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Davenport commission recommends approval of controversial 53rd Street development

Davenport commission recommends approval of controversial 53rd Street development


Despite objections from numerous neighbors, Davenport's Plan and Zoning Commission on Feb. 2 recommended approval of a request to build townhouses instead of single-family homes and lift certain restrictions for a planned 38-acre development south of East 53rd Street, just west of Bettendorf.

That approval, however, would be subject to several conditions, including a traffic study, and requiring further setbacks and screening of the development from neighboring homes.

The commission also recommended approval of a request by Palmer College to amend its campus plan to build student housing on land once eyed for a sports field between East 11th and East 10th streets and Perry Street and Pershing Avenue. 

Both items will go before the Davenport City Council for consideration at its Feb. 17 meeting.

The city has received numerous petitions from abutting property owners in both Davenport and Bettendorf objecting to the request, arguing the development would negatively impact home values and increase traffic on 53rd Street and neighborhood roads. Residents have also raised concerns about stormwater runoff from the site and nearby school capacity to accommodate new families.

In total, more than 32% of abutting property owners have signed petitions opposed to the rezoning request. It will require a three-fourths vote of Davenport aldermen to approve the request.

Developers Dan Dolan Homes and Russell Construction & Development propose building a mix of retail, office space and other commercial uses on the northern part of the land abutting East 53rd and a mix of about 175 townhouses and semi-attached, duplex-style housing to the south. 

Attempts to redevelop the land in the past have stalled.

"We are doing everything we can to try to make concessions," said Kevin Dolan of Dan Dolan Homes. "We have continued to revise the concept to try to be as accommodating as possible."

That includes more than doubling a setback to more than 100 feet on the west side of the property and doubling the required setback along the east, west and south property lines abutting single-family homes; limiting townhouses to a height of 35 feet; and reducing the number of residential units originally planned by about 10%.

The revised concept also replaces with duplexes the previously planned attached, single-family townhouses in a row house-style construction for purchase by single-family owner-occupants.

Commissioners and city staff said the developer's rezoning request was consistent with the city's land use plan and surrounding commercial development along the 53rd Street corridor.

However, the development of townhomes creates a higher density than the surrounding neighborhoods, requiring enhanced landscaping buffers and a traffic study, per the commission and city staff.

Other conditions recommended by the commission include:

  • Adding a north-south public street through the development site to connect Lakeview Parkway to Eastbury Estates Drive that will aid in mitigating traffic and emergency response concerns.
  • Adding a traffic signal at the intersection of Lakeview Parkway and East 53rd Street.
  • Adding a second ingress/egress point to East 53rd Street. 
  • Prohibiting street connections to East 51st Street and Hawk Drive.
  • Requiring a 30-foot buffer on the eastern-, western- and southern-most property lines abutting single-family homes.
  • Limiting the the height of townhouses to no more than 35 feet.

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