Iowa City council may add 'sizing' codes to avoid another 'Kinnick' house

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The city council members in Iowa City are trying to figure out how to avoid controversy like the one over the Kinnick-style house in the future.

Iowa City council members discuss possible code changes to avoid future conflict over odd-shaped houses like the "Kinnick House" on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. (Chantelle Navarro/KCRG-TV9)

Tuesday night, they threw out ideas about ways to change ordinances.

Construction is underway now for the house modeled after Kinnick Stadium in the Manville Heights neighborhood.

Some neighbors worried the house would change the area, attracting too many partiers. But the mayor says the council followed current codes.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but many council members want to focus on "scaling" or sizing of residences. It means a possible change in building or zoning codes could be in the works.

City council member Rockne Cole says it would be a more subjective nature than proving what would be a party house and what wouldn't be.

“They don't want to have to get into deciding what the subjective intention is. Who is really going to occupy it as a single family residence? So much of it is going to be dictated as the scale of it and the design should be able to address a lot of these issues,” said Cole.

"The owner has to justify the use,” said City Council Member Kingsley Botchway. “If they want to have 20 bathrooms, from our administrative standpoint, checking that, I still think it's the justification of the homeowner coming in to have that conversation.”

Botchway also brought up finding some kind of way to let neighbors know in the future when someone is building a new house that might cause a disturbance. He says it could be some sort of "subscription service" so that neighbors won't feel blind-sided.

The next Iowa City city council meeting will be in Tuesday December 5th.