The City Council has scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 20 to discuss the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommended draft of the South District Plan, which will be used by City of Iowa City planners to guide future development and investment in the area. The hearing will be scheduled as part of the City Council meeting, beginning at 7 p.m. in Emma Harvat Hall in City Hall, 410 E. Washington Street. Iowa City residents are invited to participate to comment or ask questions about the proposed plan.

The South District is defined as all property within the Iowa City growth area south of Highway 6 and east of the Iowa River. The revised South District Plan considers long-term development for existing neighborhoods in the district, as well as new areas that will evolve around Archibald Alexander Elementary School. While the Commission first took up consideration of the South District Plan in late May and early June, they deferred their recommendation to Council to allow time for staff to consider input from the public, including developers, landowners, and affordable housing advocates.

The draft plan emphasizes the importance of the area’s natural spaces and outdoor recreational facilities, including more than 380 acres of parkland and 23 miles of off-street trails. Major goals of the plan call for the preservation of the South District’s natural open spaces and access to parks, as well as the extension of trail connections to parks and other neighborhood destinations; better street connectivity, including the extension of McCollister Boulevard; improved walkability for school children and the general population; more attractive aerial streetscapes; and creation of a stronger identity and sense of place for South Iowa City.

While the draft continues to discourage large concentrations of multi-family housing, it does include areas of flexibility that will allow for diverse housing types that will ultimately provide the density necessary to support expanded transit service and the construction of small commercial areas that will serve the neighborhood.

The draft of the plan may be viewed online at

For more information, contact City of Iowa City Planner Sarah Walz at 319-356-5239 or

Date of publication

Wednesday, October 14, 2015