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Posts Tagged ‘Friends of Rice Field’

Beaverdale Citizens Still Fighting To Save Rice Field From Development

more photos at

more photos at

This is an epic battle of  local citizens fighting with everything they’ve got to beat back development and save a tiny green paradise that has been there for generations.  Blog for Iowa posted about it in October, 2012.   It’s a classic tale of a city council being pressured by developers to change the zoning against the wishes of the people who live in the neighborhood.  We know how that usually turns out.

Please consider supporting this determined group of citizens.  Visit the Friends of Rice Field Facebook page to see inspiring photos of what is at stake.

Here is their latest FB post on recent developments:

Judge S. Rosenberg will make a decision on the hearing held on 17 January 2014 on the law suit against the City of Des Moines, brought by residents of Beaverdale to correct the action of the City of Des Moines taken on 18 November 2013, at which the city changed the land use of Rice Field.  The hearing was to determine how far back in time the city must go when it produces records concerning zoning action on Rice Field.

The neighbors argued that the current development proposal must be judged in light of the concept of the first development proposal, as well as the justification for its departure from R1-60 zoning.

The city argued that no zoning change actually occurred on 17 November, because the conceptual change from a “village within a village” (a composition of row houses, cluster homes, apartments over retail stores, and a community gathering area) to a single monolithic apartment building was merely a technical change in the conceptual drawings.

The neighbors countered that PUD developments are blank slates without their development concepts. And, zoning devoid of specifications constitutes an unconstitutionally vague ordinance. So, in order for the zoning to be constitutional, the development concept must be considered as establishing the land use parameters. This means that the development concept defines the nature of the zoning of Rice Field.

The neighbors conclude that a fundamental change in concept is a change in zoning, when judging PUD’s.

Kids holding signs to save Rice

Friends Of Rice Field Fighting To Save Neighborhood Park From Development

more photos at

Click on the image for more photos at


Friendsof RiceField,

You are Needed More than Ever!

The proposal for senior housing at Rice Field moves to City Council.

The highlight of last night’s hearing on the survival of Rice Field as recreational space came from a member of the P and Z board.

In addition to motioning that that the PUD not be amended, she motioned that the PUD be removed, return the land to original zoning and that the City procure it.

The motions were supported but did not pass at P and Z. The motions are clearly a step in the right direction to save Rice Field as we turn our attention to the City Council and continue advocating these very plans.

More later.  Visit Friends of Rice Field Facebook page


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Beaverdale, Des Moines residents have been fighting to save a patch of neighborhood green space from development since 2006.  You can help them by spreading the word about the public hearing on Rice field being held tonight.

See the Friends of Rice Field photo page to understand what a tragic loss it would be to the community if this tiny urban paradise for kids were to go away.     For more ways you can help these brave ordinary citizens fighting to preserve what is good in their community, click on the links below.  Click here to go to Friends of Rice Field issues page.

According to a letter from Des Moines Plan and Zoning Commission to residents within 200 feet of Rice field:

“The City Plan and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday evening October 17, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Second Floor, City Hall, 400 Robert D. Ray Drive on the following matter:

A request from Beaverdale Partners, LLC (owner) represented by Jeffrey Ewing (officer) for review and approval of an amendment to the Rice Development Partners PUD Conceptual Plan on property located at 3001 Beaver Avenue revising the name to Beaverdale Cooperative Housing PUD and allowing development of a three-story 54-unit multiple-family dwelling for senior living…

At the public hearing, you or your representative will be given an opportunity to tell your views. Spoken comments will be held to 5 minutes per individual….

NOTE: The Plan and Zoning Commission will make a recommendation to the City Council regarding this matter. The City Council will hold a public hearing on this request about two weeks after the Commission meeting. Please contact the City Clerk at 283-4209 to find out when the City Council will hold their public hearing on this item.

(Click here to read the entire letter)

Friendsof RiceField

Today, City Hall, 6:00

Well wishers and fans of Rice field as recreational space turn to Plan and Zoning tonight to defend this century-old community village green.

Since 2006, supporters of Rice Field continue to advocate for the majority–75% who desire Rice Field to be an enhanced park; 67% who wish the field be left simply as is (Essman Survey).

Since 2006, over 1,300 Friends-of-Rice-Field yard signs have been distributed and displayed within and beyond Beaverdale.

A petition was collected in the fall of 2006 which contained 1,000 signatures to oppose development at Rice Field.

Awareness has increased for the need to preserve this invaluable recreational field that brings health, vivaciousness and smiles to the community in a part of the city where parkland is seriously lacking and where recreational spaces have been lost to development.

As you view the photographs of Rice Field on  Friends of Ricefield Facebook page  it becomes apparent that we are advocating for the children; for our youth and adults who come to Rice Field to play.

We are advocating for our own wishes when we realize the goodness that Rice Field offers to the community as public green space.

To Help

For a Friends of Rice Field yard sign contact:
For updates on Facebook: friendsofricefield
Call Friends of Rice Field spokesperson Matt Culp:  255-4699

Kids holding signs to save Rice