Mayor changes course on smaller homes for Cyclone Drive

Friday, March 6, 2020

With a strong turnout from the neighborhood, Alta city officials reversed a plan to consider reducing the size restriction for homes in the Eighth Addition Cyclone Drive area, during this week’s city council meeting.

The area currently specifies homes of 1,400 square feet or more. Finding it difficult to attract builders for the remaining lots, the city had considered allowing homes as small as 1,200 square feet.

Mayor Kevin Walsh said he had talked to different developers who had felt that a 1,400 square feet home could not be built at a price that would sell in the area.

He and council member Wes Bunjes had gone to view some 1,200 square feet homes being developed by Joe Aube in Storm Lake. Walsh said they were nice homes and while he would like to see Aube have homes built in other areas of Alta, the smaller floor plans “didn’t belong at Cyclone Drive.”

“I’ve been the one driving it the most,” Mayor Walsh said. “I’ve changed my mind.”

Bunjes described the homes he had seen in Storm Lake as “cookie-cutter” and agreed that Cyclone Drive was not the place for them.

Walsh said that in his opinion, the best lots in the Addition had already been built on, and said the city may have to do something else with those remaining.

Those attending the meeting from the neighborhood seemed pleased with the decision. One resident thanked the council, saying that they weren’t trying to be elitist in opposing smaller homes, but that they wanted to protect their own investments. Their homes were built according to the requirements, they felt, and any others should be too.