Metro briefs

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 03, 2014 5:00 AM

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Woman charged with second-degree theft

Authorities have accused an Iowa City woman of stealing merchandise.

Sade Martin, 24, was charged Dec. 1 with second-degree theft.

According to online court documents, Martin was discovered by loss prevention at the store in which she worked.

Sade reportedly admitted to giving away free merchandise to people she knew.

She allegedly gave away shoes, clothing, food, and cleaning supplies by checking out the items to customers and then voiding those items so no one would have to pay.

She reportedly gave away approximately $1,500 worth of merchandise.

Second-degree theft is a Class-D felony.

— by Alyssa Guzman

City to buy light-duty buses

The Iowa City City Council voted 7-0 to approve the purchase of four light-duty buses for Iowa City Transportation Department for $372,900.

The buses will replace four buses that are currently in service.

The purchase is through a contract with the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Two buses received 80 percent grant funding, and the other two received 85 percent; the remainder of the funds will come from the bus-replacement reserve through the city’s Transportation Department.

Council OKs Ralston Creek project

A new FEMA reimbursement and storm-water fund project will move forward after a 7-0 vote by the City Council.

The Ralston Creek Improvements Phase 1 will cost an estimated $180,225.

Council backs Hoover Highway rezoning

The Iowa City City Council voted 6-1, with Councilor Jim Throgmorton dissenting, on second consideration to rezone 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 because the rezoning potentially would not help the Iowa City School District accomplish its diversity goals.

The ordinance comes after a 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 backs riverfront rezoning

The Iowa City City Council voted 7-0 on second 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.

The council also voted 7-0 to approve the vacating old Benton Street right of way adjacent to 708 South Riverside Drive.

Approval will allow the property to redevelop in compliance with the Riverfront Crossings Master Plan.

Council eyes new consolidated plan

The City Council approved a new consolidated plan, also known as City Steps, for 2016-20, 6-1, with Councilor Michelle Payne dissenting.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires the city to adopt a new consolidated plan at least once every five years. Following a public meeting concerning the plan, council will consider approval.

According to the U.S. HUD, “the Consolidated Plan is designed to help states and local jurisdictions to assess their affordable housing and community development needs and market conditions and to make data-driven, place-based investment decisions.”

Public comments collected during the comment period will be incorporated into the final document.

Council amends building code

The City Council voted 7-0 to adopt a new ordinance amending building code.

The new ordinance will add multiple housing cooperative conversion code, which will govern conveyances of buildings to multiple housing cooperatives.

The new ordinance is similar to the condominium conversion code, which is also in the building code.

Conversion will require compliance with the building code to advance the health and safety of members and tenants.

Council lifts height restriction

A new building will soon have the chance to stick out in Iowa City.

The Iowa City City Council voted 7-0 to approve a height bonus for a new development at 316 Madison Street in Iowa City. The development, located near the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center, is now approved to be up to 15 stories.

The approval comes from previous form based code updates that allows for height bonuses above the eight stories that can be built without the approval.

The bonuses are based on student housing amenities that the city wants to provide for high-density housing close to downtown to keep pace with the growing population of students.

The building will gain five stories for being student housing, and two stories for being the equivalent of Gold LEED certified.

The developer is still seeking approval from the Federal Aviation Agency for clearance on 15 stories, but otherwise the development has sought the proper approval according to a city staff report.

The planned building has 162,000 plus square feet of residential space that includes 154 rooms and 248 bedrooms.

The building is planned to be mixed-uses.

— by Nick Moffitt

Three UI scientists elected to national association

Three University of Iowa scientists have been recognized as 2014 Fellows for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world’s largest general scientific society. It also publishes the journal Science.

This year, 401 people were chosen for fellows. The fellows are chosen based on their efforts to advance science.

The recognition was awarded to Robert Franciscus, a professor in the Department of Anthropology, Jeffrey Murray, a professor in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics and of epidemiology, nursing, dentistry and biological sciences, and Peter Rubenstein, a professor of biochemistry, internal medicine and pediatrics at the UI Carver College of Medicine.

Franciscus was acknowledged for contributions to paleoanthropology. Currently, he is researching “self-domestication” as a player in facial downsizing in modern humans.

Murray is being acknowledged for contributing to the fields of genetics and medical genetics. He focuses on identifying genetic and environmental cuases of complex diseases, especially in regards to birth defects and premature birth.

Rubenstein is being recognized for work in the fields on actin cytoskeletal biochemistry and cell biology.

— by Lily Abromeit

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