The municipal council will meet on March 22, 2022
Included in each City Council Briefing Packet is a note from the City Administrator providing a summary and background to the items on the agenda. We’ll start posting these memos here in our news feed to make them more accessible. You can sign up to be notified of news, agendas and more by email.
This meeting will be held in person and can be viewed live by the public in person or on the Internet.
This meeting can be viewed live by the public in person or on the Internet at at northlibertyiowa.org/liveon Facebook at facebook.com/northliberty or on YouTube at youtube.com/northliberty. Meetings are rebroadcast on cable and available on demand at northlibertyiowa.org/meetings.
Tuesday’s meeting will be held in person and will be streamed live on Watch Meetings Live.
The following are on the consent agenda and included in the package:
- Minutes of the municipal council (03/08/22)
- Claim for Payment #5 and Project Acceptance, Ranshaw House Project, Wolfe Contracting, Inc., $32,767.53
- Change Order 3, Water and Sanitary Extensions in SW Growth Area, Boomerang Corporation, ($200,965.79)
- Pay Application 13 and Project Acceptance, SW Growth Area Water & Sanitary Sewer Extensions, Boomerang Corporation, $107,107.06
Johnson County Inclusive Economic Development Plan
Asmita Poudel of Astig Planning will be at Tuesday’s meeting to talk about an inclusive economic development plan that is being developed in collaboration with ICAD, the Business Partnership and the Green State Credit Union. Included in the package is the slide deck which will be presented on Tuesday.
Matnic, LLC – located at the northeast corner of North Front Street and Jaro Way – is requesting a rezoning from the RS-3 single unit residence district to the RM-21 multi-unit residence district. The applicant indicated that the rezoning is intended to facilitate the redevelopment of the property with two 12-unit multi-family buildings and a detached garage. There is zoning RM-21 to the north and west and RM-8 to the east and south. RM-8 was recently approved by City Council for East and South ownership. The RM-8 zoned development contains 20 units on 4.10 acres. The applicant is a co-owner of this development and is unable to combine this property with this one due to the ownership structure. However, when analyzed from a density perspective, the density of the two developments would be 44 units on 5.58 acres or 7.89 units per acre. Some concerns were expressed about the demolition of the existing residence. This property is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Even if it were, the owner would have the right under federal and municipal regulations to demolish the building. Staff received an objection from the landlord located at 110 Jefferson Lane. The owner has expressed that he would like the property to be developed with single family residences. A good neighbor meeting was held on February 10, 2022. Two people attended the meeting and asked general questions about the proposed development. The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the application at the meeting of 03/01/2022. Staff also recommends approval.
Annexation of Scanlon and Penn Townships
Scanlon Family, LLC and Penn Township Annexation – located at the southeast corner of North Liberty Road and Oak Lane NE – are seeking the voluntary annexation of 23.3 acres of property. Staff worked with the Scanlon family on a development concept, which will include vehicular access to Alt Wein Cemetery. City water service is immediately available and sanitary sewer service is being designed to be extended to the east side of North Liberty Road. All other typical city services will be provided upon annexation, including street maintenance (already run by the City), police, fire, garbage collection, inspections and building enforcement , and others. Notably, Oak Lane NE will remain a private county road. Due to topography, up to three lots will have Oak Lane NE as their primary access. Staff require these three lots to share pavement maintenance costs. All required notifications have been made and no objections to annexation have been received. Staff recommends approval of annexation.
Alliant Electric Service Contract
Staff worked with Alliant Energy to explore ways to reduce energy costs at the new police station. While electricity costs were expected to be higher in the much larger facility, monthly electricity costs average $5,800. The proposed agreement with Alliant would change our general service rate to an extended general service rate, which would save approximately $20,000 per year. If approved, the agreement and billing will be retroactive, beginning in October 2021. Staff recommend approval of the agreement.
Community Center Roof Replacement Project
The agenda includes a public hearing for the plans and specifications for the community center roof replacement project, followed by a resolution approving the plans and specifications. Staff recommends approval of the resolution. Tenders for this project are due by April 7th and a recommendation for contract award is expected to be on the Board’s agenda on April 26th.
The Preserve, Part 1 Escrow Agreement
Watts Group Development has requested a waiver of the sidewalk and erosion control requirements of the Developer’s Agreement for Lot 1 of Part 1 of the Reserve, to allow condominium units on this lot to be sold no title objections. They have placed money in escrow with the City to ensure that the sidewalk and sod will be installed in a timely manner. Staff recommend approval of the agreement.
SW Growth Utilities Project
During the Southwest Growth Area Utility Project, a municipal contractor damaged a fence on a property owned by Jim and Beverly Seelman. The staff negotiated an agreement with the Seelmans for the replacement of the fence. The balance of the settlement payment is deducted from the final payment to the City’s contractor. Staff recommend approval of the agreement.
Commercial Drive Extension
Staff have reached an agreement with the William Simmons Estate in the amount of $157,800 to secure the purchase of the real estate needed for the Commercial Drive Extension Project, which will extend Commercial Drive to West Zeller Street. If approved, the previously scheduled sentencing hearing will be cancelled. Staff recommend purchase approval.
Solomon Holdings, LLC, Easement Acquisitions and Rezoning, Second Reading
The agenda includes permanent easements for storm sewers, drainage and underground utilities, as well as acquisition, all needed for the North Jones Boulevard expansion project. Staff recommends approval of easements and acquisition.
Solomon Holdings, LLC is requesting a zoning map amendment for two residential neighborhoods and a commercial neighborhood on 71.48 acres, located north of Penn Street, south of 240and Street, and west of the future North Jones Boulevard.
Rezoning will allow for the development of a variety of unspecified housing types and commercial uses:
- The RS-9 single-family housing district was created in 2017 to allow for smaller lots. 50′ wide lots would be towards the north end of the property and 60′ wide lots would be further inland. If approved, it would be the first RS-9 zoned subdivision in the city.
- Part of the RM-21 multi-unit housing district would facilitate an upscale apartment development with amenities such as a pool clubhouse, walking paths and a pier. The concept plan represents 420 units in nine buildings, so it would be a large development that would take several years to build. Staff request a traffic survey to analyze traffic patterns and ensure there are no road safety issues.
- The W. Penn Street frontage would contain four lots zoned C-2-A. There would be a public street between the commercial and multi-family development, which would allow access to both developments.
Construction of the roadway, multi-use pathway and utilities is expected to begin in the spring. The applicant is working on the design of the preliminary subdivision plan for the overall development and the preliminary site plan for the multi-family development. Recently approved Zoning Code changes regarding preliminary site plan submission requirements have facilitated a “whole property approach” to design, as fully designed building plans are not required at this stage of the process.
From a land use perspective, staff believe this is an ideal location for high-intensity development, as the only residentially zoned properties are to the north on 240and Street. Considering that there is a need for park space in the northwestern part of the city, the staff has entered into a dialogue with the owner regarding the acquisition of park space east of the future boulevard N .Jones. About 15 people attended the good neighbor meeting on January 27, 2022. The neighbors present had general questions regarding the style of development. A participant expressed concern about points of conflict with the multi-use trail and development accesses. Staff note that no lots would have direct access to N. Jones Boulevard.
Staff and the Planning Commission recommend approval subject to approval of the Preliminary Plan and Preliminary Site Plan at the third and final rezoning reading. Again, plan submission requirements are reduced, which would help ensure that the development is as presented. It is expected that the Planning Commission will review the Preliminary Plan and Preliminary Site Plan at the April 5, 2022 meeting.
Nicotine-Free Premises Ordinance, Second Reading
Johnson County Public Health recommended a smoke-free air law amendment to the park board on Jan. 6. The park board in turn recommended that council pass a city code amendment designating city parks and pathways as tobacco- and nicotine-free places. .