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Local

101-acre property west of Newton zoned for single-family housing

Supervisors vote 2-1 to reclassify land from agricultural to residential

Conceptual art depicts the Phase 1 and Phase 2 process of developing residential areas in a 101.71-acre parcel of land in Newton. The area is sequestered between Highway 14 and the Jasper County Gun Club.
Conceptual art depicts the Phase 1 and Phase 2 process of developing residential areas in a 101.71-acre parcel of land in Newton. The area is sequestered between Highway 14 and the Jasper County Gun Club.

Instead of hosting large acreages of grain crop, a big chunk of farmland outside city limits may now be used as a site to build homes.

After three weeks of debate from citizens and elected officials, the Jasper County Board of Supervisors finished the final reading of a rezoning request to reclassify 101 acres of land from “A” (agriculture) to “R-1” (single-family housing).

The land is requested between the Jasper County Gun Club and Highway 14.

Local real estate development group Goldfinch Growth has owned the land since August 2019. The group expects the more than 101-acre property to allow development of a major residential subdivision.

Despite some past pushback from some citizens who feared building houses would encourage City of Newton to annex the land and the surrounding properties, the board of supervisors voted 2-1 to approve the rezoning.

The lone dissenting vote belonged to Denny Carpenter. The vice-chair of the county board of supervisors did not expressly say why he opposed the rezoning request at the Tuesday morning meeting.

Brandon Talsma, chair of the county board of supervisors, has made it clear he is in favor of personal property rights and that Goldfinch Growth should be able to do what it wants with its own land.

Prior to the board’s vote, Talsma shared comments he received from citizens in the past week, which were similar the ones raised last week by county residents.

Most complaints focused on the proposed development rather than the rezoning itself, which had already been delayed by county officials. Others worried about potential drainage issues for neighborhoods north of the would-be development.

Nick Fratzke, director of community development for Jasper County, said, “The majority of everything that people have concerns with will be addressed in the subdivision review and survey.”

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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