Rules of Procedure

The following rules of procedure are adopted by the Planning and Zoning Commission to facilitate the performance of its duties and the exercising of its powers, as outlined in Article XI of the City Charter of the City of Springfield, Missouri.

Section 1.0 Officers 

1.1 Selection. During the first meeting in January of each year, the Commission shall select from the membership a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson. The Director of Planning and Development shall serve as the Executive Secretary of the Commission. Election of a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall be made by motion with second. Tie votes shall be decided by a runoff of the persons tied. Before a vote is taken, for each position, a commissioner may request that his or her name be stricken from the list. 


1.2 Tenure. The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall take office at the first meeting immediately following their selection and shall hold office for a term of one year or until their successors are selected and assume office. (10-8-1998) 

1.3 Duties. The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings, appoint committees, and perform such other duties as may be ordered by the Commission. 

The Vice Chairperson shall act in the capacity of the Chairperson in their absence. In the event the office of the Chairperson becomes vacant, the Vice Chairperson shall succeed to this office for the unexpired term until a new election. 

The Executive Secretary shall execute documents in the name of the Commission, perform the duties hereafter listed and shall perform such other duties as the Commission may determine. 

In the absence of the Director, the Director shall appoint a representative who shall act in their capacity as Executive Secretary. 

Section 2.0 Meetings 

2.1 Regular Meetings. A meeting of the Commission shall be held at least one Thursday per month. A second meeting may also be held each month. The Commission shall determine the meeting dates for the following calendar year at their first meeting in December. Agendas for the regular meetings shall be given by the Executive Secretary to the members of the Commission at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to such meetings. (09-17-2009) 

2.2 Special Meetings. Special meetings shall be called at the request of the Chairperson, or at the request of five members of the Commission. Notice of special meetings shall be given by the Executive Secretary to the members of the Commission at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to such meeting and shall state the purpose and the time of the meeting. 

2.3 Rescheduled Meetings. A regular meeting shall be automatically rescheduled to the following Thursday, unless such Thursday is a scheduled City holiday and then for the Thursday after such holiday, for the same time and location as previously noted on an agenda, advertisement or other notice of public hearing when, at the time scheduled for the regular meeting: 

1. There exists within the City of Springfield a state of emergency declared by the Mayor, the Director of the Springfield-Greene County Emergency Management Office, the Governor or the President, or their respective designees; or 

2. Weather or other condition threatens safe travel to and from the meeting for the public, staff and commission members as determined solely at the discretion of the City Manager, the Director of the Springfield-Greene County Emergency Management Office, the Chair, or the Executive Secretary to the Commission, or their respective designees; or 

3. The location of the meeting is not considered habitable or safe to remain within the structure at the discretion of the City Manager, the Director of the Springfield-Greene County Emergency Management Office, the Fire Chief, the Directors of Public Works, Building Development Services, or Health, the Chair, or the Executive Secretary to the Commission, or their respective designees. 

4. Should a meeting be automatically rescheduled under this Rule, the continuation of such shall be posted on at least two locations, at least one of which shall be the main entrance, at the address where the meeting was to be held unless posting itself poses as danger to staff to go to the location. If such danger exists, then posting notice at the two closest locations available to the public as determined by the Executive Secretary to the Commission, or their designee, shall be deemed sufficient notice. All practical methods to contact the applicants and public about the changes or cancellation will be used. In addition, upon such rescheduling, all public hearings and other proceedings requiring public notices shall be deemed to be continued and extended to such rescheduled date and time without need for new notices or advertisements with the exception of those required by Chapter 610, RSMo. 

5. In the event the conditions leading to the rescheduling have not been alleviated by the rescheduled date and time, such hearings and proceedings shall be noticed and re-advertised in the same manner as previously done under the Land Development Code of the City of Springfield or other law or rule. (2-20-2014) 

2.4 Public Hearings. All regular and special meetings, hearings, records, and accounts shall be open to the public. After presentation of testimony and exhibits at each public hearing, the Chairperson shall declare the public hearing closed, so that the Commission may make its decision on the item. 

2.5 Quorum. Five (5) members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. 

2.6 Action by the Commission. A majority of five (5) voting members shall be required to either approve or disapprove any action on which the Commission has final authority and to approve any item or amend any plan or policy. In the event the five (5) votes cannot be obtained, the item is automatically postponed to the Commission’s next scheduled meeting and voted on again at that meeting. If five votes are not obtained after three meetings, the item shall be deemed denied. 

On actions on which the Commission acts as a recommending body to the City Council or to any other governmental body, a majority of voting members present at the time the vote is taken shall prevail. In the event of a tie vote, the item shall be automatically postponed to the next scheduled meeting. 

2.7 Order of Business, Agenda. The Executive Secretary shall prepare an agenda for each meeting and the Order of Business therein shall be as follows: 

1. Roll Call 

2. Approval of Minutes 

3. Communications 

4. Finalization and Approval of Consent Items 

5. Unfinished Business 

6. Hearings 

a. Zoning Cases 

b. Planned Developments 

c. Conditional Use Permits 

d. Vacations 

e. Other Public Hearings 

f. Subdivisions 

g. Other Business 

7. Reports 

8. New Business 

9. Adjournment 

The Executive Secretary shall place items that do not require a public hearing such as renewal of subdivision plats, relinquishments of easements, offers to dedicate property, property disposals, change of use, property acquisitions and other similar requests, under Consent Items. Any item placed under Consent Items may be removed from that portion of the agenda and moved to the appropriate portion for discussion, debate, and vote upon the request of a citizen, Commission member, or Executive Secretary. Removal of any Consent Item shall be done prior to the Finalization of Consent Items. After the Consent Items are finalized, no item of business shall be removed there from except by temporary suspension of Commission’s Rules of Procedure. A Consent Item shall not be discussed unless the item is removed as stated above. A single vote by the Commission shall recommend for approval or denial all Consent Items. (7-1-1999) (9-9-1999) 

2.8 Motions. Motions shall be made orally and shall be restated by the Chair before a final vote is taken. All oral motions shall be recorded by the Executive Secretary for the minutes of the Commission. 

2.9 Staff Reports. At all hearings, the report and recommendations, if any, of the staff on an item shall be presented to the Commission before the Commission takes action on the item. 

2.10 Commission Action. The Commission shall not take action on any item on which a public hearing is required until the public hearing has been closed. 

2.11 Parliamentary Procedures. Parliamentary procedure in Commission meetings shall be governed by the latest published edition of “Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised” except as specifically modified herein. 

2.12 Recommendations Forwarded to Council. When the Commission makes a recommendation on an item, the item shall be automatically forwarded to City Council for final action as required by code. It shall be the duty of the Executive Secretary, provided all notice requirements are satisfied, to place such items on the City Council agenda no later than the third Council meeting following the Commission meeting at which the Commission takes action. (6-4-2015) 

Section 3.0 Duties of the Executive Secretary 

3.1 Minutes. The Executive Secretary shall keep the minutes of each meeting of the Commission. 

3.2 Communications. Petitions, etc., all communications, petitions, and reports shall be addressed to the Commission and delivered or mailed to the Executive Secretary. 

Section 4.0 Hearings 

4.1 Regular Hearings. The Planning and Zoning Commission shall hold a public hearing on all proposals requiring a public hearing. Notice of the public hearing shall be given in accordance with the requirements of the Springfield City Code. (10-8-1998) 

1. Plats. For any preliminary plat application, notice of the hearing shall be posted at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing in conspicuous places on or in the immediate vicinity of the property which is the subject of the application. One (1) sign shall be posted for each one hundred fifty (150) feet of street frontage, or part thereof, up to a maximum of three (3) signs, provided at least one (1) sign is posted on each frontage of the subject property. Further provided, for preliminary plat applications involving more than one (1) block, one (1) sign is required for each street bounding or contained within the area to be platted. Additional signs may be posted at the discretion of the Executive Secretary of the Commission. Signs shall conform to the requirements for posted notices contained in the Zoning Ordinance. 

4.2 Applicant. The applicant, or person acting on their behalf for consideration of changes to zoning district classifications, conditional use permits, or text amendments before the Commission, shall appear at the scheduled public hearing. On all other agenda items Commission has the discretion to conduct the public hearing without the applicant present by a motion and a second. 

4.3 Requests for Postponement. Any applicant may request that the Commission postpone their application to a specific Commission meeting by submitting such request in writing to the Executive Secretary at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the scheduled meeting at which the applicant is to be considered. If a request is made less than forty-eight (48) hours in advance of such meeting, the Commission may, upon good cause shown, postpone such item upon its own motion. All items postponed for a period of 180 days from the original scheduled public hearing date without substantive amendments from the applicant or final action by the Commission, shall be withdrawn from the agenda without further action by the Commission. 

Exceptions: The Commission may grant a request to postpone or table a case for a longer period than from the originally scheduled date of the public hearing upon finding of good cause. 

The Commission reserves the right to continue a public hearing to a date certain without requiring new notice or a new application, for purposes of hearing additional testimony or viewing additional exhibits. 


4.4 Removal from Table by Applicant. If an applicant desires to have an application removed from the table, the applicant shall notify the Executive Secretary in writing at least 10 days prior to the meeting date. If postponed to a specific meeting date, the applicant does not have to request removal for that date. The Commission shall determine at the meeting whether or not it is appropriate to remove the application from the table as requested by the applicant. Nothing in this section precludes the Commission from removing an item from the table. (7-1-1999) 

4.5 Recommendations. All motions are made in the affirmative. After a public hearing, the Planning and Zoning Commission may, within its discretion, make one or more recommendations, together with pertinent principal reasons, in connection with each proposed change in zoning classification or text amendment. The recommendations will be in one of the following forms: 

1. Recommend against the proposed change in the zoning district classification or text amendment. 

2. Recommend the change in the zoning district classification or text amendment or. 

3. Recommend the change in the zoning district classification or text amendment together with recommendations which, in the judgement of the Commission, will protect adjacent property and ensure that the proposed changes are consistent with the purpose and intent of the zoning ordinance and the comprehensive plan. (11-4-1993) (7-1-1999) 

4.6 Report of Action Taken. Each such recommendation made by the Planning and Zoning Commission, whether orally or by other methods, shall be reported by the Executive Secretary of said Commission to the City Council, by applicable administrative procedure, and the applicant notified of the action of the Planning and Zoning Commission. The Executive Secretary of the Planning and Zoning Commission shall set up and maintain a separate file for each application received and all records and files herein provided shall be permanent and official files of the City of Springfield. 

4.7 Hearing Exhibits. Any part to any proceeding before the Commission shall, insofar as it may be possible, prepare and submit in advance for hearing, any exhibits proposed to be used in the proceeding, which said submission shall be made to the Commission by filing the same in the office of the Planning and Development Department of the City of Springfield. The applicant and other proponents shall submit all exhibits at least ten (10) days in advance of the hearing; the Planning and Development Department, other governmental agencies and departments, and opponents of the applicant’s request shall submit exhibits including all staff reports at least five (5) days in advance of the hearing. Staff visual presentations, such as PowerPoint presentations, shall not be considered exhibits. Such exhibits shall be identified as to the party who intends to sponsor the exhibit and shall be consecutively numbered or lettered. All material so submitted shall be deemed a public record and shall be open for inspection and copy by any person whomsoever. Any exhibit not so filed shall be admitted by the Commission only upon a clear showing as determined by a majority vote of the Commission that such filing was not in good faith reasonably possible. 

4.8 Hearing Testimony. The applicant bears the burden, in any item before the Commission, to present sufficient facts and/or testimony such that a decision by the Commission is based upon substantial evidence in the record of proceedings before the Commission. Nothing shall prohibit any member of the Commission inquiring of any witness or party at any time during the proceedings upon any fact or item relating to the proceedings, but it shall not be the duty of the Commission to supply any deficiencies in or to seek to provide facts in any proceedings. 

4.9 Manner of Addressing Commission/Time Limit. Each person addressing the Commission, including the applicant or applicant’s representative, shall step up to the podium, give their name and address for the record, and unless further time is granted by the Commission, shall limit their address to five (5) minutes. The Commission may reduce the time to three (3) minutes by a majority vote. All remarks shall be addressed to the Commission as a body and not to any member thereof. No person, other than the Commission and the person having the floor shall be permitted to enter into any discussion, either directly or through a member of the Commission without the permission of the Chairperson. No question shall be asked of a member of the Commission except through the presiding officer. 

4.10 Decorum

1. No person shall make personal, impertinent, or slanderous remarks, nor otherwise disturb the order and decorum of any Commission meeting. 

2. The Sergeant-at-Arms, at the direction of the Chairperson, shall remove any person violating the provisions of this section. The Chief of Police, or such members of the Police Department as he may designate, shall be Sergeant-at-Arms of the Commission meetings. He shall carry out all orders and instructions given by the Chairperson for the purpose of maintaining order and decorum at the Commission meetings.

3. No person shall carry or display a sign inside the room wherein the Commission is meeting, or any other similar type of written communication which is carried or displayed, except nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit a person from using visual materials when presenting an item to the Commission. The Commission hereby determines that signs or displays in the meeting room may obstruct the view of citizens, can cause injury, and affect the decorum of Commission meetings, and are hereby prohibited for such reasons. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall inform citizens when signs or displays violate this section and shall remove the signs or displays from the meeting room or may cause citizens carrying such signs or displays to be removed from the meeting room. 

Section 5.0 Behavior; Ethics

5.1 Member Service. Membership on the Planning and Zoning Commission is accepted as public service. Members are appointed by the City Council for a term of four (4) years and until their successors are appointed and qualified. Any member who misses three consecutive regular meetings of the Commission without good reason shall be in violation of the City Code of Ethics, and such violation shall constitute good cause for removal. Any member may be removed from the Planning and Zoning Commission by action of the City Council. The removal of any such member shall be in accordance with Article IV, Section 15.6 of the Charter and notification of such removal shall be made in writing stating the reasons for such removal and sent to such member at their residence address by United States Mail. (8-6-2015) 

5.2 Commissioners Unpaid. Commissioners are unpaid. When Commissioners attend meetings for the benefit of the Commission, staff or City Planning for Springfield generally, expenses may be paid in full or in part by the City of Springfield as provided by current rules and regulations; such reimbursed travel must be indicated in the annual budget officially approved by the City Council. 

5.3 Case Discussion. Except at public meetings of the Commission, its members shall not discuss the resolution of specific cases scheduled or likely to come before the Commission, with applicants, their representatives, or others with a direct interest. 

5.4 Personal Interest. A member of the Commission who has some personal or financial interest, as defined in the City Code of Ethics, in any case presented to the Commission shall disqualify himself as the particular case is concerned, shall not sit as a member of the Commission during the hearing of the particular case, and shall not participate in the Commission’s hearing and decision in such case. 

5.5 Representing Commission. Each Commissioner decides which invitations to attend or participate in public and private functions, he can appropriately accept as a member of the Commission. Commissioners should be careful to indicate when they are representing the Commission, rather than acting or speaking for them shelf. Such allied efforts, contributing to the work and purposes of City Planning in Springfield are unpaid, except when infrequently acceptance of out-of-pocket expenses is necessary to make possible the constructive participation; in such instances, the Commission is officially consulted or advised. 

5.6 Employment not Qualification. Commissioners do not engage in any private or profitable employment, or in any personal business transaction in which the fact of membership on the Commission or any knowledge of its actions unique to membership would be qualification for such employment or a significant reason for the personal business transaction. 

5.7 Gifts. Commissioners do not accept gifts from applicants, their representatives, or other persons and institutions concerned with items which have been or might come before the Commission. However well intended acceptance of such gifts could lead to misconceptions by prospective donors or the public generally. 

5.8 Meeting Conduct. City Planning and Zoning Commissioners shall conduct themselves at Commission meetings in a fair, understanding, and as gracious a manner as circumstances permit. They shall seek to be considerate of all individuals, attitudes, and the difference of opinion almost always involved. 

5.9 Commissioner Responsibility. In their behavior and actions, each City Planning and Zoning Commissioner is keenly aware of the Commission’s responsibility, together with the City Planning staff, to plan for Springfield as a whole in all primary aspects, both with respect to the present and long-range future. Numerous organizations and individuals contribute significantly to one or several elements of the City, but very few are obliged to continuously consider the entire physical City, its present population and condition, and its future development and inhabitants. 

Section 6.0 Miscellaneous 

6.1 Amendment to Rules of Procedure. The rules of procedure of this Commission shall be amended only with five (5) affirmative votes. Any proposed amendment or rescission of rules shall be voted upon only after the same has been reduced to writing, filed with the Executive Secretary of the Commission and read at the regular meeting immediately preceding the meeting at which the same is voted upon. Debate on the proposed amendment or rescission shall be permitted at both the meeting where the proposed amendment or rescission was read and at the meeting where it is to be voted upon. 

Updated Feb. 9, 2023