Trinity Church, Chauncey Tower developers settle differences


Gage Miskimen, [email protected]

Trinity Episcopal Church and the developers of the Chauncey Tower have made peace. The two parties reached an agreement Feb. 6, resulting in Trinity Episcopal withdrawing its appeal of the tower project.

Reverend Lauren Lyon of Trinity said the church proposed to the Moen Group that they enter a process of mediation, and the two groups met four times.

“We talked to each other and got to know each other better and proposed some terms of agreement through this process,” she said.

The Moen Group will make a substantial donation to the Shelter House over three years. It also said the group will work with developers and the community to find a location suitable for the Winter Emergency Shelter.

“We were very pleased to get to know the other parties better and I think the outcome of the agreement was very positive for the community,” Lyon said. “I’m very happy we were able to come to that conclusion.”

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Marc Moen, the building’s developer, said his side left the mediation process with a positive outlook as well.

“I think all of those involved in the mediation came away feeling that it was a good process, a positive experience, and that we have many common goals,” he said.

However, Moen said, his group still has obstacles to overcome.

“Unfortunately, we are still facing delays caused by a separate lawsuit filed by Rockne Cole,” he said.

Iowa City City Councilor Rockne Cole said he filed an application, as a private citizen in 2013, to rezone the property. The application would not have prevented the Chauncey from being built but would have prevented the tower from being taller than 75 feet.

The Iowa Court of Appeals denied Cole’s request in January, and now he has appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.

“I felt it was really important to have scale consistent to the surrounding neighborhood,” he said. “Tall buildings are extraordinary expensive to build, so I felt it was a bad deal for the taxpayer.”

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