Dec 21, 2021 - Real Estate

Des Moines rezones homes on city's east side after slew of issues

A photo of a fire-damaged home in Des Moines.
Renovation of this fire-damaged home in the 1400 block of E. 21st Street stalled for more than two years largely because owners couldn't obtain city permits that would allow it to be expanded and modernized. This is how it looked in March and again on Dec. 20. Photos: Jason Clayworth/Axios

More than 130 homes on the east side of Des Moines returned to residential zoning Monday under a decision approved by the City Council.

  • It reverses a 2019 decision that had added them into an industrial area.

Why it matters: Homes in industrial zones often can't obtain city permits to be properly fixed or modernized after a disaster, neighborhood officials told Axios back in March.

  • Getting loan approval was also more difficult because of the zoning, they said.

State of play: Most homeowners didn't realize what the changes meant for their properties or weren't fully informed when the zoning classifications changed, Councilperson Linda Westergaard told us last spring.

Details: The area is along E 21st Street between Guthrie Avenue and Interstate 235.

  • A second area near E University Avenue and the interstate was zoned from business-use to a "neighborhood mix district."

📍 Check your zone: DSM zoning can be reviewed by address on the city's website.

Data: City of Des Moines Development Services; Map: Axios Visuals
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