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Council approves first reading of rezoning ordinance

Developer interested in building single and multi-family units on Wall Street parcel

The City Council of Webster City approved a rezoning matter Monday night that will change a section of land near Wall Street from R-1 single family dwellings to R-3 multiple family dwellings.

The council met in-person at the council chambers of City Hall. Members of the public were able to log-on digitally via Zoom, Facebook Live or on the city’s Mediacom channel, 117.2.

A public hearing on the rezoning was held at the top of the meeting. The matter surrounds a 25-acre parcel of land owned by the Marilyn Williams family. A developer hopes to create a variety of dwellings on the property. One written objection was filed by John D. Larson of Webster City who said in a letter that with 10 apartment buildings in the area, it seemed unfair to add another in “such a small area.”

Gina Monroe was in attendance and told the council she owned the farm adjacent to the property in question.

“I don’t know anything about it, I don’t know the kind of apartments that are going in there, so I would like to learn more before I object to anything,” Monroe said.

Mayor John Hawkins told Monroe that the matter, if approved, would take three readings for the zoning to be changed. City Manager Jeff Sheridan invited Monroe to call the city for more information.

Karla Wetzler, planning director for the city, said Kading Properties of Urbandale is interested in purchasing the 25 acres to build 190 units over a 7-year span of time.

“What they are asking for is that it goes from single family dwelling to multi-family dwelling. So it would go from an R-1 to an R-3,” she said. There are several R-3 parcels in the same area, according to Wetzler.

“(Kading Properties) are asking that it be included in the R-3 in the vicinity,” she said. The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval and the zoning change does conform with the city’s comprehensive plan, she added.

Karie Ramsey of Kading Properties explained that her company is looking at the parcel for a combination of single family and multi-family structures. Plans call for single family homes to be built to the rear of the parcel, with two six-plexes located close to Lynx Avenue.

“Overall, this averages no more than eight units per acre, which we feel are still real medium density to low density product,” Ramsey said. All of the properties would be rentals and the single family homes would be leased.

Ramsey said the plan would create an opportunity for workforce housing.

“We feel this is a really good spot to do that,” she said.

Ramsey said Kading Properties has similar builds in 18 communities across central Iowa. Rental rates for a 1,000 square-foot, 3 bedroom unit would run about $850 per month, according to Ramsey. She said other units will have a one-car or two-car attached garage.

After the close of the hearing, the council unanimously approved the first reading of the ordinance changing the parcel from R-1 to R-3 zoning.

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