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The Cedar Falls Planning and Zoning Commission meeting was full of residents concerned about two proposed developments Wednesday.

CEDAR FALLS -- New concerns over developments near the intersection of Greenhill and Hudson roads were raised Wednesday.

The council chambers were full of people concerned about two proposed developments during a Cedar Falls Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. 

Panther Farms LLC, is owned by developer Brent Dahlstrom, plans one four-unit townhome and another five-unit townhome on 5.3 acres on Norse Drive, southeast of the intersection of Greenhill and Hudson roads.

Residents were concerned about traffic, about the townhomes becoming rentals, and complained they had not been notified about changes to the master plan. Residents also claimed the Black Hawk County Assessor and city of Cedar Falls have the area zoned differently. 

Residents said the site was zoned for residential use by the Black Hawk County Assessor's Office. The area is shown on the city of Cedar Falls website as zoned for multi-use. City documents say the area was rezoned in 1998.

Iris Lehman, city planner, spoke about the plan.

"It has come to staff's attention that there is general confusion about this site and its history," Lehman said. "It has been brought to city staff's attention that a sliver of this property in question is shown on the county assessor's website as being zoned R-1, residential. This is incorrect."

The original master plan was amended at the March 28 planning and zoning meeting, allowing high density, multi-use townhomes in the area. During that meeting, commissioner Mardy Holst asked about letters being sent to neighbors, according the meeting minutes. 

"The question about notification has come up several times since the previous P and Z meeting," Lehman said. "Our records indicate that a courtesy mailing was sent to neighboring property owners for the master plan update." 

Lehman and Planning and Community Services Manager Karen Howard said the mailing wasn't legally required but was good policy. 

Seven members of the public voiced concerns about the development and denied having received any letter.

"None of us received a letter dated March 19, 2018," said Chris Nolan, a Greenhill Village resident. "We have hired an attorney, and we have all signed a piece of paper that was notarized stating that we never received that letter."

Nolan objects to increased residential density, he said. A lot of the townhomes could become rentals, which brings "a different flavor to a neighborhood." 

Many worried about the townhomes becoming rentals, and the possible traffic rentals would bring. 

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The speakers pushed for the commission to start the process over.

"I'm firmly against it," Nolan said. "There are more than enough places somewhere else to go with multifamily (homes)."

Steve Troskey, a planner with CGA Engineering, spoke for the developers.

"I'm not quite sure how sharing a wall with attached single family homes somehow equates to a rental more than a detached home," Troskey said. "These are going to be geared toward middle class families." 

Troskey said there are buyers for multifamily townhomes. 

"Just because you share a wall doesn't mean you're somehow more of a detriment as a neighbor," Troskey said. 

Holst said he didn't feel comfortable proceeding.

"It doesn't seem fair to move this forward with the lack of communication," Holst said. 

The commission plans to review the proposal and discuss it again at its next meeting.

NewAldaya plan

The commission discussed another proposed development, this one by NewAldaya for 29 to 144 units on 42 acres at the southeast corner of West 12th Street and Union Road. A variety of configurations, including singles, duplexes and multi-unit buildings, would result in a residential density of 3.07 to 3.42 units per acre on a community campus for residents 55 years and older.

NewAldaya would purchase the land near the Robinson-Dresser Sports Complex from Money Pit LLC.

Several people voiced concerns about water runoff in the NewAldaya development, a concern voiced at the previous meeting. A public hearing on rezoning for the proposal is set Feb. 27.

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