The issue: The process for The Meridian by WellSpire, the planned senior living facility in Bettendorf that is among the first major collaborations for Genesis Health System and Johnston-based WesleyLife continues to clear hurdles at the city level.

The center, planned to have over 100 independent living apartments, 16 assisted-living and 16 assisted-living memory support units, 20 short-term rehabilitation suites and 20 health care suites, requires amendments to land use and zoning ordinances. Slated for 53rd Avenue and Middle Road, the project’s public hearing was delayed and kept open at a City Council meeting in June and later received unanimous support for its development plan at the Bettendorf planning and zoning commission at a meeting the following night.

The issue for the council at that meeting was the potential of a zoning change that would allow a gas station or convenience store. While the developer has said there is no chance, councilors were nervous about the potential.

What happened: At Tuesday's City Council meeting, council members voted 7-0 to approve the first reading of both the land use and rezoning amendments that included a condition that gas stations and convenience stores would not be allowed.

Before the vote, Community Development Director John Soenksen said staff had conversations with the developers. “They were fine with the condition that the council was suggesting.”

While the public hearing was still open, the only person to speak on the matter was Brian Belk of Axiom Consultants. Belk, who is advising the developer on the project, said he was there to answer any questions the council may have.

What’s next: The project will come for a second reading at the next City Council meeting. City Administrator Decker Ploehn said after the meeting that staff would recommend the third reading be waived, due to the council delaying the project before.

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