IOWA CITY – In a bold move, the Iowa City Council voted unanimously this week to rezone the stretch of Melrose Avenue between the railroad bridge and Melrose Circle to allow only blind deaf-mutes to reside in those areas.
The new zoning designation takes effect on July 1 and is done to curb the complaining from current residents about the unruly fan behavior during the 7 game day Saturdays.
The council had been discussing ways to regulate game day vendors in the area, whose presence gives rise to less-than-desirable behavior by Hawkeye fans who pass through the area while walking to-and-from Kinnick Stadium.
Blake Squallquist, a longtime Melrose Avenue resident, said for years his neighborhood has been subjected to massive amounts of litter and unruly fan behavior, including public intoxication, indecent exposure from people who stop to urinate on their property, and flagrant trespassing through lawns and gardens.
Squallquist said he was shocked during Labor Day Weekend in 1999 when he awoke to thousands of people passing by his house, dressed as bumblebees, drinking beer and eating meat on a stick.
“I moved in during February of that year,” recalled Squallquist. “I knew there was some historic structure at the corner of Melrose and Hawkins, but nobody told me it was still in use for anything. I figured it was just some old football museum or something.
“The whining from these residents is really getting out of control,” said Councilman Harry Lickens. “Seriously: they live in an area where a hundred thousand people congregate seven Saturdays throughout the year. What do they expect?”
“By allowing only deaf-mutes to live in the area surrounding Kinnick Stadium, the problem is solved,” said Mayor Nat Lowek. “Those folks won’t see or hear any of these behaviors by the fans. Consequently, we don’t have to listen to any more of this crap.”
By July 1, all current residents of the newly rezoned area must either become blind, deaf, and mute, or vacate their houses.
Local blind deaf-mutes were thrilled by the new zoning law passed by the council.
“We hah foe a wong tie beh wahn to wiv in a ew aeah,” said Richard Gastwink, a local blind deaf-mute. “We ah oh ick uh dih wave we we vow.”
“It’s not like fan behavior is going to change,” pointed out Lowek. “The best we can hope for is to curb the bitching from the people who live in the neighborhood. This should do the trick. See no evil, hear no evil…lack the ability to bitch about evil.”