Neighbors in north Springfield voice concerns over proposed development

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:47 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 11, 2023 at 8:15 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Some neighbors in north Springfield are trying to stop a proposed development next door.

Baptist Temple Church is selling its gym and surrounding six acres of land. The location is off Talmage Street, just a few blocks west of Doling Park. A developer wants to put apartments and single-family homes on the property. Neighbors say there’s not enough room and worry about the extra traffic the project could bring.

“What he’s planning is going to put a doggie park and a detention pond right at my back door,” said Fred Sherwood, who lives near the proposed development.

The six empty acres behind Sherwood’s home may turn into 33 apartments on two floors, an indoor fitness area, laundry facilities, and outdoor activities like a playground and dog park.

“This is really not an apartment area,” said Sherwood. “I’ve lived here for 16 years. We bought this home because it was locked in with the church back there.”

The property is owned by Baptist Temple Church which is looking to sell its gymnasium and empty land near Watkins Elementary.

“It’s gonna bring a whole lot of traffic to our area, for one,” said Sherwood. “As you can see, we got a school across the street, and there’s a whole lot of traffic there.”

The developer said it would not affect traffic at Monday night’s city council meeting.

“Now there was a traffic study done the traffic study stated that there are no improvements needed, the relative impact was negligible,” said Mike Stalzer, Developer.

Grady Cooper’s property also borders the proposed development. He draws concerns about the planned retention ponds.

“I’ll have to build some kind of privacy fence,” said Cooper. “I don’t know how that drainage stuff is going to work out, even with those proposed retention ponds.

The developer says there is enough room.

“We’re doing the stormwater 120% of what’s required,” said Stalzer. “The overall density is five units an acre, which is well within the density for single-family residential.”

Cooper says he feels like the church is turning its back on the community.

“I’d like to point out that the church has been part of this neighborhood ever since I was a child, and I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 50 years,” said Cooper. “For them to turn their back on a neighborhood for some money doesn’t make me happy.

The city council is expected to vote on whether to rezone the property at its next meeting.

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