After nearly two hours of review, questions and public comment, Springfield’s Planning and Zoning Commission last night decided against development recommendations for Galloway Village.
The commission's vote was a 4-4 tie, which means denial of the subject at hand, according to city code. City Planning and Development staff members brought the recommendations to the commission after months of public meetings and resident input. Council is scheduled to formally hear the Galloway Village recommendations Sept. 9, now that a 270-day development moratorium in Galloway has ended.
Commissioners Cameron Rose, Joel Thomas, Britton Jobe and Vice Chairman King Coltrin voted in opposition of the recommendations, with commissioners Melissa Cox, Dee Ogilvy, Natalie Broekhoven and Chairman Randy Doennig voting in favor. Commissioner David Shuler was not present at last night’s meeting.
Springfield Senior Planner Olivia Hough presented the recommendations to the commission along with Planning Manager Bob Hosmer.
“Staff recommendations fall into four categories: public safety, natural environment, image enhancement, and we had some general recommendations,” Hough said.
The vision statement by area residents identified a loss of village character as the most important concern, followed by traffic issues, loss of tree canopy, flooding and preservation of historic buildings, Hough said.
New developments in the Galloway Village area would be required to conform to the staff recommendations, if approved by council.
“Conventional overlay districts would be required in conjunction with any new rezoning cases in this area,” Hough said.
Before the vote, Coltrin made a motion to remove from the conversation a contested site at 2700 E. Battlefield Road, citing the fact the property was rezoned before the moratorium was put in place. That motion passed 8-0.
The property at the southwest corner of Lone Pine Avenue and Battlefield Road was at the center of council debates last year, as residents protested its use for commercial purposes. It’s currently a vacant lot, now zoned as general retail.
Geoffrey Butler of BRP Architects, who represented the owners of the Battlefield property, Briarcliff Investments LLC, addressed the commission before the vote was taken.
“There’s a lot of ambiguity in the policy,” he said. “There’s a lot of good statements, but it’s just not something I can get my arms around and [I'd] really feel sorry for anyone who wants to develop. This will actually kill any development of the few parcels of undeveloped land down there.”
The commissioners who voted in opposition said the recommendations were a good guideline but too broad to be used for development policy.
“We’re putting a lot of ambiguity into the development process,” Rose said. “I would like to see something that’s a little more specific, a little bit more flexible as far as requiring a conditional overlay district.”
Fishing retail shop Modern Outdoor Tackle moved; Healthy Spot LLC opened; and Springfield law firm Strong, Garner & Bauer PC changed names and moved its office.