Aldermen will be listening closely Wednesday to all Davenport residents when the council convenes a public hearing that leads to a series of votes to decide the future of St. Ambrose University’s stadium.

The extensive public rezoning hearing process continues at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in council chambers. Davenport residents will have another chance to share their thoughts on the university’s plans.

The rezoning process requires three separate council votes, which are scheduled June 11, June 25 and July 9. If the council ultimately votes ‘yes,’ St. Ambrose will continue its steady growth. If the council votes, ‘no,’ several things might happen.

The school could choose to erect a class building, church or chapel, and face neighbors again. If the university sells to the city or school district, almost any public facility could proceed without hearings.

The university also could sell the land to developers capable of filling the 40 acres with as many as 300 single family homes, including 40 or 50 duplexes under current zoning. How might residents react then? It wouldn’t matter. City code requires no hearings for those types of uses under the existing R-4 zoning.

The property also could be subdivided for rezoning of smaller lots along Central Park for retail or commercial uses to support those new neighbors. Those changes would require hearings. Feedback would be limited to those within 200 feet of those individual lots, not the entire neighborhood.

About the only option we cannot imagine is for the university to continue maintaining this empty space. St. Ambrose just purchased the Eye Care Pavilion to renovate into a welcome center at Locust and Harrison streets. The school has been quite candid about growth plans. If the university is blocked from expanding north, trustees might find it irresponsible to hang on to the empty lot.

We’ve seen the university as a good neighbor to the people around this property and the entire Quad-City region. We’ve seen the university change course to respond to neighbors’ concerns.

So we would expect it to proceed thoughtfully and seek neighborhood input.

But it would not be required to. Under current zoning, developers could snip a ribbon on a new residential subdivision, leaving current residents with 300 new neighbors, not an old, familiar one.

(12) comments

pboyd

Just to be clear I live equidistant between two high schools in Bettendorf. Practically Every Friday Night from mid August to Mid November I can hear the roar of the crowds. Especially if Bettendorf is playing Pleasant Valley. I can hear the half time shows from my balcony.. Nothing is so loud as to cause an inconvenience. My kids play in the Band at one of these schools, so many nights I am in attendance. Even when Bettendorf and Pleasant Vally play each other the parking lots are filled, and some people do park in the neighbor hood. By 10 pm all the noise and traffic are gone. Many times by 930 pm i am home after attending these games. I have lived with this arrangement for 5 years. So can someone comment on why this will be an inconvenience so great that it should stop this project?

sikofit

It is always hilarious seeing these things and the comments from people for them. You have to wonder what they would think if a project like this was going up directly across the street from their house....

Sweet Louise

PLEASE VOTE YES! My immediate neighbors and I all have "Yes" signs in our yard, and we ARE in the rezone area. This stadium can bring so much good to the neighborhood, including fixing our failing infrastructure and pothole-ridden street. The positives outweigh the negatives so overwhelmingly, that I fail to see the argument.

Noise: I am sure I can manage 8 Saturdays a year and 6 Friday nights a year. We can hear the races at the fairgrounds on Wednesdays and Saturdays already, and those go until 10 pm.

Traffic: the last time I read that plan that was published in QCT, traffic will be directed from Central Park Ave.

Losing Green Space: Nope. Current green space will still be so in the form of practice fields.

I am excited about the prospect of this development. It will be fantastic for the community and will clean up the neighborhood!

Misty Meanor
Misty Meanor

Yes, all traffic on Central Park. That's why they are now calling Gaines the Gaines st Corridor. By their own admission, they don't have the parking. Will you be stopping by to help clean up? Walk through their campus, see trash where they live. They will be better over here? Or are we all SAU's trash collectors?

NDFan 27

Please do walk through SAU's campus, it is cleaner than your neighborhood has ever been. Maybe some of the good things St. Ambrose students do will rub off on you and your neighbors. SAU and it's students actually care about others and their community, you and your neighbors only care about yourselves.

pboyd

The land will not remain the same. It will be used for some purpose. SAU has proposed a change that is known, controlled, and with a purpose for growing not just the university but Davenport also. The neighbors have had a say, the university has changed the plan several times to accommodate the neighbors. Far more so then a developer would do. You have an opportunity to work with the property owner in an ongoing basis. It is time to accept that change is going to occur. It is time to embrace the positive benefits, they will be there 365 days a year. It is time to let go of the 36-40 hours of minor inconvenience for the 8,720 hours of benefit.

NDFan 27

Well said! No one else will work with the neighborhood the way St. Ambrose has. Most businesses/developers/organization/etc would never have changed their plans at the neighbors request. If they want to keep fighting this, they will realize that the proposed stadium complex will be the least of their worries.

Misty Meanor
Misty Meanor

They have lied and changed the app without any input from us. Work with who?

NDFan 27

They have changed the plans time and time again to try to appease you and your neighbors. You are not willing to work with them so they have had to go forward without your blessing. They have come half way to a compromise, now it is your turn. This "my way or the highway" attitude the neighbors have does nothing for your community. Things are going to change at that property and this is the only time you are going to have input on that change. If the St. Ambrose project doesn't go through, you will deserve whatever goes in that location. Hopefully it is something that will make you all regret the fight you are attempting to put up against St. Ambrose.

zetar

I live about a mile away from the proposed development so, "I don't have a dog in this fight."

However, I've noticed that the closer you are to this area the more 'NO to SAU" signs I see. The farther away from the area the more "YES" signs I see. I saw a "YES" sign in Rock Island yesterday.

Misty Meanor
Misty Meanor

People who's houses won't lose value are fine with this. We generally hope those people get state run half way houses next door. We'll see how they feel about get steamrolled then.

OnTheBrink

Well said.

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