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Waterloo council asked to legalize New Star siding

Waterloo council asked to legalize New Star siding

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New Star Liquor 1

New Star Liquor, Tobacco and Vape Shop at 315 Fletcher Ave. is seeking permission to keep its colorful metal siding installed without prior zoning approval.

WATERLOO — A convenience store is asking for permission to keep vertical metal siding it installed after a fire.

Waterloo City Council members are scheduled Tuesday to hold a public hearing on a site plan amendment requested by New Star Liquor, Tobacco and Vape Shop on the corner of U.S. Highway 63 and Fletcher Avenue.

The business generated concern after it installed blue-and-yellow metal siding, which also made it look like a two-story building, following a Christmas Eve fire in 2018.

City zoning regulations require buildings in “S-1” zoning districts to get site plan approval before making significant changes in a building’s appearance, while vertical metal siding is discouraged in such districts.

The business owner sought to legalize the new design after the fact, noting the city building department issued a construction permit for the project.

The city’s Planning, Programming and Zoning Commission initially rejected the site plan. New Star returned with a proposal to keep the siding but plant additional trees on the lot to soften the appearance.

Zoning commissioners have now endorsed the site plan change, which will be presented to council members for final approval.

New Star is also facing issues with its signs, which violate the zoning ordinance by using the word “alcohol.” That issue is not subject to the site plan being considered this week.

The meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, was rescheduled from the normal Monday meeting date to avoid interfering with the Iowa caucuses.

Staffer Tim Jamison’s most memorable 2019 stories:

Courier Reporter Tim Jamison's most memorable stories of 2019

It wasn't always the most important news of the day that stood out to me this year. For the most part, these stories were the ones that reminded me that newspapers play an important role in informing and connecting our community.

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Tim Jamison has covered city government in Waterloo since 1991.

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