Present – Spring 2025
Community Development Code Update Initiative
Springfield is updating a series of City Codes that regulate the development of land and installation of public infrastructure. Among others, this effort will include updating the Chapter 36 Land Development Code (Zoning Code and Subdivision Regulations), of the City’s Municipal Code to better implement the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan Forward SGF, adopted in November 2022. Specifically, updates to the land development code regulations include Article II, subdivision regulations, and Article III, zoning regulations, and coordination with Article V, building code, as well as design standards administered by the Departments of Public Works and Environmental Services. The last comprehensive updates of this code were in 1995, although various amendments have been made to these codes and others periodically as needed.
This project will follow-up on the recent planning efforts of Springfield. Rather than revisit policy issues and the direction of those plans, this effort will focus on how to implement the guiding principles and policy recommendations outlined in the Forward SGF Comprehensive Plan. This will best reflect the time and effort of all those involved in the process, as well as honor past engagement efforts into specific issues to verify and refine the community direction and engagement. While this project may dive deeper into specific issues and refine the community directions on quality of place, engagement on a development code update is fundamentally different than on other planning projects and that of Forward SGF. There will be a greater emphasis placed on application and streamlining the process. The City hopes to increase flexibility, reduce community stress and deliver more integrated projects with a higher community return.
Development regulations are just one of many tools the City uses to build the future envisioned by their community. Forward SGF: Implementation is the next phase of the comprehensive planning process. It involves a design- and systems-based approach to regulation that encourages placemaking by focusing on the typologies that create place. The City is working with Multistudio, a Kansas City-based planning firm, on this next phase.
Forward SGF recognizes the following trends to consider when updating the City’s regulatory development codes:
- Increased emphasis on quality of place – a more attractive, pet-friendly and amenity-rich experience.
- Increased emphasis on creating complete neighborhoods with diverse housing close to amenities and services.
- Reduction in parking demand and expansion of delivery and pick-up services in the retain and restaurant sectors.
- The need to accommodate emerging consumer trends and preferences, such as expanded outdoor dining, drive-up and drive-thru services, parklets, food trucks and outdoor markets.
- A greater demand for environmentally conscious development.
- Greater emphasis on improving the retail and service experience.
- Increased emphasis on City corridors to be better integrated allowing more flexible permitting.
- Increased flexibility in permitted uses for expansion of home occupations
- Increased flexibility for commercial and business spaces, office-warehouses and logistical service providers.