Residents of Davenport's 6th Ward raised concerns Wednesday over a proposed four-story residential building on the city's northeast side that they say is too tall, would increase traffic and doesn’t fit with the surrounding neighborhood.
At issue is a proposal by Bush Construction of Davenport to build what developers have described as an upscale senior living condo that is part of a co-op deal near 58th Street and Utica Ridge Road, a concept that requires city approval to make land-use changes. Several upset neighbors took to the podium to speak out about the idea, using words like “monolithic” and “eyesore” and “monstrosity” to describe it.
Representing the developer was Lynn Gibson, who works in business development for Bush Construction. She acknowledged the height of the building would be noticeable for the neighborhood, but said other options for the company — such as making two buildings instead of one or using the land for a large commercial space — could have “a less desirable impact” on the neighborhood.
Gibson said the company is open to discussing other conditions the city may ask for that make neighbors more comfortable with the project.
Some city officials signaled that changes to the proposed legislation are needed to gain their support.
One was Alderman Rich Clewell, who represents the 6th Ward where the proposed development would take root. Clewell said he could not support Bush’s proposal in its current form, saying there would have to be other requirements attached to the land use if he is to vote yes. Those included two particular amendments: one that would cap the building’s height at 53 feet tall and one that would prevent future buildings from being put on the land.
In other news:
January declared ‘Human Trafficking Awareness Month'
Along with similar national and state declarations, Davenport officials declared January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month through a proclamation that joins area advocacy group Braking Traffik “in their dedication to providing community outreach and education, legislative advocacy, and comprehensive services to survivors of human trafficking.”
Receiving the proclamation was Maggie Tinsman, a former state senator and the founder of area advocacy group Braking Traffik. After thanking council members, Tinsman also called on them to pass city rules that would crack down on illegal massage parlors, a business she said is a common front sex traffickers use to go undiscovered.
City officials heard a proposal Tuesday from city staff to draft an ordinance aimed at giving local law enforcement more tools to investigate and reprimand massage businesses that are not run by state-licensed operators.
City council advances purchase of new police tech
The purchase of a machine police say will aid them in solving gun crimes was put on the council’s consent agenda for next week.
The machine pairs with the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network that’s run by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to match up guns and shell casings. It’ll cost the city $308,000, which is about 25 percent less than city officials gave the department to buy it late last year.
During a meeting Tuesday, city staff said there would likely be an upcoming request for the police department to keep the remainder of the money for other tech.
Police Chief Paul Sikorski said Tuesday the system could be up and running as soon as this summer.
Part of downtown could become a historic district
Aldermen heard a proposal to make part of downtown a nationally recognized historic district, a move proponents say could spur additional development by allowing businesses there to receive historic tax credits.
The proposal was forwarded following a nomination by a consultant hired by Downtown Davenport Partnership to explore the possibility of getting the area on the national list. The district covers the southeastern portion of downtown and would be called the Davenport East Side Industrial and Motor Row Historic District.