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Letter to the Editor: Vote ‘yes’ on Question 1 to boost housing options

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[Editor’s note: Springfield voters on Nov. 8 will decide whether to rezone 4.2 acres of single-family residential, general retail and limited business district land along Lone Pine Avenue to a planned development. Read more about the Question 1 ballot proposal on page 1.]

Dear editor,

I am a local developer, owner, third-party operator and the current president of the Greater Springfield Apartment & Housing Association.

The increased housing demand has created a shortage of traditional multifamily housing units in the greater Springfield area. Even with the current rent increases, the average rent in Springfield is still $850 per month versus $1,225 per month in Kansas City and St. Louis, and the national average close to $1,700 per month, up 10% this year.

The simple solution to the housing shortage and increased rental rates is new development. If Question 1 is approved by a simple majority of voters [in Springfield], the Galloway Village property would be rezoned, and development of the multiuse structures, including housing, would be allowed to begin. Springfield City Council previously adopted a redevelopment plan for this area in 2014 that would include this type of development.

Even though the rezoning would primarily affect residents in the Galloway Village neighborhood, all voters within Springfield city limits will soon decide whether the rezoning and subsequent development can continue.

Question 1 is more about multifamily development in Springfield in the future than it is about Galloway. The increased housing demand is going to require additional multifamily development – if not in Springfield, then in the surrounding communities, and Springfield will not see the benefits of higher-paying jobs, lower taxes, and additional funding for first responders and teachers.

SAHA and I urge you to vote “yes” on November ballot Question 1 to increase available housing options, create higher-paying jobs, lower taxes for all residents and help fund first responders and teachers.

—Lonnie Funk, of Rogersville


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Vote NO on question 1.

Proponents of Q1 like to say that this measure will increase tax revenue. What they don't tell you is the cost of that revenue. Four acres of trees will be demolished that the tenants of Galloway Village enjoy. Well, we ALL enjoy the life-giving benefits of trees, but the locals of Galloway Village would hate to lose their treeline. The drainage system the property developers plan to install will drain directly into the nearby Sequiota Park. The property developers plan to have the apartment's entrance pass THROUGH the parking lot of nearby tenants without even asking permission from those at Galloway Village. The local roads, which are already not as maintained as they should be, will not be able to handle the influx of new traffic.

Proponents (really just the people who plan on making money off of this vote) will tell you that this is a way to fund the teachers and the first responders and yada yada yada nonsense. There are other ways to fund them and they know it. They want to take advantage of your lack of knowledge of this measure by making it seem like the city will be much richer after building an ugly apartment complex. That's just not going to be the case. I mean, SOMEONE will be richer, but it won't be you or me. Don't let the real estate developers get rich off of destroying the local beauty of the Queen City.

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