Iowa City Zoning Commission defers vote on vendor standards - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City Zoning Commission defers vote on vendor standards

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As Hawkeye fans gear up for opening day kickoff to the 2011 season, game day vendors are having to prepare for significant changes.

"Most of the criteria I'm recommending deal with life safety issues, and those are really important," said Doug Boothroy, Director of Housing and Inspection Services.

Boothroy presented this criteria to the Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday night.

In April, the city council voted to change the current zoning code in the area to allow vendors on game days, only if, they apply for temporary use permits.

Boothroy suggested to the commission, in part, that these businesses must be properly insured, take on clean-up responsibility, and not be allowed to sell alcohol.

The proposal also called for time and place boundaries for vendors to set up on Melrose.

"We were seeing pressure on other properties inside the neighborhood to take on commercial vending or other characteristics like that, so I think this helps a lot," Boothroy said.

Residents living in the historic neighborhood around Kinnick Stadium say the proposals mark some progress.  Many would like to ultimately see these businesses operating on University property.

"The neighborhood is not against the vendors, it's their location that's the problem," said Jean Walker, member of the Melrose Neighborhood Association.  "The disrespect and incivility shown to the neighborhood in general is a much larger problem than the vendors."

The problem, residents say, is that fan behavior has worsened in the last ten years.  People living there say they've seen increased destructive behaviors toward their properties. 

Residents are suggesting more toilet facilities and trash cans be provided in the area on game days and for all parties involved to work together to find a solution.

"It's time the city, the university, and the neighborhood sit down together, to review football game days and see how it could be made a more pleasant experience for everyone involved."

The Planning and Zoning Commission deferred their decision on the proposed standards for commercial vendors until a later meeting in May.  If adopted by the commission, the new requirements would then go to the city council for a vote.

Tailgating and parking for tailgating will not be affected by the changes.

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