Government

City Council OKs development in northeast Cedar Rapids

Neighbors object to 6 new homes near Wright Elementary

The Cedar Rapids City Council chamber at City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in southeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
The Cedar Rapids City Council chamber at City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in southeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A northeast quadrant housing development plan near Wright Elementary rejected by the City Council last spring got a green light from the City Council on Tuesday despite continued resistance from neighbors.

The blueprint for the La Hacienda Stradt Addition, 1525 Hollywood Blvd. NE, was redrawn from four duplexes to six single-family homes on a 0.89-acre patch of land bounded by Hollywood Boulevard, Arizona Avenue and Lawrence Street NE.

“I have to approve the plat because I have no basis to deny it,” City Council member Scott Overland said. “If there was, I would vote ‘no.’ ”

In question is an empty piece of property with tall trees and a grassy area used by neighborhood children. The lot had been part of church grounds, but the church moved and sold the land to a day care, which in turn is selling part of the property to developer Adam Stradt.

During a Tuesday meeting, City Council members unanimously approved the final plat for La Hacienda, saying they were satisfied many of the concerns of neighbors had been addressed or would not be made worse by the new homes.

Still, several neighbors protested.

Kathy Hughes pointed to plans to cut down mature hickory trees, which she said help control stormwater runoffs.

Charles Daugherty predicted stormwater runoff would damage other homes. Others questioned public safety concerns related to increased traffic and whether the nearby trout stream, McLoud Run, would be impacted.

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“This is not right for infill development,” Jeanne Russell said. “This would change the dynamics of the neighborhood in a negative way.”

The developer, Stradt, noted the sidewalk plan was altered to save trees. The land, he said, was always going to be developed; it was just a question of when.

Ken DeKeyser, the city’s development services manager, said the stormwater improvements may even improve runoff conditions on the property, eliminated trees would be replaced 2-to-1, and the development would have little impact on the existing traffic concerns tied to the school and day care.

“Six additional lots would not change anything worse than it is now,” he said.

l Comments: (319) 339-3177; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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