May 20, 2022


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Neighbors file lawsuit to halt development of West Des Moines Suite Shots

Neighbors file lawsuit to halt development of West Des Moines Suite Shots

Neighbors oppose indoor driving yard and restaurant Known as Suite Shots They have sued to obtain an injunction to stop the project.

The 15-member Citizens Concern for Grand Avenue Development (CCGAD) claims that West Des Moines is violating its zoning restrictions, not following its procedures properly and not allowing the group to resume the project.

The lawsuit was filed in Polk County on Monday, the day West Des Moines city council was expected to vote on the redistricting and planned unit development of the 26-acre site, located south of Grand Avenue and west of Interstate 35.

Wing shots will stabilize the position, along with a hotel, four office buildings, quick-service restaurants, and sit-down restaurants. The 50,000-square-foot facility will have three floors of climate-controlled bays from which golfers can reach a driving distance of 250 yards. It will be served by a restaurant and bar, similar to Topgolf’s popular line of driving ranges.

The lawsuit says: “CCGAD members reside in close proximity to the planned Suite Shots site and property which will be adversely affected by the extent to which they enjoy driving…”.

Specifically, CCGAD argues that the planned 150-foot columns from Suite Shots, which would maintain nets around the driving range, violate the city’s height restrictions. The city code includes a maximum height of 36 feet for buildings and 20 feet for an additional building or structure.

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At the Planning and Zoning Committee recently, Linda Schimmel, coordinator of the West Des Moines Department of Development Services, said the city’s symbol is not about the columns, but rather just building the structures.

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CCGAD argues in its lawsuit that columns and grids fall within the city’s definition of structure under its law.

Furthermore, CCGAD believes that the request from Suite Shots to return the zone area from open space is “spot zoning”. This practice can be illegal under Iowa law, depending on a variety of factors determined by the Iowa Supreme Court.

The lawsuit also alleges that West Des Moines is violating its law on appeal, which CCGAD filed last week after the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the repartition application and PUD application.

The law states that appeals result in a stay of proceedings until the issue is resolved, but the city’s attorney “indicated that the council would not halt the amendment of the Comprehensive Plan and Suite Shots PUD as required by the West Des Moines Act,” according to the lawsuit.

“We are asking the city council to refuse to amend the Universal Plan and Suite Shots PUD so that we can dismiss the lawsuit,” Attorney Gary Dickey wrote in a letter to the City Council. Otherwise, we’ll see you in court.”

Neither West Des Moines officials nor project developer Paul Cownie were immediately contacted for comment.

Previously: Planning for a Topgolf-like driving range continues, despite the objections of West Des Moines neighbors

Kim Norvell covers growth and development for the record. You can access it at [email protected] or 515-284-8259. Follow her on Twitter Tweet embed.