City Council Workshop Focuses on Compromise in New Home Construction Rules

Des Moines City Council workshop on new construction requirements on August 26, 2019. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines city leaders and local builders are working toward compromise for new home requirements.

The city is setting requirements that they say will make the building process up to 30 days faster for developers. They include minimum size, garage, siding, and other requirements.

Builders are worried it could limit what they can do.

At Monday morning’s workshop, the council talked about some of the possible changes.

The city feels progress is being made in finding common ground, but builders say the city is trying to create a market that’s not here in Des Moines.

“We keep pointing out the data.  We try to look at the numbers and say ‘why’.  This doesn’t make sense, this is not what people are buying right now.  It seems in many ways to fall on deaf ears,” said Dan Knoup, Executive Officer of the Homebuilders Association of Iowa.

“When we are going into existing neighborhoods, you have to meet the existing neighborhood`s appearance. And we shouldn`t expect you to build and 1800 square foot, two-story, in an area that has 1,000 square foot ranches. We shouldn`t expect that and for us to have a one size fits all, we`ve dived in deep to listen to folks and came to that realization, so that`s where I say compromise has been a good thing and we are working together trying to get a vision of our city moving forward,” said Councilman Joe Gatto.

A hearing on the requirements is set for September 9th.

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