Jun 14, 2021 - News

Des Moines community fridge owner seeks rezoning

A community fridge in Des Moines.
The community fridge is located at 3613 59th St in DSM. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Community fridge host Vanessa Moranchel wants Des Moines to rezone her home to allow the operation to continue, according to city documents obtained by Axios.

Details: The North Des Moines Community Fridge operates from a shed in the front of Moranchel's home.

  • It opened about three months ago and allows people to help themselves to donated food anytime.

Driving the news: DSM received a complaint in April and notified Moranchel that the fridge violates a city ordinance prohibiting accessory structures in front yards.

  • An electrical connection to the structure could be dangerous, city officials said.

What they're saying: DSM supports the fridge concept and provided information about possible partnerships with nearby businesses, churches and food banks that were appropriately zoned, according to letters sent to Moranchel.

  • Moranchel didn't return Axios' calls.

What's next: City staff will meet with Moranchel next week for a "pre-application conference" to explain the rezoning process.

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