Planning commission approves Kestrel Heights housing development in Cedar Rapids

89-lot development near Cargill rail yard proposed in four multi-year phases

Plans for a new 89-unit single-family housing development near the Rompot neighborhood and Cargill’s new rail yard site in southeast Cedar Rapids were approved this month by the city’s Planning Commission.

The development, referred to as Kestrel Heights in city documents, is proposed for a currently undeveloped, 65-acre parcel at 3350 Otis Road SE, just north of the Prairie Park Fishery.

The Kestrel Heights housing project’s applicant, Greyhurst Enterprises of Harlan, submitted a major preliminary plat for the project, indicating that the overall development will be undertaken in four multi-year phases, comprising 29, 21, 20 and 19 lots respectively. The property is currently zoned Suburban Residential Large Lot District, under which single-family residential development is allowed, so no rezoning would be required for the project.

The development is consistent with the property’s Urban Low Intensity land use typology as indicated on the city’s Future Land Use Map, according to planning documents, meaning that rezoning will not be necessary, planning documents show.

Excluding unusable portions of the property, the Kestrel Heights housing project comprises a residential density of approximately 2.5 units per acre.

The development will also provide a pedestrian public access easement to the Irene Dumpke Park just north of the project property. That park is currently inaccessible by street.

The development lies near the Cargill rail yard project, a 12-track facility with capacity of up to 200 rail cars. While work on the new rail yard began in the spring of 2021, it remains the subject of a lawsuit filed by neighboring property owners, who have expressed environmental and public safety concerns.