Spencer City Council Chambers sign

First filing of IGL Construction property rezoning approved

The Spencer City Council may fast-track a request from IGL Construction that its property at 221 32nd Avenue West be rezoned from mobile home to A residential district. Council members approved the first of three filings of an ordinance approved the rezoning with a 7-0 vote. Ron Hanson, Ward 5 council member, asked City Attorney Don Hemphill how the process could be sped up. “I think you’re going to have the final plat before you at your next meeting,” Hemphill said. “Then if you want at that time, you could complete this rezoning.”

Mayor Kevin Robinson said the council could waive the required third reading at its next meeting later this month.

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

City council meeting notes: July 6, 2020

The Spencer City Council discussed the following items at its regular meeting on Monday. Planned Unit Residential Development, development ordinances clear final filings

The Spencer City Council approved, 7-0, the third and final filings of two separate ordinances, one amending parts of the city code pertaining to Planned Unit Residential Developments (PURDs) and the other pertaining to subdivision definitions. Both ordinances seek to make city code less restrictive for future housing developments. Mayor Kevin Robinson thanked city staff and others involved in the effort to get the code changed. “This is a culmination of about a year-long process of cleaning up planning development, those kinds of things,” he said.

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

City council notes: June 1, 2020

The Spencer City Council discussed the following during its regular meeting on June 1. First filing of ordinance concerning planned unit residential development approved

The Spencer City Council held a public hearing on and then voted 7-0 to approve the first filing of an ordinance that makes a number of changes to city code regarding planned unit residential development (PURD). Changes to that code, according to an agenda item memo from staff, will allow for smaller lot sizes in new developments, which helps the city in creating more workforce housing. The recommendations were included in the city’s economic development strategic plan that was completed by David Toyer. The amendments are:

Reducing the required PURD common open area from 10% to 5%Reducing the required PURD minimum site size from 5 acres to 1 acreEstablishing the following minimum standards:Minimum lot area: 4,000 square feetMinimum lot width: 40 feetMaximum height: 45 feetFront yard setback: 20 feetSide yard setback: 5 feetRear yard setback: 15 feetMaximum lot coverage: 80%

Final filing of solid waste rates and charges increase approved

The council voted 7-0 to approve the third and final filing of an ordinance that increases solid waste rates and charges effective July 1.

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

Residential tax abatements approved for 10 properties

The Spencer City Council approved residential tax abatements for 10 properties Monday night. The abatements are part of a program that allows property owners to apply for and potentially receive tax abatements for five years following remodeling or new construction of residential properties. Ward 5 Council member Ron Hanson wanted to make note of the program being used. “It’s a great program,” Hanson said. “People rehabbing houses and stuff and they get a tax abatement for five years.

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

5 homes to benefit from city’s substandard housing program

Five properties in town will receive funding for home repairs thanks to Spencer’s new Substandard Housing Rehabilitation Program. The Spencer City Council last week approved 5-0 a resolution authorizing the acceptance of bids from contractors for work on the five properties. The combined amount awarded for the five bids is $122,475. Under the program, the city will pay $102,041 and the residents will pay $20,434. Repairs on the properties will include new windows, HVAC systems updates and insulation.

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

City council notes: October 7, 2019

The Spencer City Council discussed the following topics at its meeting on October 7. Council approves recommended zoning code changes

The Spencer City Council approved a list of zoning code changes as recommended in the economic development strategic plan developed by Toyer Strategic Consulting in January. 

The council held a public hearing and followed that with a 6-0 vote to approve the first filing of an ordinance that, if approved two more times, would change Spencer’s code in select areas. “It’s cleanup language,” City Manager Amanda Mack said during the meeting. “Planning and zoning spent quite a bit of time walking through Mr. Toyer’s recommendations.”

Some of those changes include the adoption of new zoning definitions for duplex residential and dwelling, two-family; adoption of a new industrial use classification of aquaculture; a new industrial use classification for data storage. View other changes (PDF).

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

City council notes: August 19, 2019

The Spencer City Council discussed the following topics at its meeting on Monday, August 19. City council election papers now available

Spencer residents interested in running for mayor or one of three city council seats up on the November 5 ballot can file nomination papers as of Monday, August 26. Offices on the ballot are mayor (two-year term), city council Ward 2 (four-year term), city council Ward 3, city council Ward 4 (four-year term) and at-large city council (four-year term). There is also a four-year hospital board of trustees seat up for election. Papers are available at the city clerk’s office.

Steve Knittel 100 East 1st Street Spencer Iowa

Homeowner facing demolition speaks out

Steve Knittel wants two things. “One is to be left alone and the other is justice,” he said as he stood inside the mudroom of his home at 100 East First Street. For Knittel, those two wants are related. The city has sought a court order that would deem his home a substandard and unsafe structure and authorize its demolition. Last month, the Spencer City Council voted unanimously to seek the order.

Rita Hoffman and Ryan Davelaar, Farmers Bank real estate lenders. (Photo submitted)

Iowa Finance Authority and Farmers Trust & Savings Bank announce preferred loan officers

Submitted press release

The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) announced that both Farmers Bank real estate lenders, Rita Hoffman and Ryan Davelaar, were among a total of 42 lenders and Realtors to earn IFA’s 2018 Preferred Partner designation. IFA Preferred Partners are experts for Iowa home buyers seeking assistance with the homeownership process and are expertly trained in IFA mortgage and down payment assistance programs.

IFA offers affordable mortgage and down payment assistance programs for eligible home buyers through a seamless process with a network of hundreds of valued Participating Lenders across the state. Local lenders assisted 2,300 Iowans in purchasing a home using IFA programs in fiscal year 2017. All IFA Participating Lenders serve as a trusted resource for home buyers in their area. IFA Preferred Partners have received additional in‐depth training and have committed to meeting various requirements including assisting a minimum number of home buyers through IFA programs each year.