"We Don't Want Them There": Residents Speak Out Against Chesterfield Rezoning

Rezoning Commission Approves Life360 Church into Chesterfield Village

SPRINGFIELD, Mo -- The Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission voted in favor tonight of the plans for Life360 Church to take over the property which once housed the Palace Theatre in Chesterfield Village.

2 noteworthy documents were presented in front of the committee, following the 4-4 tie vote back on May 4. 

The 1st was a letter from Life360 Church Chairman, Dr. Ted Cederblom. It said in part: 

"The Life360 Board is submitting this letter of non-protest for licensing, current and future, as it related to generalized alcohol license in the Chesterfield area."

The 2nd was a letter from Bill Warren, of Warren Theaters:

"We appreciate the support for our movie theater from the Springfield community... Unfortunately, the theater business has changed over the last 10 years to the point that we were actually prepared to let our lease expire in 2015...Economic reality changed for both of us, and it was simply time to move on."

The only speakers allowed to comment in front of the commission were individuals who could provide insight to these new documents.

"It (city ordinances) speak for itself," said attorney Michael Culley. "It allows churches, and there is no doubt about it."

Another individual added, "(The Church) is not looking to change the dynamic of what's out there now." 

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the rezoning with a 5-1 vote. 

Forced to silence, opponents of the zoning changes and residents of Chesterfield Village, took their conversation into the hallway outside of the City Council Chamber.

"Nobody in the neighborhood is against the church itself, we are against the church in our neighborhood," said Gary McCurter, a Chesterfield resident. 

John Patterson is a commercial pilot, and chose to buy a home in the Village opposed to other options around Springfield.

"Drinking and driving is no-bueno for my career. Chesterfield Village allows me to walk to dinner, have an adult beverage, walk to the theater, walk home. That way, everyone is happy," said Patterson. 

With the approval of the rezoning, it will now head to City Council next month. 

"There are a whole lot of people in the neighborhood that are not happy about this and we aren't going to stop fighting," said McCurter.

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