Decision on Kinnick Stadium-like house appeal may come Wednesday

Board of Adjustment to continue hearing at Iowa City Hall

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IOWA CITY — The long awaited decision on whether an Iowa City landowner can build a 7,500-square-foot house designed to look like Kinnick Stadium may come Wednesday night.

The Iowa City Board of Adjustment is set to reconvene at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Council Chambers at Iowa City Hall, 410 E. Washington St. The quasi-judicial board is considering an appeal filed by a group of residents calling themselves the Neighbors of Manville Heights Association, who are aiming to stop landowner Frederic Reed Carlson, of Decorah, from building the house at 101 Lusk Ave.

The residents filed the appeal earlier this year after Iowa City officials granted Carlson a building permit and approved a site plan for the home. The group says the city erred in classifying the house as a single-family dwelling, wrongfully approved the site plan and should not have issued a building permit.

The hearing began at 5:15 p.m. Sept. 14 at City Hall. The meeting ran until 11:30 p.m. with no decision reached in the matter.

RELATED: No decision on Kinnick-like house

During the proceedings, members of the Board of Adjustment — Tim Weitzel, T. Gene Chrischilles, Becky Soglin and Chairman Larry Baker — heard from Doug Boothroy, director of Neighborhood and Development Services for Iowa City, as well as several members of the neighborhood group and the group’s lawyer Jim Larew.

Board member Constance Goeb has recused herself from the proceedings.

During the upcoming hearing, board members are expected to hear from more neighbors, as well as Carlson’s team. If the board makes a decision Wednesday, it is binding unless appealed to district court.

Passionate neighbors showed up in full force to the first meeting. Dozens crowded the Council Chambers with some even sitting on the ground and spilling out the door.

Boothroy explained the city’s position on the matter, pointing out that city code grants “wide latitude” in what is described as a single-family dwelling. Larew argued his group believes the house is being built as an entertainment venue.

Carlson has said the home would not be a party house and only would be used occasionally for family gatherings.

Designs for the house show a top floor with bedrooms and laundry. Plans for the main level and basement call for a sport court, theater, courtyard and industrial kitchen, among other features.

Boothroy said because the structure can be used for eating, cooking, sleeping and living, it must be classified as a home.

He added, however, if Carlson does build the home and breaks the law in any way, the city would “litigate that situation.”


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Appeal hearing on Kinnick Stadium-style house postponed

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