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Hearing on Kinnick-like house continues Sept. 30

Board of Adjustment to meet at 6:30 p.m. at Iowa City Hall

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By Maddy Arnold, The Gazette

IOWA CITY — An Iowa City Board of Adjustment hearing regarding whether a Decorah man should be allowed to build a home in Iowa City resembling Kinnick Stadium is set to continue next week.

The hearing began on Sept. 14 with a six-hour meeting at Iowa City Hall and continued Wednesday with a five-hour meeting.

The hearing is now to continue at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30, in Council Chambers at City Hall, 410 E. Washington St. Board Chairman Larry Baker said a decision is expected at that meeting.

At issue is whether landowner Frederic Reed Carlson should be allowed to build the 7,500-square-foot Kinnick-like home at 101 Lusk Ave.

A group calling itself the Neighbors of Manville Heights Association is challenging the project and argues that Iowa City officials erred in classifying the house as a single-family structure and granting Carlson and his wife Sandy a building permit. They filed an appeal with the Board of Adjustment, which acts as a quasi-judicial body in that its decisions are binding and can only be challenged through an appeal to district court.

During the first two meetings, several neighbors addressed the board to express concerns over safety and present their opinion that the proposed home would be nothing more than a party house, rather than a single-family residence.

On Wednesday, Carlson spoke, saying the house would serve as a “central gathering spot for our family for years to come.”

He said the house would be used for family get-togethers and that it meets all the requirements for a single-family home. Carlson, of Decorah, said he has firm roots in Iowa City and is a longtime season ticket holder for University of Iowa football. He said Iowa City is centrally located for many of his family members who enjoy coming to Iowa City to see friends and attend events.

Last week, Doug Boothroy, director of Neighborhood and Development Services for Iowa City, addressed the board, saying city staff carefully considered the building proposal and site plan before approving a building permit. He said city code allows great latitude in what is considered a single-family dwelling and the Kinnick-style house meets those criteria.

The house includes a top level with four bedrooms and a laundry room. The bottom floor and basement include a theater, basketball court, a courtyard, kitchen and large restrooms.

A decision now rests with Tim Weitzel, T. Gene Chrischilles, Becky Soglin and Baker. Board of Adjustment member Constance Goeb has recused herself from the hearing.

Baker said he doesn’t expect another marathon meeting on Sept. 30.

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