City Council to Meet on April 13, 2021

Included in each City Council information packet is a memo from the City Administrator offering a summary and context of items appearing on the agenda. We will begin publishing these memos here in our news feed to make them more accessible. You can sign up to be notified of news items, agendas and more by email.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public health and safety concerns require City of North Liberty public meetings to be held electronically, so as to limit the spread of the virus. The public is invited to submit questions and comments in advance of the meeting for consideration submitting them to the City Clerk Tracey Mulcahey via email at [email protected].

This meeting may be accessed live by the public on the internet at

Meeting Note

Tuesday’s meeting will be held virtually via Zoom and live streamed at Watch Meetings Live as well as available on the website. The City Council and participants will log into the meeting in order to conduct business while the public will be able to watch the debate and decisions being made.

Consent Agenda

The following items are on the consent agenda and included in the packet:

  • City Council Minutes (03/23/21)
  • Claims
  • Pay Application #8, Southwest Growth Area Utilities Project, Boomerang Corporation, $195,744.17

Economic Development Organization Presentations

Three of the City’s economic development partners are scheduled to present to the City Council on Tuesday. Kate Moreland and Tom Banta representing the Iowa City Area Development Group, Curt Nelson representing the Entrepreneurial Development Center and John Kenyon representing the UNESCO City of Literature will offer updates on their organization. The City’s FY22 budget includes funding for each of these organizations at $75k, $10k and $10k respectively.

Ranshaw Way, Phase 5

The Ranshaw Way, Phase 5 project, which includes full roadway buildout, pedestrian improvements and storm water upgrades between Zeller Street and Hawkeye Drive, is slated for the April 20 IDOT bid letting. The anticipated project cost is $10 million, with $2.576 million being funded by federal funds. Staff recommends approval of the resolution approving the plans and specification.

Greenbelt Trail Preliminary Plat, Parts 2-7

Greenbelt Trail II, LLC is requesting preliminary plat approval to allow 59.48 acres – west of North Liberty Road and east of the Arlington Ridge Subdivision – to be developed with 130 single-family dwellings and related infrastructure.  The companion request to rezone the property to RS-6 is on the agenda for third consideration.  Notably, the preliminary plat excludes 7.36 acres of the Greenbelt Trail property adjacent to North Liberty Road.  This is due to a forthcoming rezoning request to RD-10-Two Unit Residence District.  A good neighbor meeting was held on December 29, 2020 to discuss the rezoning and preliminary plat.  The virtual meeting was very well attended, mostly by residents of the Arlington Ridge Subdivision.  Topics of discussion included subdivision layout, development phasing, subdivision covenants, traffic calming and deterring construction traffic.  Most of the concerns were answered at the meeting and staff worked with the developer’s design team to incorporate traffic calming measures within the subdivision. The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the request at its March 2, 2021 meeting.  One Commissioner expressed a preference for the wide trail to be incorporated into the storm water detention area.  As discussed at the meeting, it was not feasible to incorporate the trail into the detention area based on how that area functions as a storm water management facility. It is staff’s opinion that the preliminary plat meets Ordinance requirements, and therefore, warrants approval.

Red Fern Dog Park User Fee/Membership Resolution

The City Council recently approved the final reading of an ordinance that creates a membership requirement for the City’s Red Fern Dog park. The ordinance states that the Council will establish user fees by resolution and that resolution is on the agenda and recommended for approval. The proposed annual user fee for residents is $50 and nonresidents is $57.

Utility Franchise Fee

At the previous City Council meeting, the Council informally agreed to move forward with implementing a 2% utility franchise fee to help fund parks and trails projects in North Liberty. As a result, Tuesday’s agenda includes a public hearing, a resolution approving a revenue purpose statement and the first consideration of an ordinance adjusting the current utility franchise fee from 0% to 2%. Assuming the City Council moves forward with the first reading of the ordinance, the second and third readings will be scheduled for April 27 and May 11.

Livestock Ordinance Amendment, 1st Reading

The City has received several suggestions from residents for proposed amendments to Chapter 55.23 of the code of ordinances as it relates to domestic chickens. Suggestions include deleting provisions that are duplicative of other code sections, such as the prohibitions on noise and odors, as well as amending other sections that are unduly burdensome in light of the benefit they provide, such as the banding requirements for each bird, or requiring both wings to be clipped. In addition, staff discovered some language in the existing ordinance concerning private restrictions on land that inadvertently has caused existing permits to be rendered void, and which staff believes should be amended. Staff recommends approval of the proposed ordinance amendment.

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