In August, the City’s Planning and Development Department kicked off Forward SGF, an 18-24-month initiative that will result in a new comprehensive plan to map out Springfield’s future for the next 20 years.
Pictured above is the Forward SGF Advisory Team.
Back row, from left: Becky Volz, Laurel Bryant, Amanda Stadler, Dee Ogilvy, Debbie Shantz- Hart, Susie Turner, Brad Erwin. Middle row, from left: Judy Wyrick, Danny Perches, Ashley Norgard, Robin Robeson, Tammy Jahnke, Amy Kern Stanfield, John Oke-Thomas. Front row, from left: Dr. Tom Prater, chair, Pete Radecki, Britton Jobe, Daniel Ogunyemi, Paige Oxendine, Leslie Forrester and David Atkisson. Not present: Tom Rankin and Tim Rosenbury.
Similar to Vision 20/20, the City’s previous comprehensive plan created in the late 1990s, Forward SGF will answer such questions as:
- What is the overall vision for the community over the next 20 years?
- What is the preferred growth pattern for the community?
- Should the city’s boundaries be expanded to include areas that have developed or will develop at urban densities?
- What should be done to improve our transportation systems – streets, sidewalks and trails?
- How do we accommodate commercial growth and protect vulnerable neighborhoods?
- How do we create places that encourage personal interaction and build community pride?
- What types of housing are needed currently and how will demographic trends impact future needs?
- How can existing codes be improved to better influence land use and opportunities for development and redevelopment?
- How do we improve the overall identity, appearance and character of the community?
- What land use decisions can improve overall community health?
- What actions should we take to attract and retain a talented workforce and new families?
Vision 20/20 laid out the plans for several amenities Springfieldians enjoy today and spurred economic growth in downtown and beyond. Accomplishments include Jordan Valley Park and ice park; Hammons Field; the Springfield Expo Center; the Springfield Sports Commission, which promotes and develops Springfield as a sports venue; the establishment of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board; and the development of an annexation strategy for the City, neighborhood programs and the City’s urban service area.
The Forward SGF Advisory Team, comprised of 23 community members, was approved by City Council at its Aug. 12 meeting.
According to Principal Planner Randall Whitman, the Forward SGF Advisory Team will act as the “public face for the comprehensive plan’s planning process and demonstrates a commitment on behalf of the City to seek meaningful input from citizens in the community.”
The team will also serve as a community sounding board and will meet throughout the process to review and discuss issues and direction and then provide feedback on a draft plan for Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council consideration.
Forward SGF Advisory Team
- Tom Prater, chair – Zone 2
- David Atkisson – Zone 4
- Laurel Bryant – Zone 2
- Brad Erwin – County
- Leslie Forrester – Zone 2
- Tammy Jahnke – County
- Britton Jobe – Zone 4
- Amy Kern Stanfield – Zone 3
- Ashley Norgard – Zone 4
- Dee Ogilvy – Zone 1
- Daniel Ogunyemi- Zone 2
- John Oke-Thomas – County
- Paige Oxendine – Zone 3
- Danny Perches – County
- Pete Radecki – Zone 1
- Tom Rankin – Zone 4
- Robin Robeson- Zone 4
- Tim Rosenbury – Zone 4
- Debbie Shantz Hart – Zone 2
- Amanda Stadler – Zone 1
- Susie Turner – Zone 2
- Judy Wyrick – Zone 3
- Becky Volz – Zone 1
“The work of this team is going to be vital,” said Mayor Ken McClure. “I am very thankful for Dr. Prater and the team’s willingness to serve their community.”
Three Forward SGF community engagement workshops were held in September to collect citizens’ input about what they’d like to see for Springfield’s future. DIY workshops kits are available to interested civic groups. Contact Randall Whitman at email@example.com if your group is interested in a kit. Citizens are encouraged to visit the ForwardSGF.com website and use the map.social interactive tool to highlight issues affecting Springfield.
Additional Forward SGF community outreach and engagement activities over the next year will include business workshops, pop-up events, focus groups, surveys and a speaker series, which will kick off with an Oct. 23 event at the Springfield Art Museum. Mick Cornett, four-time Oklahoma City mayor and author of “The Next American City,” will speak starting at 7 p.m. Plan to arrive at 6:30 p.m. for snacks and networking in the lobby before Cornett takes the stage.
Next steps in the process include market and demographic analysis, existing conditions analysis, community visioning and citizen focus groups, review of City-wide plans and policies, plans for the center city and sub-areas, creation of the plan document and adoption by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council.
What exactly is a comprehensive plan?
A comprehensive plan serves as a foundation for decision making. It will help guide and inform elected and appointed officials, City staff and departments, developers and business owners, residents and neighborhood groups, and other community stakeholders. The plan will establish policies and recommendations related to land use and development, neighborhood livability and housing, transportation and mobility, economic vitality, public health, community character and include strategies to ensure success over time.
“At its core, a comprehensive plan is a guide for future land use, but it is also an opportunity to really dream about what we want our community to become,” said Mary Lilly Smith, Planning and Development director. “A community-wide comprehensive planning process creates a vision for what kind of city and community we want Springfield to be and establishes a path to make that vision a reality. In addition to guiding public infrastructure and investment, the comprehensive plan answers questions such as, ‘how do we focus our growth?’ and ‘what public policies will help us get there?,’” she added.