SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — At the Springfield City Council meeting Monday, Jan. 24, city leaders held off on deciding whether to pause the development and destruction of homes in the University Heights neighborhood near the intersection of University Avenue and Sunshine Street.

City leaders voted to delay the decision on the delay, choosing instead to allow a committee to further discuss the issue.

Some residents in the neighborhood have been vocal about opposing the demolition of historic homes near the intersection.

Under a proposal put forward by Councilmember Craig Hosmer, the pause of demolition applications, new construction, re-platting and rezoning would last for 210 days from the date of passage. This delay is designed to give them more time to “seek input from area residents, property owners, design professionals, and interested citizens regarding the Sunshine and National Corridor Plan,” as is written in the corresponding bill.

Councilmember Abe McGull said there should be more debate about this matter to avoid litigation against the city. McGull suggested that the bill be sent to the Plans and Policies Committee for further discussion.

“The timing seems awfully bad,” McGull said about the bill being brought before city council to vote on at the Jan. 23 meeting. “If I was someone on the other side of this issue — it just looks real bad from the city’s standpoint and it puts us at risk.”

In response, Hosmer brought up several examples of other areas such as Galloway, Rountree and Phelps Grove to make a point that the council had not sent similar issues to a committee. Hosmer asked city staff what caused them to support the delay after they had been willing to move forward with the resolution.

“There’s a reason that neighborhoods in this community feel like we’re getting the short end of the stick,” Hosmer said after asking City Manager Jason Gage if he had met with any of the neighborhoods of Springfield. “Because the developer has your ear, the developers have the ear of [city] council and neighborhoods don’t. And I think they’re getting tired of it.”

Monica Horton, Hosmer and Mike Schilling opposed sending the bill to the Plans and Policies Committee but were outvoted. The next PPC meeting is scheduled for Feb. 16.