Downtown Planning

In 2007, Springfield voters approved a Downtown Urban Renewal District. This commitment by Springfield’s residents set the stage for a flourishing downtown. Fast-forward to present-day, Springfield is continuing to see the energy of ideas come to life in a special part of the city that is testament to Springfield’s motto: Proud History, Bright Future. Since 2007, City staff and the community have engaged in processes to develop tools—including plans and policies— that will promote and sustain a vibrant Mixed-Use District with:

  • Successful retail blocks
  • Inviting pedestrian-friendly streets
  • Various housing options
  • Enhanced public spaces and civic center
  • Unique cultural destinations, and
  • Convenient connections to Island Park and surrounding neighborhoods

Together with the community, staff is working to create the tools that will implement completed planning projects that support Springfield’s vision for an enjoyable downtown. As part of this effort, the Springfield City Council directed staff to prepare design standards for the Downtown Mixed-Use District. These design standards will positively contribute to how downtown looks, feels, and functions by guiding redevelopment of property and improvements to the public realm (think: streets and landscapes). The standards will also ensure that downtown’s redevelopment is compatible with its existing historic buildings and blocks. Reviewing, refining, and reformatting the standards in the Municipal Code, Development Code, and Engineering Design Standards and Procedures Manual are key elements of the work involved. The revised standards will be presented in a simplified, user-friendly format to clearly communicate flexible options for new development to achieve the intended outcomes.

News and Events

April 2019

At City Council’s March 25, 2019 Work Session, the proposed changes to the Downtown Sign District of the Springfield Municipal Code were reviewed. Specific topics were presented as Action Items A through H. Staff received direction on Action Items A and B and will continue to seek Council’s input at the April 22 Work Session, beginning with Action Item C.

The project team plans to seek guidance from City Council on other aspects of downtown planning projects later this spring.

Additionally, staff attended the Discover Downtown Springfield’s Downtown Business Meetup on April 16 to share information about the proposed updates to the Sign Code with Springfield’s business community. View the informational handout.

Get Involved

Everyone is invited to participate in this process. We need your input to ensure that our planning efforts meet the community’s expectations and aspirations. You can get involved in one or more ways:

Downtown Citizen Advisory Committee

The Downtown Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) began their work in 2008 to advise City staff, Planning Commission, and City Council on how to accomplish the community’s vision for downtown. One recent result of the CAC’s dedicated work and input is a set of recommendations for how to update the development and design requirements that apply to downtown properties. See below for the dates and details of the most recent CAC meetings. Additional dates and details for older CAC meetings can be found here.

Contact Information
Monica Sather, Senior Planner
541.736.1038