As Bettendorf officials have identified downtown development as a top priority, city leaders are considering restricting certain businesses from setting up shop in the area.
A public hearing on potential revisions to the city’s Downtown Master Plan is scheduled to take place 4 p.m. on August 28 in City Hall. The exact restrictions that could be imposed are still undefined but would align with a broad goal of making the area more walkable and having shops traditionally found in a downtown, Economic Development Director Jeff Reiter said Wednesday.
The meeting next week is aimed at getting input from business owners in the community, Reiter said. Any existing businesses that do not fit with the restricted land uses downtown would be grandfathered in to whatever the city council adopts, if anything.
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Any changes to the city’s master plan would also be reviewed by the Planning & Zoning Commission and Bettendorf staff before recommendations go to the full city council. Council members would have to adopt those changes by an ordinance amendment.
Like many elected officials around the Quad-Cities, Bettendorf council members and Mayor Bob Gallagher have pointed to downtown development as a key toward greater economic growth aimed at benefiting the citywide population.
Officials recently approved the creation of a special tax on commercial properties downtown to fund the Downtown Bettendorf Organization, a division of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce. That money is earmarked for projects specific to the helping the downtown area grow, including beautification, marketing and analysis initiatives.