Bettendorf responds to public, council feedback; adds topsoil retention to stormwater update

Proponents of a topsoil retention requirement in Bettendorf's new stormwater management ordinance got good news in the third – and likely final – plan rewrite.

Unlike the previous two drafts circulated to city council members, the latest stormwater management update includes a requirement residential developers retain all topsoil on-site and redistribute it on the subdivision lots.

While there are no infiltration standards similar to neighboring Davenport, the proposed rewrite would, for the first time, prohibit developers from scaping off the topsoil and selling it, a common practice particularly among major subdivision builders.

The new, tougher topsoil rule was shown alderman at their June 6 committee-of-the-whole meeting and drew support from all but Alderman Scott Webster, who is in the homebuilding business.

Webster expressed concern not all the topsoil on a subdivision site would be needed to provide a 4-inch depth on each completed homesite, and wondered if there would be a way for developers to get city approval to remove some of the site topsoil in such instances.

The newly revised stormwater ordinance is expected to be formally considered by the council at its June 21 meeting.

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