News Releases

6. City News Releases 2019

Posted on: June 6, 2019

City Planning Department launches Comprehensive Planning Process


The City of Springfield’s Planning and Development Department has officially kicked off its comprehensive planning process. The launch follows Mayor Ken McClure’s annual State of the City Address, where he outlined City Council’s priorities and urged citizens to get involved in the community and engage in bottom-up community development. The 18-to-24-month process will establish a vision moving forward in a broad range of topics, covering a long-term time horizon. There will be numerous opportunities for citizens to participate.

“At its core, the 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 should create a vision for what kind of city and community we want Springfield to be and establishing 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?’”

The City has hired Houseal Lavigne Associates as the comprehensive plan consultant. It is a Chicago-based, nationally known urban planning and design firm that prides itself on creativity, collaboration, and the delivery of quality. 

The last time the City created a comprehensive plan was in 1998 when the bold initiative Vision 20/20 Creating the Future laid out plans for many of the amenities Springfieldians enjoy today and also spurred economic growth in downtown and beyond. That plan was adopted 1998-2001 and was followed by Vision 20/20 The Future is Now, a five-year action plan. 

Vision 20/20 marquee accomplishments included creation of Jordan Valley Park (Springfield’s Central Park-like open space throughout downtown); construction of Hammons Field Minor League Baseball Stadium (home of the Springfield Cardinals); construction of Jordan Valley Ice Park and Springfield Expo Center. 

Additional Marquee Accomplishments included:

•    Acquisition of railroad right-of-way for Frisco Highline Trail 

•    Land acquisition for Close Park, Wilson-Rutledge Farm Park and parts of Galloway Creek and South Creek/Wilsons Creek Greenways

•    Establishment of Transportation Sales Tax, resulting in joint City/MoDOT projects such as Sunshine/65 interchange

•    Parkway concept established and implemented on Grand and Walnut Lawn Streets

•    Relocated Fire Stations 1 & 6 and built Fire Station 12

•    Built South-Side Police Station

•    Farmers Market / Focal point at Jefferson Avenue Footbridge

•    Greenway design, management and maintenance transferred to Park Board

•    Development of Sports Commission

•    Implemented notifications to neighborhoods of zoning cases

•    Neighborhood cleanups and Great Neighborhoods program

•    Established Activity Center Concept to guide development

•    Focus on center city redevelopment

•    Urban Service Area and urban growth boundary agreements with surrounding communities including annexation strategy

•    Volunteer board, commission and Council recruitment.

What is a Comprehensive Plan?

1.    Accommodating growth

2.    Focus on demographics and life-styles changes

3.    Developing a vision that expresses community needs and desires

4.    Developing a framework or strategy to implement

What is a Land Use Plan?

1.    Targets the built environment

2.    A physical plan for the city

3.    A guide for policy development

4.    A guide for better community design

5.    The key coordinating element

6.    A guide for development review

Next steps include: 

1.    Establishing a citizen-led Steering Committee

2.    Collecting data, demographics and trends (objective input)

3.    Gathering public input (subjective input) 

4.    Analyzing the relationship of subjective and objective input

5.    Developing the goals, objectives and policy recommendations

6.    Creation of strategies to implement targeted improvement

About Houseal Lavigne Associates

Houseal Lavigne is a Chicago-based, nationally known urban planning and design firm that prides itself on creativity, collaboration, and the delivery of quality. Houseal Lavigne has won numerous planning awards throughout the country for their comprehensive (master)plans, corridor plans, strategic plans, outreach, innovation, technology applications and implementation. The firm was awarded the prestigious National Planning Excellence Award for an Emerging Planning and Design Firm from the American Planning Association (APA), specifically noting the firm’s innovation, implementation success, creative and effective outreach, integration of new technologies, industry leading graphic communication and its overall influence on the profession of planning in the United States. 

Houseal Lavigne has assembled a multidisciplinary team of experts, including Toole Design, TetraTech, and CJW Transportation. Toole Design is renowned for its expertise and strong focus on pedestrian and bicycle mobility. Tetra Tech is a national leader in providing innovative solutions to address complex water, sustainability, resiliency, infrastructure, resource management, and energy challenges. CJW Transportation Consultants is a local, Springfield-based, full-service civil and transportation engineering firm. “Together, this team provides the expertise and experience necessary to produce a responsive, visionary, effective and viable comprehensive plan for Springfield," said Mary Lilly Smith, Springfield’s Planning and Development Director. 

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For more information, contact Randall Whitman, Principal Planner, [email protected] or 417-864-2027; or Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, [email protected] or 417-380-3352. 

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