Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Inclusionary Zoning At Last (with a big asterisk)

Don't get me wrong. The Iowa City Council's decision last night to FINALLY mandate affordable housing in a new development, Orchard Court (part of Riverfront Crossings), rather than rely on the kindness of developer's hearts. is a big win.

It's a win that would have been impossible without the Core Four victory last year. Elections have consequences, dontcha know.

But there's a big asterisk on that win, one that I can't help noticing because it is literally in my backyard.
Along with a lot of downed tree limbs from last night's storm. 

Actually, my front yard. Riverfront Crossings is next to, kind of part of, the Miller-Orchard neighborhood, where we've lived the past nine years.

My house is literally in this picture.

Miller-Orchard is what I'd call working class, a few empty nesters, a few couples with first starter home fixer-uppers, with a noticable trend toward students since Roosevelt School closed in 2012. We're also a neighborhood without much political clout, as the Roosevelt closure proved.

And that kind of sort of helps explain why this move was relatively smooth, and less controversial than, say, if they'd mandated affordable housing out on Kennedy Parkway.

Riverfront Crossings is a great foot in the door for inclusionary zoning. I personally hope to stay in Miller-Orchard long enough to see it become a reality and welcome my new neighbors.

But I also want to see how the neighbors react if we try mandatory inclusionary zoning next to Windsor Ridge.

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