There’s been a big update on the development dispute at National Avenue and Sunshine Street. Greene County Circuit Judge Derek Ankrom made a call on June 14th, siding with Be Kind & Merciful, LLC (BK&M) after a lengthy legal battle with University Heights residents. Residents were trying to block BK&M’s plans to rezone and develop the area, citing old rules that only allowed private homes made of brick, stone or stucco on lots across Springfield’s University Heights neighborhood, among other restrictions.

Ankrom’s ruling shook things up by throwing out three of the four restrictions, saying they hadn’t been consistently enforced over the years. The only one he upheld was about ‘garagettes,’ which are apartments near or above garages. Ankrom determined the deed restrictions have been waived by “widespread and continuous failure to enforce such covenants,” citing violations by the plaintiffs themselves. This decision marks a big turn in this saga, highlighting the clash between preserving neighborhood history and embracing new development in Springfield.

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