A project to build "more affordable" housing in Decorah has taken its first step to becoming a reality.
Steve and Linda Henning of Decorah have won Decorah City Council first reading approval to change the zoning on 13 acres of property they own south of Highland Drive in the Vennehjem subdivision. Two more readings of the zoning change will need approval.
The Hennings had asked for the zoning change because they want to sell smaller lots for development. They say the R-3 zoning will allow for $200,000 to $250,000 houses to be built on the property, instead of $400,000 homes.
Decorah City Council member Steve Luse worried that the R-3 zoning would also allow construction of apartments. The Hennings stated they do not plan to build apartments on the property. City Administrator Chad Bird said any proposal for apartments would have to win site plan approval and could be voted down at that time. "I'm a little leery of that," replied Luse, who urged the city's Planning & Zoning Commission to looking into creating more residential zoning classifications to prevent that problem in the future.