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Council votes against declaring the former Sequiota Store/Treadway’s General Store & Gas Station a historic site.
Photo courtesy Google Maps
Council votes against declaring the former Sequiota Store/Treadway’s General Store & Gas Station a historic site.

Council declines historic designation for Galloway property

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A botched vote on a historic designation for the former Sequiota Store/Treadway’s General Store & Gas Station was a focal point of conflict at last night’s City Council meeting.

Galloway Village residents were at the center of the biggest issue at the meeting, with council voting 5-4 to deny the historic designation at 3535 S. Lone Pine Ave. The ruling favors the property owner.

Initially, the issue was cast in favor of the historic designation, but confusion arose from Mayor Ken McClure’s vote.

The final speaker on the legislation, the mayor voiced his opposition, but when the votes were cast, the board showed McClure in favor.

The joyful emotions of the roughly 30 residents as they exited the council chambers melted away when the vote was retaken, with a few turning around upon hearing the new ruling.

The Galloway Neighborhood Association applied for the historic site designation on the Springfield Historic Register, without the consent of the property owner, Mitch Jenkins, he said. He owns the property, the former Sequiota Bike Shop and undeveloped land to the north of both through Elevation Enterprises LLC.

Council has granted the historic moniker to seven properties in the last 20 years, said Planning & Development Director Mary Lilly Smith, though in each of those instances the property owner was the one who filed or was in favor of the designation.

To Galloway residents, the ruling puts the future of one of the last historic buildings in the area in jeopardy. The Sequiota Store/Treadway’s General Store & Gas Station was built in 1929, though the building has had roof and window work along with additions, according to city documents.

Property owner Jenkins said the neighborhood association never attempted to contact him. He said he was surprised when he received an email from the city on April 2 about the application for the designation.

“I cannot support or consent to the nomination. I feel it is a threat to our owners’ property rights,” Jenkins told council.

Wendy Huscher, treasurer of the Galloway Neighborhood Association, said the association met with Jenkins in July 2018 to discuss a planned four-story, multiuse building at the site across from Sequiota Park.

“The Galloway neighbors did not even know that 3535 S. Lone Pine might be included in this plan,” Huscher told council. “We expressed at that time we did not want to lose our historic building.”

The ruling was conflicting for multiple council members who weighed historic preservation against property rights. Council members Abe McGull, Jan Fisk and Andrew Lear all voiced their desire to table the legislation — an option not available for the resolution.

Councilmen Lear, Craig Hosmer, Mike Schilling and Matthew Simpson voted in favor of the resolution, with opposition from Fisk, Phyllis Ferguson, McClure, McGull and Richard Ollis.

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