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Toledo, Affordable Home Builders in court battle over property here

December 7, 2017
By John Speer - Editor (jspeer@tamatoledonews.com) , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Affordable Home Builders, Inc. headed by Dave Stuzman, Cedar Rapids, has gone on the attack denying allegations made by the City of Toledo in a court action the city filed on Oct. 20. The company is seeking damages as a result of what it alleges are improper action by the city which prohibited the company from developing four residential lots on its property.

The city's Tama County District Court petition sought temporary and permanent injunctions prohibiting development of the 10 acres of property on the city's southwest side.

Toledo City Attorney Mike Marquess informed the city council Monday night Affordable Builders had filed an answer to the city's action.

Article Photos

View of the 10-acre parcel sold by the City of Toledo to Affordable Home Builders in 2015.
Aerial view from Tama Co.
Assessor plat

The temporary injunction prohibiting work by Affordable Builders was approved by District Court Judge Christopher L. Bruns on Oct. 20.

Owned by the city, the property was sold to Affordable Builders for $1,000 in August, 2015.

The sale was aimed at jump-starting home construction to meet growing local needs it was noted at the time of the sale.

Since then, the court documents charge Affordable Home Builders has done nothing to improve the property during a one-year period allowed in a plat approved by the city. Rather, it is alleged Stuzman only constructed what was supposed to be a temporary construction shed in which he had been living. The shed had no water, sewer or electrical service according to the petition.

It is further alleged "attempts to speak with Stuzman have been met with hostility."

In the answer filed to the city action, Stuzman denies living in the shed.

Affordable Home Builders asserts the City of Toledo interfered with development of lots and the company is "unable to sell, rent or enjoy the use of the property for financial gain." It claims the city knew of a contract to develop the property and asks for monetary compensation from the city as a result of its actions.

Council approves Alliant Sub-Station

Interstate Power and Light Company (Alliant Energy) received Toledo City Council approval Monday night, Nov. 27, for the future construction of an electric power sub-station on the city's south side.

The Toledo Planning and Zoning Committee recommended the property be rezoned from agriculture to Business 2 to allow for the construction. The land is located in strip along the U.S. Highway 30 Expressway and is east of the Toledo City Shop on South Prospect Drive.

The land was acquired by the utility in a sale of excess property acquired by the Iowa Department of Transportation for thee construction of the expressway.

Alliant representatives told the Planning and Zoning Committee the sub-station is proposed to be located on the west end of the property and a pole yard might also be included.

They also said the company would also gravel the extension of South Prospect Drive to the property.

In other business the council:

reviewed an update by City Attorney Marquess of the city ordinance governing peddlers, solicitors and transient merchants. Members voted 4-0 to change the fee for the license to $100. The ordinance had provided for a two dollar application charge and a $50 license fee. Voting in favor were members Steve vesely, Brian Sokol, Joe boll and terry Goddhart. Member Travis Mullen was absent. It was noted vendors including food trucks were required to have a permit. Charitable, civic organizations and farmers and gardeners selling their home-grown products are exempt.

In other business Monday the council:

approved a new contract for services with Region 6 Planning Commission for Administration of a Community Development Block Grant at a cost of $14,000 to the City of Toledo. The program provides for federal funding for up to $226,000 for housing improvements for qualified home owners in the city.

approved fund transfers for bond payments including- $187,200 from water fund to pay water revenue bond; $97,219 from LOST Fund to pay Aquatic Center bond; $95,093 from Sewer fund to pay sewer bond; and $178,133 from Sewer Fund to Sewer Sinking Fund.

accepted the city's annual financial report. (Report was published in the Nov. 22 issue of The Chronicle.)

set the next regular council meeting for Tuesday, Dec. 26. at 6 p.m. at the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center due to the regular date falling on Christmas day.

 
 

 

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