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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Members of Springfield City Council are expected to propose amendments to two controversial bills slated for the Oct. 13 meeting. South Campbell Avenue Rezoning (Council Bill 2014-207) City Council held a public hearing Sept. 22 on Council Bill 2014-207, proposing to rezone property at 4000 S. Campbell to General Retail (GR). The bill was tabled for two weeks. Councilwoman Cindy Rushefsky now indicates that she will propose an amendment at the Oct. 13 City Council meeting. Council Bill 2014-207 required street connections to Quail Creek and Wellington Hills subdivisions, prior to development of the property. This included connections to Buena Vista Street in the Quail Creek development to the west and either Buckingham Lane or Wellington Drive in the Wellington Hills development to the south. Both of the Quail Creek and Wellington Hills developments were designed to have these streets extended. This is in keeping with the City’s Major Thoroughfare Plan. Councilwoman Rushefsky’s amendment would remove the requirement for connectivity into Wellington Hills, but requires the street connection to Quail Creek via a Fire access gate. The street connection to Quail Creek would be required when the subject property is developed, but there would be a gate at the access point that can only be unlocked by the Fire Department. These types of gates allow the Fire Department access in an emergency event, but do increase response time by about one minute. This alternative addresses a Fire Code issue that City staff was concerned about. Councilwoman Rushefsky’s amendment also removes the required connection between the proposed developed property and Wellington Hills development. If the amendment passes, Council will take public comment on the amendment. The public hearing on the bill was held Sept. 8. Since the City’s law department has determined the amendment as substantive, the measure will be held over for a vote until the Oct. 27 meeting. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Non-Discrimination SOGI (Council Bill 2014-189) Council members Rushefsky and Craig Hosmer requested the Law Department craft an amendment creating a bathroom exception to the “SOGI” bill, expected to be voted on Oct. 13. The amendment will essentially prohibit the SOGI ordinance from applying to any facility that is distinctly private in nature, such as restrooms, shower rooms, and dressing rooms. Essentially it clarifies that a person cannot claim discrimination if prohibited from using these private facilities. The amendment was patterned after Key West, Fla. code. It was passed in 2007 and is still in use there. If approved, Council Bill 2014-189 would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations in the City’s non-discrimination ordinance. Since the potential amendment is not considered as substantive by the law department, City Council could choose to vote on the entire bill at the Oct. 13 meeting. Citizens will be allowed to speak to the amendment only, prior to the vote on the entire bill. # # # For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org.