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Springfield Stormwater Management Project Manager Julie Hawkins addresses flooding concern questions from City Council at the Jan. 13 meeting.
SBJ photo by Jessica Rosa
Springfield Stormwater Management Project Manager Julie Hawkins addresses flooding concern questions from City Council at the Jan. 13 meeting.

Previously denied rezoning back in front of council

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A rezoning for 3.6 acres in south Springfield brought concern from area residents at last night’s City Council meeting, and not for the first time.

A request to change the zoning at 2521 S. Holland Ave. to a low-density multifamily district from a single-family residential district had a first reading last night, bringing nine speakers to the dais.

Teresa Davidson, representing applicant Jefferey Ballard, said the plan is to develop townhouses similar to property to the west of the proposed development. The western property is currently zoned as a townhouse district.

The property still needs to be platted, said Springfield Planning and Development Director Mary Lilly Smith.

“We estimate that with the street and the minimum lot size – which is 6,000 square feet – they could put 17 to 18 single family dwelling units on-site,” she said.

The property went through the rezoning process last year. On Jan. 28, 2019, a rezoning request to a low-density multifamily district from a single-family residential district failed due to a tie vote. Flooding concerns were raised at the time.

Julie Hawkins, stormwater management project manager for the city, addressed flooding issues at last night’s meeting.

“We know that there is flooding concerns to the north upstream of this development because everything is draining south towards the floodway,” Hawkins said. “That will make sure there’s no additional flooding concerns to those properties to the north.”

The developer must provide flood documentation that elevations would not increase above Federal Emergency Management Agency base flood elevations, Smith said. Flooding has been identified to the north of the property, Hawkins said, and there are no downstream concerns.

Public speakers were opposed to the development, raising concerns about negative property values, traffic, area flooding and the safety of the children attending Holland Elementary School.

“Holland Elementary is the only school for deaf children in our district,” said Springfield resident Sherry Campbell. “The extra traffic from uncaring and unknowing tenants is an additional and unnecessary hazard for these children.”

The annual average daily count on Holland Street is 506 cars, Smith said.

Council is scheduled to vote on the rezoning Jan. 27.

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