Opposition to zoning change on east side

The Storm Lake Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend that the City Council approve a zoning change that would allow a 60-unit apartment complex to be built at the south end of the cornfield between East Milwaukee and Fourth St. and bordered by Hickory Lane and the Flowers Neighborhood (Tulip, Rose and Violet Lanes). This recommendation was made in spite of 40+ people speaking against the zoning change. A petition signed by 74 people requesting that the zoning change not be made was also presented. Two of the three members who voted for the change did so with reservations.

Storm Lake may need more housing but it does not need more large apartment complexes that destroy the benefits of living in a neighborhood where people know and care for their neighbors. The builder indicated in an earlier meeting that he will not build unless he receives federal tax credits that come from our federal tax dollars. He will not build unless the city approves property tax rebates that will come from our property tax dollars. Most of the apartment rents will be subsidized and the subsidies will come from our tax dollars. The builder is not local. He will take his profit back to Missouri after building apartments that will cost $140,000 each. Cities have built large apartment complexes for years — and are now tearing them down after they have blighted their neighborhoods. This type of housing does not provide good quality of life for the occupants, the neighborhood, or the city.  Would you want it built in your neighborhood?

Storm Lake has local builders who can provide good quality affordable single-family homes on this land. I would like to see the Storm Lake City Council support housing that would enhance the neighborhood and the city.   Perhaps they could support these builders with the dollars they would spend to support the building of housing that is opposed by the neighbors.

This matter will come before the City Council on Monday, Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. at City Hall. I encourage everyone who has an interest in the development of this community to attend the meeting and voice their thoughts on the issue. 

KATHRYN MCKINLEY

Storm Lake