Mason City council approves first reading of rezoning property for commercial, residential development on south end of downtown

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night approved the first reading of a rezoning change for a parcel of land on the southern edge of the downtown area for a combined commercial and residential building. G8 Development is looking to construct on a vacant lot northeast of the intersection of US Highway 65 and State Highway 122, just south of Willow Creek.

Jacquelyn Arthur of the Laird Law Firm represents G8 and says the vision is for a multi-story, mixed-use building with commercial and retail on the first floor and residential on the other floors. Arthur says they’ve been working with the city on residential parking at the site similar to what was done just to the north at The River residential development.  “We have worked with city staff and we have offered parking requirements to address the parking needs for the development of this site. We modeled those parking requirements for the residential portion of this potential development in keeping with what’s in place for The River. City staff and ourselves believe those parking requirements at The River have been working for that development. The commercial and retail parking requirements in our project would mirror those already in place for the Z4 District.”

Arthur says the preliminary plans call for the building to have at least two or three upper levels for residential, but she says G8 hasn’t finalized how tall the building would be.  “Once we know the zoning and we have a parking agreement in place,  then we can do the real detailed specific work of what can we build there that will meet all the requirements — parking, set-backs, lot use ratio, and all those things. At this point, we’re not set on a specific number of stories to a building, but this just gives us the flexibility that if we can fit it there and have parking to suit the site per these requirements, then we can build it.”

The council unanimously approved the first reading of the rezoning ordinance with two more readings required before it is officially adopted.