I’m locked in a parking battle over my own driveway – locals still aren’t happy and even the council was scolded

A LOCAL council has faced backlash after approving a local businessman’s application in a decision that breached previously established city ordinances.

The city of Des Moines has passed ordinances limiting the number of driveways to one per 300 feet to make walking safer for pedestrians.

Des Moines City County violated existing city ordinances limiting driveways by granting an exemption for local businesses


Des Moines City County violated existing city ordinances limiting driveways by granting an exemption for local businessesPhoto credit: Google
The city's urban planning officer called the decision "shameful," as it seems to conflict with their Vision Zero plans


The city’s zoning commissioner called the decision “shameful” because it seemed to contradict their Vision Zero plansPhoto credit: Getty

Rich Eychancer, a Des Moines businessman, approached the City Council and requested an exception to this rule for his Midwest company radio.

Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission previously recommended that the City Council reject the application.

Still, the city council voted unanimously to grant Eychancer an exemption, causing tension among other companies that had made changes to comply with the new rules.

Eychancer argued that removing a driveway would back up traffic on major roads and create “problematic parking issues.”

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He also mentioned that the council had previously exceptionally supported his plans to change his property.

Since the new regulations went into effect, Eychancer noted that of the 25 driveways the Midwest Radio property previously had, only six remain.

Shortly after approving Eychancer’s request for an exception, the City Council approved another request in a different neighborhood.

Their decisions caught the attention of Carol Maher, a city zoning commissioner, who said the decisions were “shameful.”

Maher noted that the exemptions conflict with the city council’s “Vision Zero” plan to make streets safer.

According to the city’s website, the Vision Zero plan aims to reduce traffic deaths and accidents by 2040.

The action plan states that “safety work should focus on system-level changes rather than influencing individual behavior,” which seems contradictory given these exceptions.


TaraSubramaniam is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: tarasubramaniam@dailynationtoday.com.

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