Sanders joins legal fight against Iowa City high rise - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sanders joins legal fight against Iowa City high rise

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Iowa City advocate Gary Sanders has set his sights high with his latest legal action.

Instead of fighting a big box store coming to Iowa City as he did in 2006, he's fighting a big building, one that could reach 20 stories high on the corner of Gilbert and College streets.

"I had thought all along that a lawsuit is the only way to stop this development from happening," Sanders said.

Two downtown projects from the same developer are already changing the Iowa City skyline.

Sanders says this development site sits within a transitional zone between downtown and a quiet neighborhood.

A high rise, he says, is inconsistent with its surroundings.

"It's a gross violation of the comprehensive plan of the city of Iowa City," Sanders said. 

Sander's motion to intervene is complimentary to a lawsuit that's already been filed.

An advocacy group calling itself the Iowa Coalition Against the Shadow says the city council 75 feet.

Opponents argue the council prejudged the issue to support the proposed development.

"Of course a developer can ask for rezoning, but they're not the only ones.  Any citizen can ask for rezoning, and we need to have a comprehensive plan, and we should have that work done in advance," said Christopher Warnock, attorney for the coalition.

City leaders aren't saying much on the latest legal action, but the city attorney tells KWWL she believes the council did nothing wrong, taking into account in its decision only what the best land use is for that property.

The stage is being set for the potential of a long battle in court.

Two sides fighting for what they believe is best for the city's future.

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