The Waukee City Council met in its regular session on Tuesday, one day later than their normal meeting date due to the Labor Day holiday. Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Anna Bergman presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Bill Peard.
An introduction and a first reading was approved 3-0, with councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Anna Bergman abstaining, to rezone land to the north and south of Highway 6 in western Waukee to be used for the Apple data center that was announced in late August. The 2,100 acres of land is in the area that was recently annexed into the city earlier this year and will be rezoned from A-1 (agricultural) to M-1 (light industrial) and PD-1 (planned development overlay).
“M-1 light industrial district establishes the uses for the property and specifically establishes the use of the property for a data center,” said Brad Deets, Waukee planning and zoning director. “The planned development, PD-1 overlay, establishes the provisions that are specific to this particular site, or this particular plan.”
Deets said that the specific provisions for the plan include modifications to the overall bulk regulations as well as standards for parking, landscaping requirements, including a 50-foot landscaping buffer.
Deets said that the adjoining property owners within the rezoning area, as well as those within the 200-foot rezoning buffer, were provided notice and that they have all signed off on the rezoning request, but the proposed rezoning would be contingent on the property owners selling their property to Bravo Real Estate and their properties would remain zoned as A-1 if they chose not to sell.
The master plan for the project, known as “Project Morgan,” shows the two buildings for the data center with access to the facilities from S Avenue.
“The remainder of the property proposed to be rezoned would be left for future development as it pertains to the data center project,” Deets said.
Bergman’s abstention from the vote on the first reading of the rezoning was due to the fact that she has family members who own land in the rezoning area and are currently in negotiations with Bravo Real Estate.
The council also voted to update the city’s Comprehensive Plan to include the rezoning area as “employment land use.”
“Land use and the comprehensive plan, they’re not directly tied to zoning, but really become the basis for how zoning should be established,” Deets said. “So this is really the precursor to the proposed rezoning request. This would make the area, then, consistent with the proposed urban renewal plan that the city is working on and the council will consider later this month.”