Iowa City changes definition of 'household'

Measures limiting multi-bedroom apartments, requiring more parking spaces also moving ahead

The City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved the final reading of an ordinance changing the definition of “household” in neighborhoods near the University of Iowa campus and downtown.

Now, no more than three unrelated people can live together. That rule is already applied in the rest of the city. Existing residential units will be grandfathered in.

The ordinance is part of the city’s attempt to get a handle on large student-occupied apartments that city officials and many full-time residents say are hurting older neighborhoods.

The council also had the second of three votes needed on two related ordinances.

One would prevent the construction of multifamily dwellings with more than three bedrooms per unit and limit the number of three-bedroom units allowed. Another would require more parking spaces for larger apartments.

Terry Dickens and Jim Throgmorton voted against the parking ordinance, and Dickens was the lone dissenter on the bedroom measure.

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