Coralville council advances part of Bridgewater

Neighbors show up to express concern

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CORALVILLE — The city council moved forward with part of the 100-acre Bridgewater Subdivision planned for Coralville but delayed action Tuesday night on its more controversial piece.

The council voted 5-0 to approve site plans for a 170-unit senior housing, assisted living and memory care facility.

But council members put off acting on plans for the two phases that include single-family and multifamily housing units.

“It’s our responsibility to go slow on this thing,” council member Tom Gill said. “That’s not saying their plan is not good, but we’ve got to get this right.”

The Bridgewater Subdivision is planned for land immediately west of the Iowa Firefighters Memorial — west of First Avenue and north of Interstate 80.

As envisioned, the site would have two commercial lots, single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes and apartment buildings — a total of 594 units, according to the city.

About two dozen neighbors were at the meeting and several addressed the council about concerns.

Most of the issues focused on the type of housing being proposed — how traffic would be affected, if the city was following the proper procedures to approve the plans and whether the project fit with the community plan.

“It definitely wasn’t the result we want, but at the same time it wasn’t a complete move forward with the process,” said Tim Leonard, a leader of the High Country Neighborhood. “Sounds like the city does have concerns.”

Mike Bails, a representative from the project’s developer, Venture One, said the project was designed to transition smoothly from the single-family homes that already exist into the larger multifamily structures.

“We wanted to match the tone and temperament of what’s already there,” Bails said.

Neighbor Sue Moffitt said she is concerned about the traffic the new development would generate and how quickly the approval process was moving. She said she did not receive the initial meeting notice about the proposal because she lives 200 feet outside the development, where notice is required.

“Obviously, we would’ve like to have been involved a little earlier,” Moffitt said. “I think we were kind of blindsided.”

Moffitt said she was encouraged because council members were being “reflective,”

The next phase of the Bridgewater project, which includes the two commercial lots, is to be discussed at the October Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

The council promised to stay in contact with the neighbors, and Leonard said the residents would now have to follow the lead of the city.

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