FOREST CITY, Iowa - Recently, a developer approached the City of Forest City to build a convenience store at John K. Hanson Drive and West J Street, across the street from the recently completed Boman Fine Arts Center in what's called a Residential Multifamily Optional zone, or RMO. At a meeting earlier this month, a public hearing was held regarding amending RMO Districts to allow a convenience store/gas station as a special exception use. The first reading of the ordinance passed at that meeting with a 4-3 vote.
During a packed city council meeting on Monday, in which a majority of those in attendance largely spoke against the store, the ordinance did not pass the second reading and the proposal was declared dead, due to no motion.
Concerns brought up by those in attendance include noise, traffic, lighting and aesthetics. In addition, council member at large Karl Wooldridge expressed concern over the accepted standard definition of a convenience store.
Donald Erickson of Forest City is against the store, and says it would not be beneficial for the neighborhood, which is also close to the YMCA and Forest City Schools.
"It's just a super area, and I don't think we need a convenience store out there that's...a gas station that sells liquor."
He adds that if a store were to be built in the future, it would be a better fit further west, away from the Boman Center.
"I think 8 blocks to the west is some farm ground right on the edge of town that if you wanted to put a convenience store, that would be a good place for it."
Mayor Ruiter tells KIMT that the city is still looking to develop the parcel of land the store would have been located on.
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