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A controversial proposal to redevelop nearly 10 acres of land in North Liberty into a 34-unit, age-restricted community was rejected by city council. The plan would have rezoned the area east of Scales Bend Road and directly south of Fox Run Drive into a 55 and older living community, including a clubhouse, pool, firepit, workout room, pickleball room and library. The site currently consists of the old Mekota Farmstead in the Fox Run neighborhood, a vacant area of land for several years. But after overwhelming opposition to the Modern Horizons LLC plan from local residents, a majority of North Liberty City Council rejected the plan 3-2. Property owners representing at least 20% of the land rejected to the original request, meaning City Council would have needed a three-fourths majority vote to advance the plan to second and third consideration. Members of the community would pay into the co-op model under the proposal. Residents were concerned the development — which developers said would be similar to Vintage Estates on South Jones Boulevard — did not fit in with the character of the neighborhood, was not affordable housing and would result in the removal of the farmstead barn on the property, among other concerns. "My mother did retire to Iowa City," said Allison Strickland, a Fox Run resident. "When I explained to her this model she thought it was laughable. The cost of just being a member of the co-op alone is the same as my mortgage. This is a community for people who can afford a double mortgage." Developers claimed the houses would be similar value to the ones there now, and that the barn would need to be removed as the building's structural integrity was failing. "I understand there's not going to be a farm there forever," said Kevin Bullard, another resident at Fox Run. Mayor Chris Hoffman, who said he has lived in Fox Run for 16 years and has seen the house sit vacant for five years, said the cost of the land is the biggest obstacle. While the space has garnered a "couple dozen of options," this is the first time a proposal has made it to this stage. A previous request from the same developers proposed 22 duplex units in 11 buildings and a four-story, 48-unit independent living facility, but that was deemed too dense of a proposal for the area. "I believe this will fundamentally impact the character of the neighborhood," said John Lohman, a resident of Fox Run and the CEO of the Corridor Media Group. "These are not single family homes. These are single units in a 55-plus development community. There is a big distinction." City council members opted against this particular redevelopment, stating that it is not a good fit in this area of the community. "Yes, we have a need," city council member Ashley Bernel. "But does this particular product fit the demand? That's the sell I'm having a hard time with." "My concern has always been the cost of these (communities)," said RaQuishia Harrington, a city council member. "To me, that (plan) is still not affordable, realistically." Going forward, city council member Erek Sitteg said he doesn't foresee affordable housing as a likely outcome for the land, should redevelopment happen. "We need to think about what this could be that's acceptable," said Mr. Hoffman. "Putting a single-family home in there that looks like our, that doesn't exist." Monument Hills, also run by Vintage Cooperatives by Ewing Properties, was approved for an age-restricted senior living community in Iowa City in July.