SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Elevation Enterprises LLC can go ahead with plans to build a development across from Sequiota Park in the Galloway neighborhood in Southeast Springfield.
A Greene County Circuit Court Judge, David Jones, blocked a planned election in the case between the developer and City Council over building apartments across from Sequiota Park in Galloway.
Judge Jones ruled the planned August third election violates state law
In September 2020, City Council voted to rezone the property, allowing the mixed-use development to be built. Galloway Village Neighborhood Association members collected over 2,700 signatures in an attempt to reverse Springfield’s decision.
Springfield City Council received the petition and opted to call an election. After City Council’s decision, Elevation Enterprises, LLC filed a lawsuit. The company’s lawyer wrote in court documents that the petition should be invalid because it didn’t explicitly seek a vote.
This ruling brings up an issue with Springfield’s City Charter.
Rhonda Lewsader, the city attorney, said the decision confirmed the city’s position that there is a contradiction between the Charter section outlining the process for referendums and the Charter section detailing zoning procedures.
“City Council did what they felt was best in the difficult situation of receiving a zoning referendum when Charter provisions conflict and conflict with state law,” said Lewsader. “This decision makes clear that repealing rezoning through a general election would conflict with state law.”
Lewsader said there has not been a decision whether or not to take this before the voters. An attempt to address the conflict went to a vote in 1994, but voters rejected it.
“In this case, all parties had ample time and opportunity to express their opinions about the original proposed rezoning request, and the matter came before both the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council, with public hearings held in front of both,” said Lewsader.