News from around Iowa: When school diversity meets walkability in Iowa City

An interesting challenge is facing Iowa City and the Iowa City school district.  The School Board passed a diversity policy in 2013 in an effort to create a more even distribution of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch in the district; a factor the district uses as an indicator of poverty.  Now the Planning and Zoning Commission is asking the City Council to urge the School Board to add a walkability clause to its diversity policy.  The clause would guarantee that any student living within a half-mile of one or more elementary schools along a safe route could enroll in that school, and also guarantee that residential areas located within a half-mile of an elementary school would not be zoned to a school outside a walkable distance of a half-mile.

The full article from the Iowa City Press Citizen is here.

News from around Iowa: Waterloo restrictions on payday lenders, pawn shops not imminent after all

The title of my March 11 post was “Waterloo nears restrictions on payday lenders, pawn shops.”  Perhaps that conclusion was premature.  Not all Waterloo council members are sold on the restrictions.  The latest article from the Waterloo Cedar-Falls Courier is here.

News from around Iowa: Iowa City neighborhood to be considered for historic preservation district

The Goosetown neighborhood, and the area around Mann Elementary have been proposed by the Iowa City Historic Preservation Commission to be identified as a new conservation district.  The Iowa City planning and zoning commission will consider the proposal during a meeting in April, and, if approved, the proposal will move to the City Council for consideration.  The article from the Iowa City Press-Citizen is here.

News from around Iowa: Waterloo nears restrictions on payday lenders, pawn shops

According to this article from the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, the Waterloo Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to adopt zoning revisions that would severely restrict the establishment of new payday lenders and pawn shops.  The amendments will go to the city council in April.

Waterloo’s proposed zoning ordinance governing “deferred deposit services” would not allow additional payday lenders or pawn shops to locate in the downtown C-3 zoning district or S-1 shopping center districts. They would only be allowed in the C-2 commercial district or manufacturing zones.  In addition, new payday lenders or pawn shops could not open within 600 feet of each other, liquor stores or bars, adult uses or any of a long list of “protected uses” in the city.





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