Change to Iowa Elevator Code driven by Muscatine case

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–After retiring in 2018, Marc Wallace and his wife decided to settle in Muscatine. The couple fell in love with 126 West Second Street in the heart of downtown, and purchased the whole building. They planned to use the first floor as a studio to sell their landscape photography and the two upper floors as their personal residence.

A veteran with disabilities, Wallace wished to install a residential elevator in their building. He contacted an elevator company before buying the building, and they confirmed they could do the job. After the Wallaces purchased the property, the elevator company came out, drew up plans, and contacted the Iowa Elevator Board for a permit.

Initially, the Elevator Board denied the contractor a permit. Later, the Board found they made a mistake and encouraged the contractor to reapply. Despite their assurances of speedy approval, the Elevator Board rejected the application again, claiming that the building required a more expensive commercial elevator.

Over the next several months, the contractor and an inspector from the City of Muscatine continued to make the case for installing a residential elevator before the Elevator Board. None of the deed restrictions (which only allowed the building’s owners to use the upper floors as their residence) or design changes that would prevent unauthorized access they presented, changed the Board’s ruling.

In spring of 2019, Muscatine Representative Gary Carlson and Senator Mark Lofgren heard about the case and met with Wallace. At the next appeal, the legislators attended. After seeing the Board reject the attorney general’s suggestion that they accept the application if the deed restriction became permanent and state they would not accept any new applications for the project, they decided to pursue a change to the Iowa Elevator Code.

This legislation became Iowa Senate File 2195, which allows a person to install a residential elevator in a historic building three stories or shorter if the owner has a commercial business on the first floor, their residence on the upper floor or floors, and secures the elevator against unauthorized entry. The bill passed both the house and senate unanimously.

Wallace looks forward to finally having a residential elevator installed this year and appreciates Carlson and Lofgren, “trying to create a more level playing field.” Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill June 17.

Latest News

Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine Announces $500,000 Grant

The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine announces a multi-year grant in the amount of $500,000 has been awarded from...

More Articles Like This

Muscatine Today

MTS- Brandon is here to talk about Fat Cat

Today on the show Scott Schultz from Impact Fitness and Nutrition is here to talk about more healthy fitness tips. Then if you are looking to get your car cleaned up from the winter listen to today's show to learn about a business in town that can help you with that and more..... Thank you to our show sponsors: Harpers Cycling and Fitness, Beckey Insurance, Muscatine Power and Water, RIVO Plumbing and Heating, ImpactLife Blood Center, Lutheran Living, Toyota of Muscatine, Impact Fitness and Nutrition, Sun Tan City Muscatine, Real Estate Resource Associates, UnityPoint Health Trinity Muscatine and Hy-Vee Muscatine #muscatinetodayshow #goodmorningmuscatine #KindnessIsFree

DMSN Broadcasts

Manta Rays Swim

Join us as the Muskie Boys Basketball team hosts the North Scott Lancers! Watch Your Way: Discover Muscatine Facebook Discover Muscatine YouTube DiscoverMuskie Twitter Muscatine Power and Water Cable Channel 3 Brought to you by Muscatine Power and Water, Muscatine Lawn and Power, Hy-Vee, Bayer of Muscatine, First National Bank of Muscatine, Affordable Metal Manufacturing, Eastern Iowa Power Washers, Arty’s Ice Cream and Grill, Rivo Plumbing and Heating, Riots and Rebelle’s Salon, Bickford Senior Living, Let’s Eat, Muscatine Community Y and the Youth Sports Foundation. #DMSN #MuskieSports #Muscatine #MuskieSchools #basketball #prephoops #prepbasketball

Talk of the Town

Chasing the American Dream!

I've always been an idea guy. I love sitting around a table, brainstorming with a group, and talking things through. This includes people considering...

Muscatine Area News

Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine Announces $500,000 Grant

The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine announces a multi-year grant in the amount of $500,000 has been awarded from the Mary Jo and Richard...