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Local

Council looks to fill Ward 1 seat

At the city council meeting Monday, the council will look to begin the process of filling the Ward 1 seat. The seat was vacated by Jeremy Biondi on Jan. 1.

As allowed by Iowa Code, the council may choose to fill the vacancy by appointment. Interested parities in the opening must submit their name, address, phone number and brief biographical information to the city clerk at city hall, 101 W. Fourth St. S., by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 29.

An appointment is then expected to be made at the Feb. 5 council meeting.

The council will also hear the final reading on an add ordinance changing the maximum allowable lot coverage in the R-1, R-2 and R-3 residential zoning district. In a request brought to the city by the Newton Housing Development Corporation and Ground Breaker Homes, the R-1 and R-2 zoning districts will see a 10 percent increase from 30 to 40 percent and the R-3 zoning district will bump up five percent from 35 to 40.

Lot coverage, per the zoning code, relates to the amount of allowable building footprint that can cover a property. The city has a maximum lot coverage of 60 percent for a building footprint and paving combination.

The amendment to the ordinance provides additional flexibility to buildings on how they can get to the maximum coverage. The overall build out of the property does not change between the pavement and the building.

The request was submitted by NHDC and Ground Breaker Homes due to the current size of the structures planned for homes at the Cardinal Ridge development. While the houses were within the 30 percent allowable coverage, the addition of any deck would put the square footage number over what could be approved. The amendment will apply to all residences in the covered districts.

The council also look to approve an ordinance amending the amount of all-weather service allowed in the front yard of a property. Current code has a maximum of 40 percent coverage of all-weather services including asphalt, portland cement concrete, turf blocks, brick pavers of sufficient thickness to adequately support motor vehicles or gravel if it is at least three inches thick and kept free of weeds, with the amendment increase the coverage to 50 percent.

With the growing popularity or demand for three-car garages in new home construction, the change will allow for a great width.

The maximum lot coverage of 60 percent for all-weather surface and/or building footprint has not been changed and the city anticipates it will have a minimal impact to the overall green space on an individual's residential lot.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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