Group working to save Iowa City vegetarian restaurant - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Group working to save Iowa City vegetarian restaurant

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Fans of a vegetarian restaurant are using an online petition to try to stop plans to tear down three Iowa City buildings.

City officials say a private developer owns the buildings that house the Red Avocado and Defunct Books, a used book store. A group trying to save the restaurant have nearly 2,000 names on a petition asking the developer to stop or delay plans to tear down the building. The owner of the restaurant says moving the business would be "pretty tricky financially right now" and hopes the petition will make a difference.

Allen Homes owns the properties on E. Washington Street. Homes plans to build a new four-story building that includes commercial space with apartments on the upper floors.

City of Iowa City Senior Planner Robert Miklo says the city has few options to block the planned development. The buildings plans comply with the zoning regulations for the area. Miklo says the city will review all plans to be sure they follow all current building and zoning codes.

Miklo says the Red Avocado has been offered a spot in the new building, along with help in moving to a temporary site during building. The city is also investigating to see if either business qualifies for economic development assistance for relocation or expansion.


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