Metro briefs

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 19, 2014 5:00 AM

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Council approves rezoning

The Iowa City City Council voted 5-2, with Jim Throgmorton and Kingsley Botchway II with the dissenting vote, on first consideration to rezone at 4701 Herbert Hoover Highway.

The resolution would rezone 39.6 acres of property from interim development single-family residential to low density single-family residential zone for 32.34 acres and low density multi-family for 7.26 acres.

Throgmorton said during the meeting he voted no due to the rezoning potentially not helping the Iowa City School District accomplish its diversity goals.

The ordinance comes after 6-1 approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission at its Oct. 16 meeting. The commission did state that proper sewer and water service to the property as well as a pedestrian access route would need to be added.

Approval would allow development of single-family detached and attached dwellings as well as multi-family dwellings in the rezoned area.

Council OKs Riverside move

The Iowa City City Council voted 7-0 on first consideration of an ordinance that would rezone approximately half an acre of property from community commercial zone to riverfront crossings west riverfront zone at 708 South Riverside Drive.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning 7-0 at their Oct. 16 meeting conditionally regarding dedication of right-of-way along South Riverside Drive for pedestrian improvements.

Approval of the rezoning would put the site in compliance with the Riverfront Crossings Master Plan.

Council clarifies noise ordinance

The Iowa City City Council adopted a measure 7-0 amending the city code related to noise control to simplify and clarify the noise-control provisions.

The amendment deletes permits based on decibel levels due to a lack of use and enforcement issues. To enforce permits, the city would have to purchase decibel meters, calibrate them and train staff on their use.

Before the amendment four types of permits were available, but the measure states that in the past 10 years, few if any permits had been issued related to noise control.

The ordinance also adds a new provision that regulates loud music from a car radio.

City renews contract with lobbyist

The City Council voted 7-0 to approve a further contract with the city’s lobbyist in Des Moines.

The company Davis, Brown, Koehn, Shors, & Roberts, P.C. has advocated on behalf of the city since 2011. The lobbying agency represents the city agenda at the state legislature in Des Moines.

The fee schedule for the contract would remain unchanged, the annual cost is $26,200 according to the city website.

City makes public-art move

The City of Iowa City has approved resolutions that will allow it to apply for two grants to increase effort toward public art.

The city passed both resolutions 7-0, allowing the mayor to apply to the National Endowment for the Arts for $200,000 and the Summer of the Arts with Bloomberg Philanthropies for up to $1 million.

The National Endowment for the Arts grant would be used to host creative placemaking events in Iowa City over a two year period like concerts, temporary art installations, university and student led workshops to create neighborhood stories and art making projects in schools and neighborhood centers.

The Bloomberg Philanthropies grant would fund potential Latino and Soul fests as well as host events related to the 10th celebration of summer of the Arts. The events would take place in downtown and in the South District.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg founded Bloomberg Philanthropies.

— by Nick Moffitt

Man charged with OWI

Authorities have accused a Clinton man with driving while intoxicated.

Edward Oestreich, 27, was charged Nov. 17 with a third-offense OWI.

According to online court documents, Oestreich was seen driving on the wrong side of the road. Police attempted to stop him as he pulled up on a sidewalk.

Once he was pulled over, officers noticed that he smelled strongly of alcohol, had slurred speech, and was unable to maintain proper balance.

He refused all sobriety tests and was physically abusive toward the police.

Third-offense OWI is a Class-D felony.

— by Alyssa Guzman

Man charged with controlled substance violation

Authorities have accused an Iowa City man with possession of marijuana.

Reynaldo Marcelino-Cabanas, 24, was charged Nov. 17 with controlled substance violation.

According to online court documents, Town and Campus Security flagged the Iowa City Police Department down in the south parking lot of Town and Campus apartments.

The officers then spoke with Marcelino-Cabanas and two other subjects who were in the vehicle, which reportedly smelled strongly of marijuana.

Once Marcelino-Cabanas’s information went through dispatch, it was discovered that he had a warrant out for his arrest from the Johnson County Sheriffs Office.

Marcelino-Cabanas was arrested and was searched. Authorities located 15 small, clear plastic containers fill of marijuana were located in his coat pocket.

Controlled substance violation is a Class-D felony.

— by Alyssa Guzman

Man charged with driving while intoxicated

Authorities have accused an Iowa City man with driving while intoxicated.

John Weaver, 32, was charged Nov. 18 with a third-offense OWI.

According to online court documents, Weaver was pulled over for driving 13 miles over the legal speed limit and for having a brake light out.

Once Weaver was pulled over, the officer noticed that he had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, and smelled of alcohol.

Weaver admitted to drinking beer and taking shots.

Third-offense OWI is a Class-D felony.

— by Alyssa Guzman

Regents back freeze

The state Board of Regents’ revised tuition and fee proposal is now official and ready for a vote.

The plan calls for a third-consecutive tuition freeze for resident undergraduate students at all three state universities, with such costs remaining at $6,678 at the University of Iowa.

Such a freeze would result in $4.5 million in lost revenue for the universities. Additionally, regents have said they would like to explore freezing tuition for out-of-state and graduate students as well, at the loss of an additional $10 million.

The initial Oct. proposal did not include a freeze, but several regents voiced support for one at the Board’s meeting last month.

UI President Sally Mason indicated at a media availability Tuesday she would support a resident freeze, but she said further holds would be difficult to absorb.

The official proposal still calls for a 1.75 percent tuition increase on UI nonresident and graduate students, up roughly $450 to $26,464 and $25,574, respectively.

Fees for all students would still increase under the plan as well — $1,426 for undergraduates, up $25, and $1,480 for graduates, up $45 at the UI.

The regents will vote on tuition and fees during its Dec. 3 telephonic meeting.

— by Chris Higgins

Regents to mull new degree

Officials will propose a new academic program for state Board of Regents approval.

A Master of Studies in Law through the University of Iowa College of Law would be geared toward students who do not want to practice law but would still like knowledge of legal issues for their professions.

The program would require 30 semester hours of study with several specialty tracks available, and could be completed in one academic year. Students could also design a custom track of study.

The new degree path is not expected to incur additional costs should it be approved and go into effect, and tuition would be lower than for a professional degree.

The program will be up for recommendation and approval during the regents’ Dec. 3 telephonic meeting.

— by Chris Higgins

Currier plan to be presented

University of Iowa officials will present a $3.2 million plan to renovate Currier Hall to the regents.

Under the plan, the 100-year-old dormitory will have its third and fourth floors remodeled. Such work would include redoing windowsills, repainting walls, replacing carpet, and installing new air conditioners, along with additional remodeling.

The project would be paid for with dormitory improvement funds.

The proposal will be up for recommendation and approval during the regents’ Dec. 3 telephonic meeting.

by Chris Higgins

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