IOWA CITY — A housing development near Iowa City’s Hickory Hill Park did not get the support it needs to move forward in its present form.
A request to rezone 48.75 acres of land near Scott Boulevard and First Avenue and adjacent to Hickory Hill Park was rejected by a 7-0 vote during Thursday’s meeting of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
“We are grateful that the commissioners heard our — and your — concerns and voted down the proposal in its current form,” the Friends of Hickory Hill Park said in a Facebook statement. “We recognize that this presents a challenge for the developers and hope we can continue to work with them to find a compromise that will work for all.”
The development proposed by Axiom Consultants included 43 single-family homes, 10 single-family condos and a 120-unit memory care and assisted living facility.
Hickory Trail would have been extended west from First Avenue and continued north to Scott Boulevard. The development also would have added 10 acres to Hickory Hill Park.
City staff received roughly two dozen emails opposing the project, citing its proximity to the 185-acre woodland area.
Friends of Hickory Hill Park said they are not strictly against a development near the park but had concerns with elements of the Axiom proposal that did not fit the area’s comprehensive plan.
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Specifically, the nonprofit wanted to see homes built on only one side of the street and cul-de-sacs.
City staff recommended approval of the development, noting that while it wasn’t perfectly in line with the comprehensive plan, the project featured a variety of housing types, had limited impact to sensitive areas and would have added land to Hickory Hill Park,
The Friends of Hickory Hill Park’s Facebook post said the group was leaving the door open for a revised proposal.
“The commission stated that if the developers return an amended development plan, which removes lots on the western side of the proposed road, turning it from a double- to a single-loaded street, the plan will likely be approved,” the post stated.
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