SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – For the third time since March of this year, Springfield Planning and Zoning has denied a conditional use permit for a potential coffee shop at the intersection of Sunshine and Jefferson.
Traffic issues appear to be the biggest concern with Sunshine being one of Springfield’s busiest roads.
“If the developer can come back with something that is neighborhood friendly, that goes in there, I’ll be all over it.” Commission Member Bruce Colony said.
Members of the Commission and neighbors near the area spoke at Thursday’s meeting.
“The city staff, our team, and the developer have shown that traffic is not going to have a negative impact here. And I feel that we’ve done things necessary to address noise.” Civil engineer Chris Wynn said.
“We’ve been up here how many times telling you that’s a bad fit and you voted with us that it’s a bad fit. I think it’s time to put this to bed, do away with it, and quit wasting your time.” Neighbor Art Piney said.
“This is the third time I’ve stood before you to discuss this particular proposal. In all three times, very little about this proposal has changed, and therefore our objections have changed very little.” Jan Peterson, the president of the University Heights Neighborhood Association said.
“I think that the circumstances have shifted, in my opinion, toward even more reason to support it, primarily because the decision was made by City Council to rezone this to a commercial use, albeit limited use.” Commission member Britton Jobe said.
A limited business zoning means an establishment can open, as long as it does not have a drive-thru and has indoor seating.
The conditional use permit is what would allow for a drive-thru, which is a vital part of the 7Brew business model.
Even with proposal changes, most of the commission isn’t sold.
“Seven Brew is a great product. It’s a great business model. The problem here is it’s the wrong fit for this corner.” Member Chris Lebeck said.
“I do not believe that a drive-thru coffee shop, especially one with three or four or five lanes and limited throughput, would appear is neighborhood friendly.” Colony said.
“To say that a drive-thru coffee establishment is inappropriate on Sunshine between Campbell Avenue and National me is ridiculous. I think we are just kicking the can down the road.” Jobe added.