City Council approves housing ordinance; discusses development of old Crawford School

Chris Anderson

Council debated the rezoning of 415 Stanton Ave., the old Crawford Elementary School, from a government zone to Residential High Density.

The re-zoning is in response to plans by the current owner of the property, The Crawford Ames, LLC, to develop a senior living facility on the site.

The proposed rezoning contract and amendment would rezone the property with the restriction of one occupant being at least 55 years of age per dwelling, and a restriction of three stories or 50 feet in height for the structures.

These restrictions were put in place by request of the local homeowner’s association, who worries a high-density apartment in the area could bring in unwanted college students or younger residents.

The developer asked council to table the amendment, and direct city staff to rewrite the language to set a hard age limit for all residents. This decision was made after a meeting between the developer and homeowners association.

The homeowner’s association brought up issues they had with the proposed amendment, through what they called the “Florida option”. The Florida option was what the homeowner’s association used to refer to a hypothetical situation where a 55-year or older occupant could buy the property and allow their younger family members to live in the area while they spent much of the year in Florida.

The developer with the approval of the homeowner’s association asked the minimum age to be set at 30 for all occupants.

ISU Representative and Ex-Officio, Robert Bingham, shared that his grandfather lives with a caregiver in their 20s and worried that this age requirement could affect others in similar situations.

“I think the 30-year age requirement seems a bit arbitrary,” Bingham said.

Council Member Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen brought up that the development was being built with the intention of being a senior living facility, and felt unwanted students in the area like in the hypothetical Florida option would not be an issue.

“I don’t think this is going to create any big headaches for anyone,” Beatty-Hansen said.

Other Council Members, Tim Gartin and Amber Corrieri, felt the decision to restrict age should be left to the homeowner’s association to regulate and the city should stay out of it.

“I think our starting point should be hesitancy when we’re looking at discriminating against someone living somewhere because of their age,” Gartin said.

Other members of council felt the 30-year age limit was a good step forward in the ongoing deliberation on what restrictions would exist for this proposed facility.

Council moved to table the rezoning and amendment and directed city staff to draft language for a rezoning contract that would have a restriction of all occupants being over 30 years of age.