IOWA CITY – Two opponents of a plan to turn Johnson County farmland into a housing subdivision have made an offer on the property in hopes of stopping the project.
Jim Glasgow and Laurie Tulchin, who live in the rural area north of Interstate 80, made an offer Monday morning to buy up to 132 acres from Sharon Dooley at 2915 Newport Rd., according to the pair’s attorney, Jeff McGinness.
Dooley’s desire to sell 91 acres of that land, north of Iowa City, to be used for a 70-home development has drawn strong criticism from her neighbors and others who say the project would not fit with the rural character of the area and would create environmental issues.
The Johnson County Board of Supervisors voted, 4-1, last week in support of the first two considerations of a request to rezone the property from agriculture to what is known as rural cluster so that it can be developed residentially. The final vote is scheduled for this week, although even if that passes more steps would be required before homes could be built.
Glasgow and Tulchin, who co-own a plumbing company, said they would pay the greater of $10,000 per acre or 125 percent of the assessed value, according to a copy of the purchase offer McGinness provided. They have the money “readily available” to complete the purchase, he said.
It is not known how that compares financially with what Dooley would get if she sells the 91 acres for residential development.
Glasgow and Tulchin are offering to buy all or part of the 132 total acres Dooley owns, and no development would occur on it for a minimum of 30 years, per a deed restriction.
They also would donate at least 10 percent of the land to the nonprofit organization Johnson County Heritage Trust for conservation and preservation, possibly including the construction of trails.
“Their goal is to maintain this property as agriculture property,” McGinness said.
Tulchin lives near Dooley.
McGinness said he had not heard back from Dooley or her representatives as of 4:50 p.m. Monday. Dooley and Lars Anderson, an attorney representing real estate agent Bill Young, who filed the rezoning application with the county, did not immediately return phone messages from the Gazette Monday.
At the supervisors meeting last week, Dooley said she tried to get her neighbors to buy the property and had it on the market for six months, with no offers.
The four supervisors who voted for the rezoning said the county’s plans governing development in that area supported the proposal.