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Sioux City city hall clock tower

Sioux City Hall is pictured in a 2014 file photo.

SIOUX CITY -- Sioux City Council members said Monday that they will do whatever they can to allow the Ickey Nickel Bar & Grill to continue to operate a campground in the future.

Dozens of supporters of the bar, which was forced to close its campground last week after an individual submitted complaints to the city, packed the council chambers.

"I'm on Ickey Nickel's side. I know that they deserve to have that campground," Councilwoman Rhonda Capron said. "We all know that for years it's been a campground."

Jeff Hanson, community development operations manager for the city, said city staff received several complaints from an individual regarding camping operations occurring at the Ickey Nickel, which is owned by Michael Verzani. On June 10, Hanson said a city inspector visited the property and determined "that camping operations were occurring from the weekend prior."

"It also appeared that camping was to continue the next week for another event," Hanson said. "Following that inspection, we completed our own research to determine that campground located in that zoning district was not allowed. The current property is zoned business park, which is an industrial zoning district, and, unfortunately, it does not allow for a camping facility."

Hanson said a letter was hand-delivered to Verzani on June 11 advising that camping was not allowed on the property. He said the city's inspector asked Verzani to cease all camping operations within a five-day period, which allowed the Ickey Nickel to host its next weekend event.

"I want to be clear that at that time when this letter was provided, there was no monetary citation issued. There were no fines. There were no fees applied to any of this," he said. "It was just a zoning violation notice."

Another inspection occurred on the property on June 17, according to Hansen, who said the camping had ended.

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Hanson said Verzani could apply for a rezoning request. Currently, he said camping is allowed in the general commercial, public institutional and agricultural zoning districts.

Verzani said he is willing to work with the city.

"We're just trying to provide somewhere nice where people can come to relax and have fun," he said. "Most of the events we do are charity-based. We want to work with everybody and just help bring more people into town."

In addition to the rezoning request, Hanson said Verzani is open to adding facilities to make the space a more formal campground, such as outdoor restrooms, electrical services and camper sites.

In other action

The council also voted Monday to rezone property in Sioux City's former stockyards area so that a contractor flex space can be built for smaller contractors that don't require a space of their own.

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Stockyards
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Sioux City Stockyards circa 1960s
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Stockyards: Horse Barns
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Auctioneer Duane Rus
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Cattle pens

According to documents filed with the city, Paul Koskovich, of Kosko Properties, plans to put up two 10,000-square-foot buildings at 715 Cunningham Drive. The buildings would be leased to companies that are currently working out of their homes and need work space. The property, which is currently general commercial, needs to be rezoned to business park.

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