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Council discusses rezoning Highway 14 corridor

T-R photo by Thomas Nelson The Marshalltown City Council discusses city business during the Monday night meeting. While they didn’t take any action they did consider moving forward with rezoning the Highway 14 corridor.

After nearly five months Marshalltown is making headway on rezoning the Highway 14 corridor.

The Marshalltown City Council discussed the city’s strategic plan Monday night.

Michelle Sponheimer, community development director, asked the council about directing public input on the efforts.

“We were very close to having that hearing right before COVID hit and just felt that it was appropriate to hold off,” Sponheimer said. “This is a big project and a big scope of change.”

The pandemic presents a new set of challenges to the city’s rezoning plans.

The discussion focused on the mixed-use building classifications and efforts to rezone the Highway 14 corridor. Talk on rezoning the area stalled earlier this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Planning and Zoning Committee was going to hold a public hearing on the rezoning efforts, but the pandemic has prevented them from having a meeting since March 12.

The Highway 14 Corridor, or North Third Avenue from the Iowa River bridge to Anson Street, was to be put on planning and zoning’s agenda for rezoning prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Sponheimer talked about adding the classification of a mixed-use district. By establishing the classification the city would be able to apply it to appropriate properties.

The mixed-use classification would allow buildings to have multiple uses so a building have apartments as well as businesses housed in the same place.

The council overall, supported moving forward with rezoning the Highway 14 corridor.

In January, a report was published on the corridor, along with proposed changes to its zoning.

The city identified the corridor as ideal for improvements for streets, commercial development and housing. The study also looked at items such as land use, transportation and community appearance.

Previously, residents took part in the Iowa Highway 14 Corridor Study survey from late January to mid-February last year and many comments focused on traffic and way-finding.

“We’ll want to engage to let people know this is a proposal that’s out there,” Sponheimer said.

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Contact Thomas Nelson at 641-753-6611 or tnelson@timesrepublican.com.

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