Directly south of the Campustown business district is the residential district known as the South Campus Area Neighborhood (SCAN). Members of CAA since 2012, SCAN’s goal is to maintain the character of the historic neighborhood and preserve the quality of life for all of their residents. SCAN includes the area from the south side of Knapp Street to Mortensen Road and from Hayward Avenue to Beach Avenue. Their active (dues-paying) membership is around 100 households. Barbara Pleasants, president of the SCAN Board of Directors, said the organization was formed in response to increasing over-occupancy of rental homes in the neighborhood. Lack of enforcement of the rental code meant that owner-occupied houses that came on the market were very attractive as investment opportunities, which resulted in lack of property maintenance in rental housing, increased noise, nuisance parties, and on-street parking issues. Many of these problems have lessened since SCAN formed and became a conduit for communication with the City.
When asked why SCAN originally joined CAA, Pleasants said “CAA represents the area adjacent to SCAN—so we are next-door neighbors. Campustown has an obvious impact on our residents, particularly those who live closest to it. We invite a CAA representative to our annual membership meetings and have a SCAN member represent us in CAA.”
SCAN has held two historic home tours which brought hundreds of visitors to the neighborhood. Pleasants is also excited that the neighborhood has seen a substantial increase in the number of families moving to the area. A current project that SCAN is working on is the transformation of Mortensen Mounds, at the corner of Ash Avenue and Mortensen Road. This site is being turned into a monarch butterfly way station and pollinator habitat with the clearing of invasive vegetation and the planting of milkweeds and other species.
Current issues that SCAN is focusing on include the Crawford School building and parking. “We are quite concerned with the future of the Crawford School building. The school district will vacate it sometime next year when the new administration building is completed. A SCAN task force has met with representatives of the School Board and administration, as well as with the City’s planning department. We hope there will be a re-purposing of the building compatible with our low-density neighborhood. Parking is becoming more of a problem as ISU enrollment increases. Many of our streets are serving as “commuter lots”, filling with cars during the day as students walk to campus. Residents find parking difficult for themselves and guests. Our narrow streets only permit parking on one side and the number of illegally parked cars makes transit difficult and are a safety hazard.” SCAN will continue to have open dialogues with the City and the school district to address these issues in the neighborhood.
Follow SCAN on Facebook: www.facebook.com/scanames