News from around Iowa: Iowa City school district raises concerns about current zoning policies

From the Iowa City Press-Citizen (full article found here):  Grappling with how to address high concentrations of low-income students in some schools, the Iowa City Community School District is calling on cities to change their approach to housing and zoning.

The district is asking local governments to adopt inclusionary zoning policies — requiring that a certain percentage of new residential developments be set aside for affordable housing. District officials also are asking cities to re-invest in areas of “socio-economic isolation” and place restrictions on rental units and rental density.

“While we are cognizant of the fact that it is not within the scope of the District’s duties to instruct municipalities on housing patterns and zoning regulations, we do know that these decisions have a direct impact on our educational system,” Superintendent Steve Murley and School Board President Chris Lynch wrote in a letter to local mayors and the Johnson County Board of Supervisors.

The issue will be discussed at a meeting this afternoon (Monday) between school district and city officials.

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