Aldermen on Wednesday approved a plan allowing a large condo building to go up on the city’s northeast side, ending a weeks-long zoning dispute that involved area developer Bush Construction and several nearby neighbors who opposed it.
The proposed building, near the intersection of East 58th Street and Utica Ridge Road, has been described by developer Bush Construction as an upscale co-op concept. Some neighbors whose properties butt up against the land, meanwhile, have complained the design does not fit the surrounding neighborhood.
Alderman Rich Clewell, whose 6th Ward covers the building site in question, noted “there’s been a lot of back and forth and a lot of development of ideas” over the last few weeks. He has maintained Bush’s request should be approved with certain amendments, which council members approved Wednesday night.
Changes added by Clewell limit the land to having one multifamily structure on the property, prevent the building from being taller than four stories above ground, and caps the total height at 53 feet. Another provision puts the structure at the southwest part of the site, and requires the building to be at least 40 feet away from any property line.
Still, a handful of residents came out to speak against the idea one last time. Among them was Frances Truitt, who has protested the plan for weeks. Ahead of the vote, Truitt referred to the proposed building as a “monstrosity,” and called on council members to abandon the measure, saying the concerns she holds are reflected by other neighbors who declined to join her Wednesday evening.
“Please think how you would vote if this monstrosity were proposed in your own neighborhood,” Truitt said.
Representing Bush Construction was Rob Davis, the company’s vice president of operations. He asked those in attendance to consider the benefits another building will bring, including the increased tax revenues for the city, added number of housing options for the community and the creation of construction jobs for the building.
Council members approved the measure 9-1. The only dissenting vote came from Alderwoman Marion Meginnis, 3rd Ward.
In other news:
Police union contract final
A contract between the city and the union representing Davenport’s police force was approved by aldermen, giving local law enforcement a new work agreement that’ll last until 2023.
Under the city’s agreement with the Union of Professional Police, a 2.5 percent pay raise will go into effect for employees beginning July 1. After that, union worker pay increases 2.5 percent in 2020; 2 percent in 2021; and 2 percent in 2022.
The contract with the police is the only one city officials had to negotiate this year. The city contracts with five other bargaining groups, including those representing city employees, library employees, and firefighters.
Public hearing held on budget
The city held its state-mandated public hearing over City Administrator Corri Spiegel’s proposed $227 million budget, moving the ball toward a final approval from the city council before a March deadline.
During a brief presentation, Speigel highlighted investments in public safety and infrastructure over the next year as a reflection of input given by community members and the city council for spending priorities. She also noted changes in the tax bills for residents as a result of state-level changes on the way property taxes are collected, and there will be “modest” increases for services including garbage and clean water fees.
For a property valued at $124,000, the increased cost from the city will amount to roughly $66 over last year, Spiegel said.