City Council gives nod to rezoning requests for restaurant and row houses
MICHAEL CRUMB Apr 5, 2022 | 9:02 pm
2 min read time575 wordsAll Latest News, Real Estate & Development
The Des Moines City Council approved two rezoning requests Monday, one for a restaurant and brewery on 18th Street and the other for the development of 15 row houses on Fleur Drive.
The council voted to rezone 740 18th Street from the classification NX2a Neighborhood Mix to Limited MX1 Mixed Use to allow for the renovation of an existing commercial building that will be used for a restaurant, brewery and office space.
Councilman Josh Mandelbaum commended the project by Hom Investments 6 LLC, which was represented by Danny Heggen, an officer for the company, at Monday’s meeting.
“This is a great project,” Mandelbaum said. “I appreciate the approach that Danny and his team have taken. I’ve heard from folks in the neighborhood who were happy with the outreach and responsiveness to address neighborhood concerns. I think this will be a great addition and hopefully a model for the type of commercial spaces – which we have a number of through our community – that we can continue to add and integrate effectively where they were existing before.”
The council also approved the rezoning of 3010 and 3020 Fleur Drive from low-density residential to medium-density residential for the development of 15 row houses.
The project, from The Oaks of Fleur LCC, is opposed by the Gray’s Lake Neighborhood Association and other residents who expressed concern about the appearance of the row houses not fitting in with the neighborhood, setback issues and how the row houses would line up with neighboring properties and how a retaining wall that will be built will affect sight lines at nearby intersections with Willowmere Drive. Some residents also complained that the row houses would not be affordable for most residents, with prices exceeding $400,000.
Neighborhood association representatives said they had submitted a petition with signatures of 550 people who are opposed to the development.
Despite the concerns, council members approved the rezoning request, saying that the city needs housing at all prices and that the development fits well into the Fleur Drive neighborhood.
“Where I think there is maybe disagreement with neighbors … is this is a major corridor, 34,000 vehicles a day go through this corridor, and we’ve worked to address concerns,” Mandelbaum said. “I recognize there is still disagreement on this project and still opposition to the project, but I think fundamentally on a corridor like Fleur Drive the density of this project is appropriate. And that’s ultimately what this decision is about is land use and where the density is appropriate at this location.”
Council member Indira Sheumaker said that for her it’s about trying to get to a place where the city has enough housing for everybody.
While she agrees the price level of the row houses is too high, “I don’t think we can say this is not an appropriate place for this.”
“I think everywhere in our city we’re going to have to look at things changing a little bit as we are growing,” Sheumaker said. “And I don’t think there’s anybody that’s going to be exempt from that. I think we have to build density. We have to build density on corridors, and I want to live in a city that has density, that has public transportation to match and that has walkable areas and that is just single-family in places where it doesn’t need to be. We need to build housing, we need to come up with these reasons … so I have to support this project.”