes said Public Works staff had studied traffic patterns and considered volume and pace of service at other 7 Brew locations in the city. Staff do not believe backups will occur, she said. 

Voting against the permit were Monica Horton, Mike Schilling and Craig Hosmer, with Heather Hardinger absent. On council’s first vote on the permit, held July 25, only Councilperson Richard Ollis voted in favor. 

“It doesn’t belong as a neighborhood limited business option,” Schilling said at last night’s meeting. “It has a potential of just increasing turbulence of motor vehicles in that area in this drive-thru business.” 

Schilling referred to a large-scale mixed-use development proposed for the University Heights neighborhood just east of the site in question. 

“There was a term that came out of the grapevine of discussions about goings-on on Sunshine … about what some people fear is the ‘Glenstonification’ of that seven-tenths of a mile of Sunshine between Jefferson and National,” Schilling said. 

The term refers to the city’s Glenstone Avenue corridor, which is fully developed and has been targeted in the city’s comprehensive plan as an area that is in need of aesthetic improvement. 

“That might be a worst-case scenario, but these things don’t look very good that we’ve been proposing here,” Schilling said. 

Hosmer also offered strong objections before the vote. He quoted the staff report as saying a limited business district, as OK’d by council, is for the benefit of people residing in the adjacent residential area. He asked if city staff knew of any limited business districts in the city that have drive-thrus now. 

“People aren’t going to be able to go into this place and have coffee. This is a three-lane drive-thru that is not for the convenience of the adjacent property owners,” he said. “It’s 180 degrees different than what a limited district is for. 

“It is no longer a limited business district; it is a 16-and-a-half-hour-a-day circle where people are going to get coffee all day. That doesn’t complement the neighborhood at all.” 


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