The Adel City Council met at its regular time of 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at the Adel City Hall.
Around 30 residents were in attendance to voice concerns during a public hearing over a rezoning request about a proposed housing development, Brickyard Summit.
Peak Development Corporation requested rezoning of a 20.09-acre housing development located in the northwest quadrant of the City of Adel adjacent to N 15th Street. The request was to rezone the parcel from R-3, or single family residential district low density, to R-1, or single family residential district high density.
Mayor Jim Peters said Peak Development had previously presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission in June of 2017 and January of 2018.
After discussion in June of 2017, the P&Z Commission denied the request, saying “rezoning to R-1 single family high density does not meet our intent of our zoning code or comprehensive plan for this area.”
The commission went on to say that the area was properly zoned and should remain R-3. Another request was made to rezone the housing development during the January 2018 P&Z meeting.
No new information was presented, including a traffic study or environmental report. The request was again denied by P&Z.
Developer Travis Sisson, of Peak Development Corporation, then presented an overview of the Brickyard Summit project to the Adel City Council during the Aug. 14 public hearing.
Sisson said he started working in 2015 with Sioux City Brick on property they were not going to use on the north side of town. He wanted to bring a niche development for the neighborhood in Adel based loosely on Beaverdale Brick in Des Moines.
“I like brick. Adel was founded on Brick. Sioux City Brick is the largest private employer in the city,” Sisson said. “So we were looking at putting something together that would benefit the neighborhood that people would want to come to.”
He added that he is not a production developer. He works to find a piece of ground to develop and showcase that particular city.
Part of showcasing Adel, Sisson said, is showcasing brick. Peak Development has an agreement with Sioux City Brick that says there has to be a certain percentage of brick on each of the houses in the neighborhood.
Local resident Chuck Leyendecker questioned Sisson’s statement about showcasing the community of Adel through the proposed neighborhood. He added that people driving into Adel won’t see the new houses in the north development.
He moved to Adel with his wife in 2013. They were looking for a community with semi-seclusion.
“We were a little bit taken back when we found out everything around us was going to turn into a housing development,” Leyendecker said.
Sisson brought a number of team members with him to address some of the concerns brought up by the P&Z Commission, regarding the volume of homes, traffic concerns as well as environmental concerns. Those same concerns were brought up by local residents during the Aug. 14 public hearing.
Erin Ollendike, of Civil Design Advantage, said Sisson is proposing 50 single family lots. John Daugherty of Platinum Realty added that the development will see between five to 10 homes built each year.
Another area Sisson wanted to address was connecting the neighborhood to the nearby Adel Elementary School. The plans include building a trail from the neighborhood to the school.
Local resident Carson Whitlow brought up concerns about the increased traffic flow with the proposed development as he has lived in the neighborhood for around 40 years.
“I recognize that there is going to be at least 25 houses, with the possibility of going to 50. My concern is what impact that is going to have on 15th Street and the safety of that intersection,” he said.
Leland Belding of Veenstra and Kimm completed a traffic study on the proposed neighborhood. The study found that for 50 housing units, there will be around 38 trips during the morning peak hour. Belding said it works out to be around one car going through the intersection at 15th Street every minute and half.
In the evening, the number climbs to around 50 trips, or one car every minute. Typically, Belding said there will be peaks within those peak times. With the elementary school, those peaks come around 8-8:15 a.m. and 3:45-4 p.m.
Resident Connie Hefner had concerns about the amount of broken glass within the area that was formerly a dump.
“Until the grass started to grow and the sun was out, it looked like a diamond field. That’s how much glass is in there. It is not a minute amount of broken glass in there,” Hefner said.
Sisson said there was a dump on the east two acres of the development. He said there is a design in place to cover that area. After speaking to the Department of Natural Resources, Sisson said the area would only be a green space. No houses would be built there.
The members of the Adel City Council then discussed the rezoning request during the regular meeting.
Council Member Jodi Selby said she likes the concept of the brick neighborhood and the proposed sidewalk to the elementary school. She echoed the public concerns about the traffic as she lives in the neighborhood. The traffic also gets congested on Grove Street.
Council Member Shirley McAdon said she feels the proposed neighborhood is in an area that fits better into the R-3 zone than the proposed R-1 zone.
“As you look at our land use plan and our zoning map, you can see that R-3 and the area to the north is more parkland and more lower density. That’s why I feel R-3 fits in that area where it currently is,” she said.
The Adel City Council passed a resolution denying the rezoning request from Peak Development.