Cherry & National development updates

We have a number of updates on building and development issues. Quite a lot has happened and come to light since City Council passed the administrative delay on June 26. This is a lot of info, and we’ve tried to make this update as concise as possible. But because we will need neighborhood input on how to proceed with some next steps, we don’t want to gloss over any important details.

Unfortunately, it appears that the administrative delay does not truly afford us the “time out” that we were hoping for when we requested it. The delay affects rezoning requests and lot combinations, but not all of the proposed projects fall into either of those categories. Developers want to move quickly because they have money invested. Here’s where we stand on three of those projects.

Pickwick District proposal

The administrative delay does affect this project. The developer, Say U Can, is under contract to buy the yellow brick “Spanish mission” building and the three lots/houses just west of it. The current proposal, if you will recall, is for a 3- and 4-story, mixed-use building the lots adjacent to the Spanish mission — three stories with retail or restaurant on the bottom facing Cherry, and four stories on the backside facing the alley, with the parking lot in the back. The Spanish mission would be turned into a mixed-use property as well. This plan would need a rezoning because of the business use. And the developer says he would seek a blight designation and tax abatements in order to make the bottom line work, because the mixed-use project brings in less revenue than a building that is only apartments.

And that is the other option, according to the developer. He could build an entirely four-story apartment building without the mixed-use elements (image below). That would not require blight and tax abatements and does not require any rezoning. The RNA board and seemingly most residents find this a much less desirable option. The developer says he, too, would much rather construct a project that better fits with the current limited business environment at Cherry and Pickwick. But to get the rezoning, blight designation, and tax abatements, Say U Can would need the neighborhood’s support.

(There is an additional element to this story: Say U Can also owns the two houses at 1361 and 1365 E. Cherry — approximately where Fremont T’s into the Cherry. The original plan for this area was inward-facing town homes with a driveway off Cherry that we felt was not in character with the neighborhood. A blight request for this project was denied by city. To his credit, the developer has come back with a concept for a “pocket neighborhood” style development on this plot. We feel this could be a progressive project that fits with the Rountree of today.)

The RNA board’s take: We would prefer to see the plan review process play out before ANY development moves forward. But if faced with the choice, we would prefer the mixed-use development over a four-story apartment building. Mixed-use fits the culture, nearby property values, and the feel of the Cherry & Pickwick area. The mixed-use project requires a zoning change and would have to be approved as a planned development (PD) — essentially a specialized zoning project. The positive aspect here is that PDs come with specific guidelines for each project and the neighborhood would likely have some input on that. If we allow an exception to the delay for a PD, we can continue to provide input and hopefully the developer will continue to work with us, while paying attention to the Neighborhood Plan review process, and “skate to where the puck is going” as the PD is written. As for blight and tax abatements, we feel those should be used to gain trade-offs, and mixed-use is better than apartments-only.

Bottom Line: The developer can more or less move forward with an apartments-only building and get around the delay. But If we as a neighborhood give our OK for the PD for a mixed-use project to proceed, then we can work with the developer and the City planning staff, who will write the PD guidelines. The PD and the review process would essentially happen in parallel and this provides the best route to a win-win.

Roza Homes proposal

Roza Homes owns the properties at 1325 and 1329 East Cherry. This is the developer that has rehabbed, expanded, or built new properties with a traditional look on Historic Walnut Street in recent years. They are proposing to build similar two-story structures at this location on Cherry. Roza combined these lots in advance of the administrative delay, and their proposal fits the existing zoning. Therefore, the delay does not apply to this project. Here again, the developer is seeking a blight designation and tax abatements in order to help finance the project and that request will be presented to the Planning & Zoning Commission on Thursday night. Here’s a link to the P&Z bill, which has design mock-ups, one of which is below.

The RNA board’s take: Again, we would love for the developer to wait for the neighborhood plan review to play out, but that is not likely to happen. This project is certainly more palatable than a large apartment building like East Cherry Flats. The more traditional design is a plus, and includes small porches facing Cherry. Parking will be located in the rear. Here again, the tax abatements can be viewed as a trade off, because the size is far below what they could build, given the high-density zoning. There are known issues with homeless folks squatting around these currently empty and run-down houses.

Bottom line: This project could be much worse. A few board members actually like the project. And we don’t have much leverage to oppose it. We can oppose the tax breaks before P&Z and City Council, but we don’t think either of those bodies is very likely to deny the abatements regardless of any opposition.

Boomertown Lofts project

This project in the 800 block of South National was approved by City Council this spring. It’s a four-story, mixed-use building, with retail or a coffee shop on the ground floor, and three stories of micro-efficiency apartments aimed at MSU students above. The proposal came about before the City announced the review of the Neighborhood Plan and before the request for an administrative delay. In an unusual move, the developers are now back a second time asking for tax abatements they said they weren’t seeking the first time around. They went to City Council Monday night for a first hearing on this request.

Officially, the RNA neither supported nor opposed the project, though board members did speak to concerns we had with respect to increased traffic in the interior of the neighborhood (given that you can’t turn south on National), storm water runoff, and greater buffering between our neighbors on McCann and the development. We won some concessions on storm water improvements and buffering, but the city says there isn’t much they can do to keep tenants from accessing surrounding streets. The developers did promise to tell their contractors to use National instead of the neighborhood during construction. Public Works staff tells us they are always willing to listen to concerns about traffic, so once this is built, we need to keep an eye on traffic along Madison, Page, McCann, and Kickapoo.

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Two opportunities for neighborhood artists to shine

Calling all Rountree artists! We have two opportunities to announce!

The first opportunity is at the next First Friday Art Walk on July 7th, when Rountree will be the featured neighborhood on the Square. A different neighborhood is being featured each month this year. Artists of all ages and skill levels are being asked to create some anchor elements that are iconic to our neighborhood. We’re asking our Rountree artists to be there to paint and encourage others to add elements. The public event will be from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Friday, and that is when we will paint the anchor elements. However, artists can — and are encouraged to — go and sketch their element on the mural anytime this week. The coordinator is Thomas Cunningham with the Downtown Springfield Association, which will provide the mural and paint. If you would like to sketch an element in advance of the Friday event, contact Thomas at 417-831-6200. This is a open call to multiple artists, young and old!

The second opportunity comes from the Springfield Art Museum, which is seeking proposals for exhibitions in a new flexible social gathering space that includes exhibitions, retail, and coffee service. The gallery portion of this space will feature a rotating exhibition titled “Art in our City,” that specifically focuses on the intersections between local artists and the neighborhoods in which they work.

There are 19 different neighborhood associations officially recognized by the City of Springfield. The Art Museum is encouraging artists within these neighborhood associations to submit their work. This is an opportunity for the Rountree Neighborhood to again be recognized as a very special, very talented, and very strong neighborhood. We encourage each artist within our neighborhood to support the Springfield Art Museum, the City, and our neighborhood with their talent.

The deadline for October 2017 exhibitions is August 1. For more information, see museum’s official call for artists.

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Administrative delay approved by City Council

The Rountree Neighborhood’s request for an administrative delay on rezoning and lot aggregation during the upcoming review of the UCD passed by a 6-1 vote of City Council last night (two Council members were absent). There were a dozen speakers at the public hearing; four spoke against the delay, and eight spoke in favor.

You can watch the the public hearing via the City View website. The discussion of Council Bill 2017-159 begins at about the 13:30 mark. [Link to text of the bill]

The News-Leader also covered the meeting.

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RNA letter to City Council, RE: Administrative delay request

The following letter was sent to City Council today. We urge Rountree residents to make their voice hear, one way or another, by writing Council at or by attending tonight’s meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Old City Hall.

Dear City Council members:

The Rountree Neighborhood Association Board of Directors, with the support of informed and engaged neighborhood residents, urge you to keep Council Bill 2017-159 on the June 26 agenda for a public hearing and vote. The bill should not be tabled, and we urge you to pass this resolution.

The RNA has been asking for a review of our neighborhood planning documents since the announcement of the East Cherry Flats apartment building in August of 2014. At that time, we recognized that the Cherry Street corridor was becoming more attractive for potential development and made it clear that the current zoning and planning documents were outdated, conflicting, and in need of review. We were not made aware of the East Cherry Flats plans until the project had already been approved by the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority Board (LCRA) and was about to be heard by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

It was exactly this element of surprise that led us to believe a review of the neighborhood planning documents was in order. We wanted to take a “time out” and carefully gather input from all stakeholders, in an impartial process led by the City before further development took place. The RNA, with support from residents, has been clear in that regard over the last two and half years, as the following timeline will show.

  • We stated the need for the review during public comment in at the Sept. 22, 2014 City Council meeting, where RNA board member Jeff Barber noted issues with “incompatibility of the zoning of the area,” according to minutes of the meeting.
  • In a News-Leader op/ed column published on Oct. 4, 2014, the potential for development on Cherry was noted and neighbors were urged to join with the City for development of a shared vision for the street.
  • We began sending formal, written requests for a review of the planning documents shortly thereafter, in the fall of 2014.
  • In March 2015, Council formally responded to our then repeated requests by passing Council Bill 2015-084, a resolution “initiating review of the Rountree Neighborhood Plan and Rountree Urban Conservation District, to consider modifying one or both as needed.” We also received a letter from Mayor Stephens affirming this action at that time.
  • On September 28, 2016, with 18 months gone by and no action taken by the City on the review, the RNA board formally requested a “moratorium on lot aggregations, minor subdivisions, and further apartment or other multi-family developments on the Cherry Street corridor pending adoption of an updated Rountree Urban Conservation District plan.” The request letter was sent to the planning department and copied to City Council. On October 21, 2016, Councilman Tom Prater informed RNA via email that the review was stalled because of staff cuts and the City would let us know when the positions were filled in the future.
  • Throughout this time, whenever possible, the RNA board tried to communicate with real estate agents, property owners, and developers about our ongoing request for this review. We have tried to make it clear that developing this section of Cherry is not as simple as the R-HD zoning would make it appear and that in any case, we wanted a thorough review of the rules as soon as possible.
  • With still no word on how soon the review might begin and with development interests continuing to grow, the RNA held a special town-hall style neighborhood meeting on March 30, 2017 to talk about the Cherry Street corridor and gauge residents’ opinions about what should be done. A request for a moratorium was discussed at that time, with support expressed by several present. Minutes of that meeting were posted at on April 18. Developers were present at this open meeting.
  • At the April 3, 2017 Council meeting, during a public hearing for a development in the 800 block of South National, RNA board members noted the standing request for a review and stated publicly that we would be re-upping that request due to the need for a shared vision of the future of Cherry Street.
  • The City initiated the UCD review process with a kick-off meeting on May 16. Developers were present at this open meeting. Immediately following that meeting, the RNA board voted unanimously to re-up our request for a delay. The minutes of that meeting are also posted at

As you can see, we have been consistent in stating our desire for a review and a delay for more than two and half years. Those requesting this review are long-term residents of the area and committed stakeholders. We wish the review could have begun earlier, so that a delay on development was not necessary. But given the circumstances, we believe the delay is both necessary and prudent. We ask that you place a value on the process and allow the City-led review to play out rather than allow development to take place at the last minute before the review. To do so would be a violation of the trust we have placed in you as elected officials who are charged with taking a long-term view of the future of Springfield.


Rountree Neighborhood Association Board of Directors:

Laurel Bryant, Nick Harper, Mike Brothers, John Melton, Peggy Wise, Nancy Dornan, Jeff Bentley, Jeff Barber, Jim Lohmeyer, & Sue Ekstam

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City Council to consider administrative delay on Monday

The RNA board has formally requested an administrative delay on development and lot consolidations within the boundaries of the Urban Conservation District during the time that the city-led review of the UCD takes place over the coming six months or so.

This will be a resolution on the Monday, June 26 City Council agenda and board members will attend to speak in favor of the delay. Our aim is not to stop development, but to give time for our Neighborhood Plan and UCD guidelines to be revised (city planning estimate is December for this revision).

As you might recall, we requested such a delay back in the fall of 2014, not long after the East Cherry Flats development happened. That was at the same time we requested the UCD review. Now, things are moving quickly. Within the last two weeks we have had four different developments each needing attention and decisions. They are not in favor of a blanket delay (as noted in this News-Leader story). Several of the developers have been working with the board and neighbors in good faith and we do understand their time and financial pressures.

However, the board cannot always speak for everyone. Ultimately, the whole neighborhood has to be engaged. We would rather ask for time for our neighborhood to have input on major changes through the UCD planning process than make decisions rapidly that could affect us long term.

If you wish to join us at this Council meeting, it takes place at 6:30 p.m., Monday in Old City Hall. Or if you would like to email us to help represent your opinions, please email Mike Brothers at or Laurel Bryant Here is the full agenda and the specific resolution for the delay.

The board appreciates your input and there will be more information and involvement opportunities to come.  But this will be a very important meeting.

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Rountree is in Vogue (Magazine)

Vogue published an article this month titled “Why You Should Plan a Road Trip Through the Ozark Mountains.” It’s cool enough that Springfield and Northwest Arkansas were highlighted by a national magazine, but it’s downright awesome that our own little corner of the world was specifically called out as a hidden secret. And it’s more than just a passing mention. Here’s the excerpt:

Downtown offers plenty to peruse, with precious antique shops, cocktail bars, and restaurants that dot the historic streets. But just southeast is the Rountree district, which feels almost like a secret. It’s this very neighborhood, with charming Craftsman- and Bungalow-style homes that famed photographer Julie Blackmon has used to set the scene for most of her work; Reese Witherspoon is an admirer among a slew of celebrities.

Start the morning at Pickwick Place—a Spanish-style block of buildings that feels as if you’ve stepped into a movie set. At Tea Bar & Bites, owner Colleen Smith’s house-made rosemary chocolate granola on top of yogurt is a nice respite from this biscuit-and-gravy-loving town. Book an oxygen facial at Lavare Day Spa, then preserve the glow at Good Skin Day. The petite shop packs a punch thanks to owner Courtney Dunlop, the beauty editor extraordinaire who’s moved from New York City to her hometown in the Ozarks to open a skincare shop featuring products like 37 Actives, Liquid Gold by Mary Schook, and Indie Lee. Next, pop into Elle’s Patisserie, housed just a few feet away in a bright purple home with interiors that replicate an exquisite French pastry boutique. The sweets shop is tailor-made for Instagram and sells proper pour-overs alongside colorful macarons and truffles like the Unicorn (of course), filled with dark chocolate lavender ganache. End the afternoon with a cheese plate and a glass of wine on the patio at Cherry Picker X Fare.

Thanks, Vogue. Glad you were able to stop and stay a while! Guess our secret is out.

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RNA Meeting Minutes – May 2017

Board members present: Laurel Bryant, Mike Brothers, John Melton, Peggy Wise, Nancy Dornan, Jeff Bentley, Jeff Barber, Jim Lohmeyer, Sue Ekstam

Others president: Jimmy & Angela Brooks, Jeremy Snow, Anissa Barber,

Call to Order

Review minutes – Jeff Bentley motioned to approve, John Melton seconded. The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s report – We have taken in $253 during cleanup — $33 in donations, and $220 in memberships. Ten new individuals memberships were taken at tonight’s meeting with the city just prior to the board meeting. Total stands at $2,412.44.

Board liability insurance policy – Laurel has explored the possibility of getting insurance for the RNA board. Ola Brink has been Laurel’s contact. It’s in the $300 range, which is not very much because we don’t have land or a pool, etc. The purpose would be to cover liability for some events. How common is this for neighborhood boards? Not sure, but we have a cleanup each year where someone could get hurt. Can we get a quote with an actual cost amount for the board, and for coverage? Peggy said we could be liable during curbside pickups. Everyone was in support of more research and information. Laurel will bring it forth.

Administrative delay – Jeff Bentley researched the possibility of asking the City Council to delay development in Rountree until the UCD is revised. He spoke to City staff. Delays could be on zoning or lot aggregation. We could ask for delay on any rezoning request. We could add a delay on lot consolidation, which would be a bit more restrictive. Consolidations are typically done administratively and not through a hearing process. But it’s a more powerful tool for us. Potential benefits to developers would be more coherent rules. A request for a stronger delay would really help everyone take a break and go through a proper and fully considered planning process. An admin delay is not taking away any rights the developers have, it’s just prohibiting a change in the meantime. We have waited to revise the UCD for two and a half years or more, eight more months is not unreasonable. What if a development that we like is presented in the meantime? It almost doesn’t matter how much we like any development, we have a responsibility to the neighborhood as a whole to go through with the process we have been requesting all this time. Perhaps we should view any proposed projects as potential opportunities – a chance to be the model project that will fit in with the new framework and the neighborhood consensus on design, scale, etc., once the UCD review process is completed.

Mike Brothers motioned that we ask City Council to place a resolution on its agenda for an administrative delay on zoning requests and lot consolidation within the Rountree UCD area until such time as the current review and update process is complete. Jeff Bentley seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Bylaws update – Peggy Wise, Sue Ekstam and Jeff Barber had a meeting to work on bylaws. More work to come. Some detailed updates are needed. Stay tuned. Laurel noted that we need to align our bylaws and Facebook approval policies.

Cleanup update – Discussion item. No hard numbers in yet from CPO but it was a success. We had some requests to come into homes. We had over 50 curbside pickup requests. We had some abuses by people who did not really live in the neighborhood – primarily landlords who have lots of properties outside of Rountree. Should we restrict these landlords? Should we have some restrictions on how much stuff we can haul away? What if we have hoarders who want to get rid of stuff? John Melton had one house where he took away two truckloads and still left more.

Traffic calming project – Jeremy Snow presented the idea. This will take place on June 2 and 3. This is part of a statewide grant looking at traffic calming in St. Louis, Kanas City and Springfield. Looking at choke point narrowing and two bump outs, or curb extensions. It’s experimental. It will look nice and be functional. There will be a crosswalk. They are looking for some help to set up the demo elements and tear down, but also need people throughout the process to give some input on what they want to see in the hood via some boards, etc. Could simply be an extension of the new review planning process. Grant provides all the materials to do this. What about doing it when college students are not in town? That’s a valid criticism, but this is when the grant money was available we need to do it before July. There will be a traffic count on May 31 for a week, and it will have count and speed. If it’s successful, then what? Then the neighborhood has info to request more such infrastructure be put in place. It may not be exactly what was done during the experiment but it will inform that design. This process brings together private citizens, traffic planners, engineers, designers, etc. The board is hoping to plan a “pop-up event” for the RNA – two purposes: increase membership and also tell people what’s going on. We are wanting to get this on the website and FB to round people up. The Jeffs are both on the committee.

UCD steering committee – Several board members plus Louise Knauer, Diana Day, Katie Kring, Erin Hudson will be on the steering committee. We are also considering asking an MSU rep to join. Also a business owner from Cherry & Pickwick. Committee will probably meet about once a month over the summer, maybe more frequently as the process nears completion.

John Melton motioned to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

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RNA Meeting Minutes – April 2017

Board members present: Laurel Bryant, Nick Harper, Jeff Bentley, Peggy Wise, Sue Ekstam, John Melton, and Jim Lohmeyer. Mike Brothers was present later in the meeting.

Others present: Chuck and Pat Johnson

Call to Order – 7 p.m.

Review of Minutes – Nick Harper moved to approve, Jeff Bentley seconded. The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report – Peggy Wise presented. There is currently $2,059.44 in the RNA account. During the past month we have received $185 in membership dues representing 6 individual memberships (2 of these are renewing and last year comprised one household membership) and 5 household memberships. Expenses of the last month were $24.35 for new checks. Laurel moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report.

Laurel mentioned we could apply for a FedEx account at the local office to receive discounted copy services. Sue Ekstam suggested we do that. Peggy Wise also stated we can get our copies made at UHBC for a minimal fee and providing the copy paper. We currently have almost a case of copy paper on hand.

Bylaws Update – Laurel Bryant brought up the bylaws, which we have discussed updating. Laurel mentioned we need the bylaws to reflect the policies regarding the requirements for membership on the RNA Facebook page. Sue Ekstam has suggested a bylaws committee be formed. Sue Ekstam and Peggy Wise volunteered to be on the committee. (Note since that time, Jeff Barber has also joined the committee).

Facebook – How the membership requests for Facebook had been handled was discussed. Laurel states we will have a tab on the website to explain Facebook membership. The membership guidelines will also be posted to the Facebook page.

Neighborhood Cleanup – Peggy Wise gave an update regarding the Neighborhood Cleanup scheduled for May 6, 2017. The post cards to households should be mailed this week. Habitat for Humanity, Missouri Council of the Blind, Community Partnership of the Ozarks will be volunteering and on site. We will also have a gentleman that volunteers with Habitat for Humanity will provide scrap metal hauling. iHeartRadio will be making some public service announcements for us.   We can ask for volunteers that are performing community service and CASP will contact Community Partnership of the Ozarks with scheduling those persons.   Volunteers should be present at UHBC by 7:30 a.m. CPO has asked if we want to ask a donation fee. CPO has stated that most neighborhood associations seek a donation. Discussion of types of items we cannot accept. A resident asked what the boundaries of the neighborhood were pertaining to the clean up event. The boundaries of RNA are the east side of National to the west side of Glenstone and the north side of Catalpa to and including the north side of Cherry. Our service area for the cleanup, however, extends to Sunshine on the South and St. Louis on the north.

Rountree News Website – Laurel discussed the website updates. She and Mike Brothers met with Lincoln Whisler and the website should be back up and running by this weekend. Laurel and Mike will be administrators. Please provide Laurel or Mike with pictures that can be added to the website of neighborhood events, changing seasonal pictures in the neighborhood. Having a newsletter was also briefly discussed. We all agree we would like to have a newsletter but having someone prepare it has been the issue. Laurel pointed out the City now has a quarterly all-city neighborhoods newsletter and are taking content contributions from the neighborhoods.

PAR Officer Update – Issues in the neighborhood are the traffic/visibility issue at the corner of Kentwood and Catalpa, and at Kentwood and Delmar. Laurel Bryant also mentioned the owners of Tie & Timber have been cleaning up the property just west of the train tracks on the northwest corner at Weller and Cherry and have found used needles and the majority of a box of unused needles near the tracks. Officer Schlup stated that theft is currently a major issue all across the city. People arrested for theft and property crimes with no other crime are booked and released currently. Possible causes of the increases in these crimes are drugs and poverty and an increasing homeless population. He reminded us to keep car doors and homes locked and to report any theft. It helps them to keep track of trends in different areas.

We discussed traffic speed tracking regarding Cherry Street, which continues to have a problem with speeding. Jeff Bentley spoke with City personnel and the City will be doing a traffic calming study on Cherry Street, thanks to grant funding. Jeff Bentley has been named to a task force for this grant/study and will follow up with any new information from the City of Springfield. Also discussed speeding motorcycles. This has been a problem on Grand Street. Officer Schlup had contacted a residence in the 1600 block of Grand occupied by students that had issues with blocking the driveway. That issue appears to be resolved.

Brief discussion regarding Neighborhood Watch. Officer Schlup discussed a new program that is an enhanced Neighborhood Watch with Watch Captains and neighbors that walk portions of the neighborhood and report any issues noticed. We can contact Officer Schlup if we would like to do this.

Cherry Street update – Laurel Bryant discussed the RNA survey regarding Cherry Street corridor. No further changes are requested. Laurel will post the survey to the website for neighbors to take.

City Planner Alana Owen has contacted Laurel and says the city wants to begin the process of reviewing the UCD. The city needs to hold a larger “kick off” meeting for the neighborhood in May but would like to meet with us in the next week to plan some details for that. We need to remind our neighbors that even when this process begins, it’s going to take a while and we need to maintain engagement throughout.

Other Business – Laurel mentioned there is a Bissman homes tour in early June. Proceeds will benefit the ongoing maintenance of the Maple Park Cemetery gazebo. It’s $25 to tour the general houses.

Discussion about the Air Services property on Grand. It’s for lease but is grandfathered in as commercial and must be leased to a similar type of business.

Peggy brought up the idea of maintaining memberships on a calendar year rather than based on the school year. It used to be based on what is now Owlapalooza, but now we don’t have that under our purview any more. Sue spoke with Josh at Cherry Picker about a similar kind of celebration at Cherry and Pickwick. Curtis Marshall with Tie & Timber has mentioned a desire to have a street festival once he gets his brewery open.

Should we come up with a policy for people who want to address the RNA meetings? Should there be a difference between issues and sales pitches? Will put it on the agenda for next time.

The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m.

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RNA Board Meeting Agenda – June 20, 2017

Rountree Neighborhood Association Board Meeting

University Heights Baptist Church

7 p.m., June 20, 2017

Please note: The June meeting is a general meeting for all residents. 

Call to Order

Review of Minutes

Treasurers Report

PAR Officer

Representative from Boomertown Lofts development (800 block of S. National)

Kelly Byrne, developer of proposed Pickwick District

Patty Penny

Insurance quote

Pop-up traffic study recap

Safety & Neighborhood Watch update

Bylaws update

Communications with the City during UCD review process

Other Business


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Why you should “pop up” as a volunteer for traffic calming demo June 16-17

One of the most-cited issues at Rountree neighborhood meetings is the traffic situation at Cherry and Pickwick. It’s absolutely awesome that this lynchpin “commercial node” is becoming more vibrant, hip, and popular. But that also means more people want to visit this space to eat, shop or have a drink. Combine this traffic with the average high speed of cars traveling along Cherry and all the pedestrians in the area and, well, it’s increasingly congested – and dangerous.

This month, the issue will receive some attention – and you can help make it happen as a volunteer. If you’re worried about safety at Cherry & Pickwick, there’s something you can do to help spotlight the problem.

If you were at the city’s kick-off meeting for the UCD review on May 16, you heard mention of a new pilot project to test some “pop-up” traffic calming measures on Cherry. This is actually a partnership between the Ozark Mountain Section of the American Planning Association’s Missouri Chapter; Trailnet; the City of Springfield; and various other local organizations. It’s made possible by a $60,000 grant from the APA, and similar demonstrations are happening in Kansas City and St. Louis.

If you’re not familiar with the term “traffic calming,” it’s just engineering speak for using street design to get vehicles to slow down. This demonstration will temporarily put in place some curb, crosswalk and other elements designed to do just that. Traffic counts and speeds will be taken before and during the demo to measure impact. The project will consist of building out curbs at two “choke points” just to the east and west of the Cherry/Pickwick intersection; bumping out the curbs on both sides of Cherry at Pickwick; a crosswalk; and signage.

Here’s where we come in: it’s going to take a lot of effort to put all that stuff in place. It has to be done quickly and efficiently, and it has to be done right.

“We are very excited to partner with the Rountree Neighborhood Association to show how small changes in street design can make a big impact for the community. However, we cannot make this happen without volunteers. Support from the neighborhood is vital to this community engagement event’s success.” said Jeremy Snow, President of the APA Ozark Mountain Section and project lead.

Volunteers are needed from 5:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. on Friday, June 16 to set up, as well as 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 17th to tear down. Various data collection activities will be conducted throughout the day on both days and will need some additional volunteers.

Not only will you be helping make this happen, but you’ll be pitching in with neighbors and friends. The project planners are also inviting local media to cover this story, so it will be a great way to show how involved and connected our hood is to the rest of the community.

Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact Jeremy Snow at

UPDATE: Here’s some local news coverage of the project.

KSPR: Creative study hopes to improve the safety of one intersection in Springfield

News-Leader: “Something has to be done” … Pop-up traffic calming on Cherry Street

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