July 24, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

Judge says "no" to public vote on rezoning

Missouri Circuit Judge Gerald McBeth entered judgment Tuesday on the case surrounding the rezoning of property at Grand and Campbell, intended for a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

McBeth ruled in favor of plaintiffs and landowners Life360 Church, and adjacent property owners Robert and Jennifer Buchanan, (pdf) preventing the City from taking the issue to a vote.

The issue was headed to a vote following a citizens' referendum petition to repeal City Council's decision to rezone the property from residential to general retail. The judge indicated in his judgment that the City of Springfield's referendum process for use in zoning matters conflicts with state law.

The ordinance approving the zoning change was suspended by the referendum petition, but McBeth's ruling lifts that suspension, allowing for the general retail zoning.

Judge McBeth ruled in favor of the City, however, on claims that the referendum process itself was defective. The judge found the City Clerk gave the correct number needed for signatures. He additionally held that the title of the referendum petition circulated for signatures was not defective and petitioners had the right to 10 extra days to gather signatures, as allowed by the charter.

For more information, contact Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, Cora Scott, at 417-864-1009, 417-380-3352 or cscott@springfieldmo.gov; or City Attorney Dan Wichmer, at 417-864-1558 or dwichmer@springfieldmo.gov.

city of springfield

Department of City Attorney

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1645 • Fax: 417-864-1551 • springfieldmo.gov