WATERLOO — Black Hawk County has rezoned the Country View nursing home ahead of its potential sale to a private company.
The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to rezone the 168-bed skilled nursing and mental health care center north of Waterloo from agricultural to multi-family use.
County Zoning Administrator Seth Hyberger said the zoning change was designed “to ensure Black Hawk County Country View care facility is properly zoned for its use.”
The county has owned the facility and its current 10.6-acre site for more than 100 years but had never rezoned the land to reflect its use as a nursing home.
The supervisors sought proposals earlier this year from private nursing home operators interested in buying Country View, which has been losing money under county ownership and has forced the county to raise property taxes to subsidize the operation.
Board members are currently in negotiations with Chicago-based Pritok Capital, which had offered $5.6 million to buy and continue operating the nursing home. Sale discussions prompted the rezoning effort.
The county’s approval included a zoning condition that Country View only be used for a long-term care center and not be developed for other uses allowed under the “RM” multi-residential zoning.
Dennis Bailey, who lives just west of Country View, said he agreed with the idea to continue using the property as a care center but worried about the zoning change opening the door to other uses in the future.
“If we rezone it to residential multiple … down the road 15, 20 years (that zoning) could be potentially used for multiple-family dwellings, mobile home parks, subdivisions, hotels, motels, funeral homes,” Bailey said.
Bailey said he would have preferred the county look at amending or cleaning up the overall zoning ordinance to cover situations where the county owns property.
“Why can’t we take a more holistic approach at how the county disposes or dispositions (property) instead of just taking the easy approach and rezoning it?” he asked.