116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - The City Planning Commission on Thursday is to hear a request to reconsider rezoning for an embattled affordable housing project some city leaders say is needed but has faced overwhelming pushback from neighbors in the northwest quadrant.
CommonBond Communities, a nonprofit affordable housing developer based in St. Paul, Minn., has filed a successive application for its Crestwood Ridge Apartments, proposed for vacant city land at 1200 Edgewood Road NW. The process, which is rarely used, is available for plans that have changed substantially enough for reconsideration within one year of being rejected.
The City Planning Commission meeting begins at 3 p.m. Thursday in City Council Chambers at City Hall, 101 First St. SE. The successive application case is No. 9 on the agenda.
CommonBond officials have said plans include a number of changes to address concerns of neighbors, including an underground stormwater cistern, more play area and sidewalks, all at the developer's expense.
The City Planning Commission, which is an advisory body to the City Council, previously voted against rezoning in April 2016. The matter still went before the City Council, although not until October, but again failed to get enough votes to allow the necessary rezoning.
The spotlight on the project has been elevated because CommonBond won a federal tax credit through the Iowa Finance Authority worth $8 million because the 45-unit apartment complex commits 10 percent - five units - for permanent housing for the chronically homeless. Crestwood Ridge would be a demonstration site for similar initiatives, according to the site-specific tax credit, which expires if there's no progress by the end of June.
Neighbors resisted the location for the project - and already have vowed to continue opposition - citing concerns about stormwater runoff, traffic and insufficient play areas for children. Supporters, though, pushed back, saying the site is ideal and the neighbors simply don't want to welcome lower income residents.
Regardless of the recommendation from the City Planning Commission, the successive application request still needs approval from the City Council. The issue could be on the April 11 meeting agenda. If the successive application is approved, that means the Crestwood Ridge Apartments developer gets another chance at a rezoning vote.
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