PRINCETON, Iowa (AP) — The owners of a 400-acre farm in eastern Iowa are asking a nearby city to annex their property and ultimately turn it into a so-called green business park.

The Princeton City Council will consider Paul and Marijo Anderson's annexation request at a public hearing March 8. Marijo Anderson said the first hearing won't address the green business park, but instead, whether the city wants to grow by 400 acres.

Council members told the Quad-City Times that they support the annexation and the project.

"I think annexation is inevitable," said Councilman Kevin Kernan. "If not this council, then the next council. As presented, it (the proposal) sounds pretty good."

When the Andersons initially sought annexation from the Scott County Planning and Development Commission in December, some residents opposed the idea out of concern for lowered property values and increased traffic. The couple dropped the request in favor of seeking annexation to Princeton.

Marijo Anderson said their property isn't ideal for farming because of poor soil, steep hills and deep ravines.

"We are passionate about moving this land back to an environmentally sustainable state that is productive and shared with the entire community," she said.

A green business park is a commercial development that's built following written, environmentally-friendly standards. Iowa doesn't currently have any certified green business parks, although one developer is seeking certification.

The development potentially could incorporate "green" infrastructure, provide jobs and increase the tax base.

Marijo Anderson said it would be "unlike anything in the state because of that Mississippi River view."

The couple must complete a three-step process to meet requirements and qualify for state certification.


Information from: Quad-City Times,