University Heights, Iowa


Guide to Community Services

Abandoned Vehicles: 

To report abandoned vehicles on public streets or to report abandoned vehicles on private property that are a public nuisance, call the Police Department.


There are two airports which serve our community. The main airport is the Eastern Iowa Airport located 15 miles from University Heights in the southern part of Cedar Rapids. Link to this site for a list of airlines served and flight schedules. The second airport is the Iowa City Regional Airport located 3 miles away in Iowa City and it is used primarily for charter services and private planes.


Call 9-1-1. Johnson County Ambulance Service provides Emergency Medical Services for Johnson County and is based in Iowa City, Iowa.

Animal Control: 

To report animals at large, injured animals, animal bites, animal cruelty, abuse or neglect, dead animals, and other animal-related matters can be handled by calling the Police Department.

Animal Shelter: 

The Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center is located at 4852 Sand Rd. SE.

Auto Tags: 

The Motor Vehicle Department at the Johnson County Administration Building, 913 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City, is the place to renew car, boat, snowmobile, and ATV registration and obtain license plates.


Bicycles do not have to be registered with the Police Department. Abandoned bikes are kept by the police; lost or stolen bikes can be reported to them also.

Block Party: 

If a homeowner would like to request a block party, they should contact the City Clerk and then the Police Department must approve the request if it includes a street closure.

Board of Adjustment: 

The Board of Adjustment is appointed by the Mayor and hears appeals to the University Heights Zoning Ordinance.

Budget Information: 

Current city budget information is available on this website on the Finance Committee page.

Building and Zoning: 

Nearly all of the property in University Heights is zoned R-1, single family residential.  Permitted uses within this zone include occupancy by a family and one person not a member of the family.  "Family" is defined as one person or two or more persons related by blood, marriage or adoption occupying a dwelling as an individual housekeeping unit.

This ordinance also provides that no building shall be erected or altered unless a building permit is issued by the Building Inspector. It is the responsibility of the property owner to make sure that required permits are obtained. Do not assume that the contractor will do this. Contact the Building Inspector

There are also ordinances that regulate fences and driveways. If you are building or changing a fence or driveway, check with the City Clerk or the Building Inspector first. If any University Heights citizen has any questions about the zoning ordinance, or if you would like to report a possible violation of the ordinance, please contact the City Attorney.

Building/Electrical Permits/Inspections: 

To obtain permits download the U-H Permits Form. To submit permits or schedule inspections contact the Building Inspector.  The fee is based on the size of the project.

Bulky Waste: 

Bulky waste (large appliances, building supplies, etc.) may be picked up and removed by calling Johnson County Refuse. Steve Smith will come to your home and give you an estimated cost to pick up the items.

Bus Service: 

Iowa City Transit Authority provides bus service on several roads in University Heights. The three bus routes through University Heights are the "Oakcrest", "Westwinds", and the "Westside Loop". The cost is presently $.75 per ride.

Cable Internet: 

Cable Internet and cable television is available by contacting Mediacom.

Cable Television: 

Cable Internet and cable television is available by contacting Mediacom.

Census 2010: 

The results from the Census shows some very interesting facts about University Heights. Use this link:
Enter "University Heights Iowa" into the "Geographies" tab on the left and see results .

Christmas Tree Pickup: 

Christmas Trees are picked up from homes in University Heights usually in the second and third weeks of January. The specific dates are posted on the city website.

Community Picnic: 

Every few years our city conducts a community picnic for residents of University Heights.  A flyer is hand delivered to each household announcing the date of the picnic and other pertinent information.

Dog or Cat License: 

University Heights does not require pets to be licensed. Proof of vaccinations is required if there is a biting incident.

Driver’s License: 

Driver's Licenses can be purchased and renewed at the State of Iowa Department of Transportation. It is located at: Eastdale Plaza, 1700 First Avenue, Iowa City, Iowa 52240.


The Johnson County Auditors Office serves as Commissioner of Elections, Commissioner of Voter Registration, and as the official clerk to the Board of Supervisors. The office is located on the first floor of the Johnson County Administration Building at 913 S. Dubuque Street in Iowa City and the office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.


To report an electric outage, or for new hookups, contact MidAmerican Energy.

Emergency Services: 

Call 9-1-1.


For questions about the City's financial reporting or audited Annual Financial Report, contact the Finance Chair or the City Treasurer.

Fire Protection: 

To report a fire, dial 911, give your name, address, and state that you live in University Heights. Fire protection is provided under contract by the City of Iowa City Fire Department and other members of the Johnson County Mutual Aid Fire Departments.

Fire Hydrants: 

For information about City fire hydrants or to report a leaking fire hydrant, please contact the City of Iowa City Fire Department.


Fireworks are not to be used within City limits, if they are, they will be confiscated by the Police Department.

Garbage Stickers: 

University Heights utilizes a system of colored stickers to indicate the type of garbage to be picked up by Johnson County Refuse on Tuesdays. Green stickers ($1.25) are used for yard waste and yellow stickers ($1.25) are used for household garbage. There are two ways to obtain these stickers: (1) Fareway Grocery Store on Mormon Trek - Express checkout lane, 8am - 9pm, Monday-Saturday, closed Sundays. .  (3) Send a check to Johnson County Refuse, c/o Steve Smith, PO Box 200, North Liberty, IA 52317. Stickers will be mailed or delivered. Residents can also purchase a year-long sticker from Johnson County Refuse.  


To report a gas leak, or for new hookups, contact MidAmerican Energy.

Governmental Links: 

If you have questions regarding nearby cities or our elected officials, one of these links might help.

Hazardous Materials: 

For information or handling of hazardous materials, contact the City of Coralville Volunteer Fire Department.

House Checks: 

If you plan to be away from your house for several days, a House Check will be performed while you are out of town and can be arranged by calling the Police Department.  You will be asked for information as do departure and return dates, other key holders, cars in garage, and any lights on a timer. The Police Department who will check your home while you are away. Please call 319-887-6800 to establish a House Check.

House Numbering: 

All commercial buildings and dwelling units within the city limits are required to be properly numbered. 

Household Hazardous Waste: 

The Hazardous Waste Collection Facility is located at the Iowa City Recycling Center at the Iowa City Landfill. The Iowa City Landfill is located at 3900 Hebl Avenue (continue on Melrose Avenue about 2 miles west of Iowa City). Hazardous wastes and/or materials can be found throughout the home. Look in the kitchen, bathroom, basement and garage for them. Examples include: oven cleaner; drain and toilet bowl cleaner; gasoline; battery acid; weed killer; pesticides; solvents; oil-based paint; shoe polish; moth balls; syringes. Look for labels on the items: words such as DANGER, WARNING, and CAUTION are signals for hazardous waste. Proper disposal of these and any other hazardous waste/materials is important to the safety of your family and household pets, as well as the quality of our environment. Reduce the risk of poisonings, fires, and toxic fumes by properly disposing of such materials at the Iowa City Recycling Center at the Iowa City Landfill. Never dispose of hazardous waste/materials directly into your garbage or into the waterways of our community. All residents of University Heights are eligible to use this free service. Yet, it is important that all users follow the following instructions for using the facility: 

1.Take a quick inventory of the items you want to dispose. Make a list of the general types and quantity of waste. You’ll be asked about your items when you make your appointment. 
2.Call the Iowa City Landfill office at 356-5185 during their operating hours (7:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday) to set up an appointment. 
3.Appointments are available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:00 AM – 1 PM) 
4.Keep items in their original containers – never mix materials together. 
5.Label unmarked containers. 
6.Transport materials to the Iowa City Recycling Center in sturdy, leak proof containers, preferably in your trunk or truck bed. Cushion glass or breakable containers. 
7.Arrive for your appointment on time! 
8.Pull up to the facility and remain in your vehicle. The Iowa City Landfill staff will assist you. 
9.Please fill out a short survey after the collection is complete. 

Iowa City Landfill staff will be there to assist only at your appointment time and no drop-ins (i.e. unscheduled drop offs) will be accepted. This procedure allows the staff the time to carefully process the specific type of hazardous waste/materials you bring to the site. While you are there, feel free to look through the Exchange Room. Items that are brought into the Hazardous Waste Collection Facility which are still in their original containers and in usable condition will be placed in this room for people to pick up at no charge. Automobile fluids and paints are some of the items most likely to be available. No appointment is necessary if you want to check out the Exchange Room for usable items and don’t intend to drop items off. If you have any questions about the facility or its procedures, please call 356-5185. 

Housing, Code Standard: 

For information regarding housing standards, contact the Housing Inspector or the City Clerk.

Leaf Burn Days: 

City residences are no longer allowed to burn anything on their property.

Leaf Pick Up Days: 

Free leaf pick up days are scheduled in mid November and the exact dates are announced on the city website.

Library Services: 

Currently both Iowa City Public Library and the Coralville Public Library allow University Heights residents to acquire library cards. You may hold cards at BOTH libraries. U-H residents library services are paid by an annual assessment to the City of University Heights.

Liquor License: 

For information on obtaining a license to sell or distribute liquor, call the City Clerk.


Mail is delivered Monday-Saturday throughout University Heights by the United States Post Office (USPS). The main USPS location for our city is located in Coralville at the USPS West Side Annex at 2150 James Street. To hold mail, you must complete a form and give it to the letter carrier or drop it off in person at the West Side Annex. To resume delivery, you must visit the West Side Annex in person to sign a release form to begin delivery and to pick your held mail. Stamps and postal services are not available at the West Side Annex and must be obtained at the Iowa City Main Post Office at 400 South Clinton Street or at the Coralville Main Post Office on 10th street .

Manhole Lids/Damaged or Missing: 

Damaged or missing manhole lids or storm water catch basin lids pose a danger. Please report any missing or damaged lids to Iowa City Water Division. After hours a message will indicate whom to call.

Neighborhood Watch: 

University Heights is currently developing a Neighborhood Watch program. Contact the Community Protection Chair for more information.


The Iowa City Press-Citizen newspaper and the The Gazette are the two main local papers that cover stories about University Heights.

No Parking Zones: 

No parking zone signs are located in most areas of University Heights and are monitored and enforced by the Police Department. There is no overnight parking permitted on any street.  If you have a need to park a vehicle in a no parking zone overnight, contact the Police Department in advance to request a deviation.

Noise Complaints / nuisances: 

If there are any complaints of excessive noises or nuisances from neighbors or others, contact the Police Department.

Parks and Recreation: 

All of the parks in Johnson County are available to you. The Iowa City Parks & Recreation Department and Coralville Recreation Department facilities are also available to residents of University Heights. The charges for swimming lessons, trips, participation in recreation leagues, and swimming tickets sponsored by the Iowa City Recreation Division are greater for non Iowa City residents.

Parking and Moving Violations Tickets: 

Parking tickets may be paid for by dropping off the envelope in the City mailbox at 1004 Melrose Avenue or mailing it to the same address. Normally it is better to write a check to "City of University Heights" for the correct amount. Moving violations are paid to Johnson County.

Pavement Cut Permits: 

Any excavation through a paved street, alley, or street right-of-way, requires a permit. For information, contact the Building Inspector.

Poison Control: 

In the instance of poison consumption, inhalation or any other poison emergency, call the Poison Control Center or 911.

Police Services: 

The emergency number should be used when immediate attention is necessary. Simply dial 911, give your name, address, and state that you live in University Heights. Please use it at once if you notice something suspicious or need help. Do not just wait and watch!

The Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Ron Fort, provides police protection for the city. If you need a Police Officer, phone the JECC dispatch at 319-356-6800, and an Officer will be contacted.. You can leave non emergency voice mail messages for City Police Officers by calling 319-887-6800, and someone will get back to you. Use 911 for calls requiring an immediate response.

The Police request that you keep your garage door closed when you are at home, and make sure that you close it when you leave. Do not leave your garage door opener in an unlocked vehicle in your driveway, as burglars have been gaining access to homes through garages. Residents are also asked to keep their gates closed and locked, as subjects have been observed going from yard to yard to avoid detection. The Police would appreciate a call concerning any suspicious activity.


If you are aware of any potholes which need to be fixed, contact the Streets and Sidewalks Chair or the City Engineer.

Public Health: 

The Johnson County Department of Public Health provides leadership in promoting environmental, personal and public health through community based programs in health promotion, disease prevention, and assurance of access to primary care. They can be contacted at 1105 Gilbert Court, Iowa City.

Rabies and Stray Dog Control: 

Call the Police Department first. If no one is available, then call JECC Dispatch at 356-6800.


University Heights has a contract with Johnson County Refuse for the recycling program. There is a summary of the program on the Sanitation webpage.


Schools usually start in mid-late August each year.  All students must register prior to starting school. Beginning in the 2012-13 school year elementary students (K-6) they will attend Horn Elementary or Borlaug Elementary depending on where you live in University Heights.  To find your resident school, call the Iowa City Community School District at 319-688-1000.  The Junior High School for our area is Northwest Junior High in Coralville, and West High is the High School.  The only school located within the city limits of University Heights is Ernest Horn Elementary located at 600 Koser Avenue in University Heights. Norman Borlaug Elementary is located at 1000 Kennedy Parkway in Coralville


SEATS provides rides to citizens who may otherwise find it difficult to conduct daily transactions. The SEATS vans regularly transport people to doctor's appointments, grocery stores, and other destinations providing its clients with a necessary and reassuring degree of freedom.

Senior Citizens:

The Johnson County Livable Communities is the county’s successful aging initiative.

Sewer Back Up, Stoppage, Billing, Odors, etc.: 

If there are any problems or emergencies regarding home sewer drains, you may call Iowa City Water Department. After hours a message will indicate whom to call.

Sidewalk (general): 

Property owners are responsible for maintenance of sidewalks on their property. Broken or uneven areas should be repaired or replaced. The City Engineer should be contacted before work is done. The city has the authority through ordinance to make necessary repairs and charge the cost to the property owner. Property owners will be notified if they fail to maintain their sidewalks or make adequate repairs.

Sidewalk Inspections, Complaints, and Permits: 

Contact the City Engineer to obtain information relating to sidewalks.

Sight Obstructions: 

To report trees or objects that obstruct motorists line of sight at intersections, contact the Police Department. Property owners need to keep trees on their property trimmed so as not to obstruct traffic signs.

Snow and Ice Removal: 

The City has contracted Hawkeye Construction and Snow Removal for snow removal services. Both sand and salt are used in winter. Repeated sanding of intersections is authorized as needed. On days (or evenings) when plowing is likely, please do not leave your cars on the street, as they interfere with plowing. They may be ticketed.

Ordinances #97 and #165 were enacted to provide citizens with guidance for the removal of snow and/or ice from their sidewalks and driveways. The ordinance prohibits property owners or persons in possession (renters) from removing snow and/or ice accumulations from their property and placing them on the private property of another without their prior permission. Property owners or renters are prohibited from placing snow and/or ice accumulations on public property or public right-of-ways. Further, property owners or renters are prohibited from pushing, transporting or carrying snow and/or ice accumulations from their property into, upon, or across a street or alley right-of-way for the purpose of depositing the snow and/or ice on the other side of the street or 
alley right-of-way without prior approval of the Council. This provision does not apply to snow and/or ice hauled and deposited upon private property with the consent of the person who owns the property.

Sidewalk snow removal is the responsibility of each property owner. You should have snow removed within a reasonable period of time (24 hours) after each snowfall. The property owner is legally liable for accidents due to failure to clear sidewalks. The city has the authority through ordinance to remove snow from sidewalks not cleared within 24 hours and charge the cost to the property owner without prior notification. This can be quite expensive for the property owner. We hope such action does not become necessary.

Speed Limits: 

Speed limits throughout University Heights are strictly enforced by the Police Department. The speed limit on Melrose Avenue and Sunset Avenue is 25 MPH. The speed limits on all other streets in University Heights is 20 MPH.

Storm Water Sewers: 

If there are any problems or emergencies regarding storm sewer drains in the streets, 
you may call Iowa City Water Division. After hours a message will indicate whom to call.

Street Lighting: 

Call Mid-American Energy with problems regarding street lighting.

Street Maintenance: 

If there is a street which needs repair, contact the Streets & Sidewalks Chair or the City Engineer.

Street Signs: 

If there is a street sign which need replacing or repaired, contact the Police Department or the City Clerk.

Street Sweeping: 

The streets are swept in the Spring to pickup and remove the accumulated sand and salt from the Winter.Exact dates are announced on the city website

Traffic Accidents/Violations: 

In case of an accident or traffic violation, contact JECC dispatch 319-356-6800.

Traffic Signals: 

If the traffic signals on Melrose or Sunset need to be repaired, call Iowa City Streets &Traffic Engineering Department.

Traffic Signs: 

If any traffic signs need to be repaired or replaced, call the Police Department or the City Clerk.

Trash Collection: 

Johnson County Refuse is responsible for trash collection within University Heights. Trash and yard waste is collected on Tuesdays


Ordinance #52 requires the owners of private property to be responsible for the proper care and 
maintenance of all trees and shrubs located in the "parking" adjoining their property. All trees and shrubs on this property should be trimmed to allow free passage of pedestrians and vehicular traffic and not obstruct the vision of traffic signs on any street intersection.

The minimum clearance of a tree or shrub shall be 8 feet over sidewalks and 13 feet over all streets. We urge you to check the trees and shrubbery on your property or parking areas so that they remain in compliance with this ordinance. The city has the authority through ordinance to have this work performed and charged to the property owner.

Ordinance #105 requires that corner lots do not have hedges or fences that obstruct the site distance within a specified corner triangle of the property. The maximum height allowed is 3 feet within the clear zone.  Properties on the west side of Sunset Avenue are exempt on the Sunset Avenue side of the property due to the larger then normal setback between their East property line and the West curb line of Sunset Avenue.

Permission of the City Council is required before adding or removing trees from the parking area.

Utility Location: 

To locate any underground utilities in your yard, call Iowa One Call and someone will come to your house free of charge and identify where all of the phone, gas, power, and any other utility lines are located.

Visitors Bureau: 

The Iowa City / Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau is organized for the purpose of advancing the economic welfare of the Iowa City/Coralville communities through the promotion of the communities as a tourist attraction, convention site and location for special events. ICCCVB is located at 408 First Avenue, Coralville.

Vehicle Registration: 

The Motor Vehicle Department at the Johnson County Administration Building, 913 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City is the place to renew car, boat, snowmobile, and ATV registration and obtain license plates.

Voter Registration: 

The Johnson County Auditors Office serves as Commissioner of Elections, Commissioner of Voter Registration, and as the official clerk to the Board of Supervisors. The office is located on the first floor of the Johnson County Administration Building at 913 S. Dubuque Street in Iowa City and the office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Water and Sewer Service: 

The Iowa City Water Division provides service and maintenance in University Heights. University Heights citizens should remember that the dates provided with sewer and water bills for Christmas Tree and leaf pick-up (vacuuming) apply to Iowa City residents only and not University Heights.

Zip Code Information: 

The zip code for all of University Heights is 52246.

Zoning Commission: 

The Zoning Commission is appointed by the Mayor and recommends changes to the 
University Heights Zoning Ordinance.

(c) 2012 City of University Heights.  All rights reserved. For comments or questions, write to