News Releases

6. City News Releases 2019

Posted on: August 6, 2019

Mayor Ken McClure announces selections for comprehensive plan advisory team


Mayor Ken McClure has proposed the names of people invited to serve on an advisory team for Forward SGF, the official name of the community-wide comprehensive planning process. Former Councilman and local physician Dr. Tom Prater has agreed to serve as the team chair. Prater has also previously served on the school board for Springfield Public Schools and a variety of other community boards, in service to others over the past several years, in addition to being a partner with Mattax-Neu-Prater Eye Center. He is a lifelong Springfieldian.

According to Principal Planner Randall Whitman, the Forward SGF Advisory Team will act as the “public face for the comprehensive plan’s planning process and demonstrates a commitment on behalf of the City to seek meaningful input from citizens in the community.” The Advisory Team will serve as a community sounding board, meeting at key points during the process to review and discuss issues and discuss overall planning direction and provide feedback on key deliverables for Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council consideration.

Proposed Forward SGF Advisory Team:

Tom Prater, Chair - Zone 2

David Atkisson - Zone 4

Laurel Bryant  -  Zone 2

Brad Erwin -   County 

Leslie Forrester -  Zone 2

Tammy Jahnke  -   County

Britton Jobe - Zone 4

Amy Kern Stanfield - Zone 3

Ashley Norgard -  Zone 4

Dee Ogilvy - Zone 1

Daniel Ogunyemi-  Zone 2

John Oke-Thomas -  County

Paige Oxendine  - Zone 3

Danny Perches  - County

Pete Radecki -  Zone 1

Tom Rankin -  Zone 4 

Robin Robeson-  Zone 4

Tim Rosenbury - Zone 4

Debbie Shantz Hart  - Zone 2

Amanda Stadler -  Zone 1

Susie Turner -  Zone 2

Judy Wyrick - Zone 3

Becky Volz - Zone 1

 “The work of this team is going to be vital,” said Mayor McClure. “I am very thankful for Dr. Prater and the team’s willingness to serve their community.” The roster will be contained in a resolution up for City Council approval at the regularly scheduled Aug. 12 meeting.  

The 18 to 24-month comprehensive planning 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 all citizens to participate. The City has hired Houseal Lavigne, a Chicago-based, nationally known urban planning and design firm to assist.

Forward SGF will help to guide the community for the next decade and beyond. Once complete, the plan will present a collective vision for the future of Springfield.

Similar to Vision 20/20, the City’s previous comprehensive plan created in the late 1990s, Forward SGF will answer such questions as:

  • What is the overall vision for the community over the next 20 years?
  • What is the preferred growth pattern for the community?
  • Should the city’s boundaries be expanded to include areas that have developed or will develop at urban densities?
  • What should be done to improve our transportation systems - streets, sidewalks and trails?
  • How do we accommodate commercial growth and protect vulnerable neighborhoods?
  • How do we create places that encourage personal interaction and build community pride?
  • What types of housing are needed currently and how will demographic trends impact future needs?
  • How can existing codes be improved to better influence land use and opportunities for development and redevelopment?
  • How do we improve the overall identity, appearance and character of the community?
  • What land use decisions can improve overall community health?
  • What actions should we take to attract and retain a talented workforce and new families?

What is a Comprehensive Plan?

A comprehensive plan serves as a foundation for decision making. It will help guide and inform elected and appointed officials, City staff and departments, developers and business owners, residents and neighborhood groups, and other community stakeholders. The plan will establish policies and recommendations related to land use and development, neighborhood livability and housing, transportation and mobility, economic vitality, public health, community character and more. The plan will cover a wide range of topics and address all areas of the City and include an update to the Center City plan. The plan will also include detailed implementation strategies to ensure the plan’s success over time.

How do I get involved?

The City will be developing the plan over the next 18-24 months. It will be built upon a solid foundation of community participation and feedback. There are many ways throughout the entire process to get involved and make sure your voice is heard.  Here are some of the first things you can do as we get started:

Attend the Forward SGF Community Kick off, 5:30 – 8 p.m., Aug. 20 at the Springfield Art Museum (1111 E. Brookside Drive). This fun, ice cream social event will provide an overview of the upcoming planning process, let you meet the planning team, ask questions and provide some initial input on planning priorities for Springfield.

Visit the project website ( The website will include project updates, meeting announcements, online questionnaires and an interactive mapping application that allows stakeholders to create their own maps of issues and aspirations in Springfield.

Attend a community workshop. Three initial workshops will be conducted at the following times and locations:

Workshop #1: Sept. 4 at Northview Center (301 E Talmage St.) – 6-8 p.m.

Workshop #2: Sept. 5 at the Forward SGF Planning Studio (351 N. Boonville Ave) – 2-4 p.m.

Workshop #3: Sept. 5 at Kickapoo High School (3710 South Jefferson Ave.) – 6-8 p.m.

These workshops are open to all residents and interested persons within the Springfield community. The workshops will provide an opportunity to identify and discuss community issues, priorities, assets and opportunities.

Conduct a do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop. These DIY workshop kits are designed to allow any interested resident or community stakeholder to conduct their own workshop. Fun and easy to use, these workshops allow residents to engage neighborhood groups, religious institutions, classrooms, business group, multi-cultural groups and more. Contact Randall Whitman at [email protected] to receive a DIY workshop kit.

“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 communitywide comprehensive planning process creating 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 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); the Jordan Valley Ice Park and Springfield Expo Center.

Additional Marquee Accomplishments included:

• Activity Center Concept
• Focus on center city redevelopment
• Urban Service Area
• Annexation Strategy
• Parkway concept
• Relocated Fire Stations 1 & 6
• Built south-side police facility
• Farmers Market / Focal point at Jefferson Avenue Footbridge
• Establishment of Springfield-Greene County Park Board
• Greenway design, management and maintenance transferred to Park Board
• Development of Sports Commission
• Neighborhood notifications, cleanups, Great Neighborhoods
• Volunteer board, commission and Council recruitment

# # #

About Houseal Lavigne: 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.

For more information, contact Randall Whitman, Principal Planner, [email protected] or 417-864-1031; or Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, [email protected] or 417-380-3352. 

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