City staff and Phelps Grove neighbors are nearing the finish line on an update to the Phelps Grove Neighborhood Plan and Urban Conservation District (UCD), originally adopted in 1997.
The process began in October 2018 with a public planning workshop in the neighborhood. Attendees broke up into 11 teams and participated in a hands-on activity to provide feedback on seven topic areas for consideration in the planning process.
An open house followed in January to give residents and property owners an opportunity to review the preliminary recommendations and learn more about the planning study.
A second open house followed in February to provide residents with the opportunity to review and comment on the final plan recommendations staff will bring forward to the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council in the spring as part of the update to the Neighborhood Plan and modifications to the Phelps Grove Urban Conservation District.
Senior City Planner Alana Owen presented the proposed updates and recommendations.
- Establish a minimum lot width requirement of 40 feet for the development or redevelopment of existing nonconforming (grandfathered) lots within the Phelps Grove UCD.
- Establish residential infill and rehabilitation regulations for all new construction, exterior remodel and rehabilitation of residential properties in the Phelps Grove UCD.
Both actions will require an amendment to the existing UCD. Based on feedback received at the various public engagement meetings, the neighborhood is in support of these recommendations.
“The key goals moving forward in the update to the plan reflect the ongoing priorities of the neighborhood including the desire to maintain the single-family residential character of the neighborhood, preserving the existing housing stock, and reducing the impacts of student housing and rental properties within the neighborhood,” Owen said.
The Phelps Grove Plan and the proposed UCD amendment regarding minimum lot width are scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission on March 28 and City Council on April 8.
- The Phelps Grove Neighborhood should continue to actively participate in a variety of programs and efforts aimed at discouraging overcrowding and nuisance violations that contribute to the deterioration of the neighborhood character.
- The neighborhood should pursue support from property owners to initiate the development of a Community Improvement (CID) that can fund public improvements, such as buried utilities, alley improvements, traffic calming projects, and pedestrian scale lighting improvements.
- The neighborhood should enact an amendment to their bylaws extending their neighborhood association boundaries west to Campbell Avenue to align more closely with the boundaries of the Neighborhood Service Area.
- The cooperative agreement between Missouri State University and the City of Springfield has not been reviewed in over a decade. The City and university should consider pursue completion of the agreement in cooperation with MSU’s Long-Range Plan 2016-2021 Visioning Guide.
- The neighborhood should identify strategies to maintain and grow the neighborhood’s public street tree canopy.
- The neighborhood should further study to determine to determine if there is interest and support for the designation of a local national historic district for properties and places in the neighborhood, not already designated.
- The neighborhood should encourage the City to be vigilant with sidewalk maintenance and to construct and maintain sidewalks where replacement is needed and where gaps exist in the system
- The neighborhood should work with City Utilities to encourage improvements to the street lighting system to increase night-time visibility at the street and sidewalk level.
To view the significant findings, survey results, proposed updates and final recommendations in full, please visit springfieldmo.gov/phelps.