WATERLOO — The planned Lost Island Theme Park is one step closer to City Council approval.
The Waterloo Board of Adjustment voted 4-0 to recommend rezoning 159 acres of farm land along Shaulis Road for the estimated $100 million project proposed by Gary and Becky Bertch. Board member Jeri Thornsberry was absent.
The City Council will take up the proposal Monday night.
The project was approved 6-0 last week by the city Planning, Programming and Zoning Commission.
Lisa Skubal, vice president of economic development with Grow Cedar Valley, Bill Claassen, engineer on project, and Gary Bertch spoke in favor of the plan during the meeting. No one was opposed.
Board member Bill Condon questioned a requirement for buffer space between the southeast corner of the proposed theme park and the Summerland residential neighborhood.
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“I’m concerned about using the word ‘buffer.’ It’s just a very ambiguous term,” Condon said. “I would just assume leave it off and go back the zoning ordinances.”
The wording in the plans was changed to say “buffering in accordance with the zoning ordinance” as opposed to just “buffering.”
The park would operate from May through September with hours from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The park, which the Bertches hope to open in the summer of 2022, will be located south of the Lost Island Waterpark and Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo.
Along with the zoning changes, the city is working on a development agreement that would provide an estimated $14 million in bond support from the city and additional state grants. That agreement also requires council approval before the project can move forward.
Board member John Childs voiced excitement about the project after the vote to recommend the theme park.
“I’m really looking forward to this,” Childs said. “It’s going to be really great. I don’t think the citizens understand the impact just yet of how large and amazing this is going be for the area.”