Neighbors next to proposed Portillo’s site in Davenport request traffic upgrades during zoning meeting

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- Davenport’s Plan and Zoning Commission reviewed a rezoning request from the developers of the proposed Portillo’s project Tuesday, June 19.

The plan requires six and a half acres of residential land along 53rd street and Lorton Avenue to be rezoned to facilitate commercial development.

Dozens of people against the rezoning proposal voiced their concerns during the public hearing.

“I love me some Portillo’s, just not a block away from me,” says Sarah Beth Erickson.

Project plans also includes two additional restaurants and a retail site that has not yet been announced. Developers admit the plan will add more drivers to the busy area, which is exactly what people who live in the area say they are afraid of.

“We`ve seen today and what we`ve seen over the last few months, especially with the Costco construction, there has been quite an increase in traffic and it`s the cut through traffic,” says one of the residents.

If the rezoning is approved that would also mean about 300 feet of Fairhaven Road would close, cutting off access to 53rd Street. Through traffic would have to get to 53rd Street using Lorton Avenue instead.

People who live in the area say both Lorton Avenue and Fairhaven Road need to be repaired.

Many of the residents say they would agree to the rezoning plan if more traffic safety measures were also put in place.

These changes include repaving Lorton Avenue and Fairhaven Road, installing a three-way stop sign at the intersection of 51st Street and Lorton Avenue, installing speed bumps and vacating 53rd and Lorton Avenue and installing a cul-de-sac with a gate to allow only emergency vehicles to enter.

The Plan and Zoning Commission did not discuss suggestions brought up during the public hearing, however the commission plans to discuss the rezoning request and suggestions made during its next meeting Monday, July 2nd.

If the commission agrees with the rezoning request, the Davenport City Council will decide to whether to give the final approval.