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How Many People Should Live in an Iowa City Apartment?

Residents spoke out on Tuesday evening to urge Iowa City Council to reduce the number of tenants who can live in a rental unit.

Several residents who live near downtown Iowa City urged to approve a rezoning plan to redefine the term "household" in neighborhoods surrounding the hub of the city, during a City Council meeting on Tuesday evening. 

However, the city deferred voting until April 3. The ordinance would reduce the number of unrelated tenants who can live in a dwelling from as many as five in some areas to three people. Three is the maximum in the rest of the city.

Neighbors have complained for years about raucous parties, loud noise and other unwanted behavior in rental properties dominated by college students. This ordinance is seen as a way to combat that.

"In my opinion, they are worse than unsupervised dormitories," resident Sarah Clark told council referring to the atmosphere. She was one of about a dozen people who spoke in favor of the ordinance.

But, the plan is getting mixed reaction.

"This is never going to be a family neighborhood, like it or not," said Tom Muntz, who owns several rental properties in the area and was one of the few who spoke against the ordinance during the meeting. "This is too close to campus."

The city has received dozens of protest letters opposing the plan. 

Because of the protest, the city decided to defer on voting on the controversial plan until April 3. This will give the city enough time to determine if a super majority vote will be required. This means six yes votes out of seven, rather than a simple majority of four out of seven. If more than 20 percent of the residents in an affected zone protests, a super majority will be required.

Earlier, during a work session, Iowa City revealed a new vision for the Also during the meeting, the city approved several sidwalk cafe's including outside on Washington Street, and .

B.A. Morelli March 21, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Strong feelings on both sides. Where do you stand?
Megan VerHelst March 21, 2012 at 02:11 AM
To me, it doesn't seem as if this ordinance will really do much for the issue at hand. A rule simply stating how many people can LIVE in one apartment won't do much to curb the tenants inviting their friends over for a party on the weekend. Has this ordinance helped curb noise and disruptions in other parts of the city? I'd be curious to hear from people who live in areas where the three-person maximum is already in place.

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