Neighbors sue to stop Kinnick-like house in Iowa City
Judge orders board to turn over records
IOWA CITY — The Neighbors of Manville Heights Association has filed a lawsuit in Johnson County District Court in their continued fight to stop construction of a house designed to look like the exterior of Kinnick Stadium.
The court documents, which name the Board of Adjustment and the city of Iowa City, ask that the court review and find error in the city’s classification of the house as a single-family home and its issuance of a building permit, among others points.
The petition for a declaratory judgment also asks the court to rescind the building permit and prevent any others from being issued for the property until legal proceedings are finished.
The filing comes a week after the city’s Board of Adjustment, a quasi-judicial body, refused to uphold the neighborhood association’s appeal of the city’s building permit, deciding the city had acted property in deciding the 7,500-square-foot home qualified as a residence.
The board’s vote on Sept. 30 came after 12 hours of hearings spread across three meetings in September.
Frederic Reed Carlson and his wife, Sandy, of Decorah, want to build the home at 101 Lusk Ave. Plans for the house include a sport court, courtyard, home theater, industrial kitchen and men’s and women’s restrooms, plus bedrooms on the second floor.
Neighbors argued during the Board of Adjustment hearings that the house would be more of an entertainment venue than a single-family home; that it would draw too many cars and pedestrians to the dead-end street; and that it presented safety concerns.
The Carlsons said during the hearings the house is intended for family gatherings.
In district court this week, the neighbors also filed a 12-page writ, asking the court to require the Board of Adjustment to turn over all records about the project within 20 days. District Judge Marsha Bergan issued that order Friday afternoon.
The 59-page petition for a declaratory judgment also asks the court to give an arbitrator powers to review and decide matters in the case.
Neither Carlson nor neighborhood association president Karin Southard could be immediately reached for comment Friday.
Jim Larew, attorney for the neighbors, citing ethical concerns, said he could not comment on ongoing court proceedings.