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Thread: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

  1. #1
    kikowallace
    Guest

    [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

    I'm on the Zoning Commission in my rural Iowa county. At this
    evening's meeting we'll consider a rezoning request from agricultural
    to manufacturing. A retiring farmer wants to sell some land to an
    industrial agricultural enterprise that wishes to place two 30,000
    gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks and one 30,000 gallon propane
    storage tank on the property.
    I recently attended an ISU Extension "Introduction to Planning and
    Zoning" single-session evening course put on by Dr. Gary Taylor of
    ISU. In it, he stressed the value of the comprehensive plan as a
    planning and zoning tool.
    Our county's comprehensive plan amounts to an almost 9-year-old zoning
    ordinance that does not appear to be at all forward-looking, and at
    last month's zoning commission meeting I suggested that we consider
    updating it. This was fairly well received, although there's some
    concern about the amount of work it will take to do.
    It occurs to me that if we soon do undertake the writing of a
    comprehensive plan, wouldn't it be particularly prudent to agree only
    to a conditional use permit for this proposed new facility, as opposed
    to a full rezoning?

  2. #2
    Burke, Bill
    Guest

    RE: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

    It is preferable if such specialized uses, particularly with safety and health issues, be conditional uses, not uses of right.
    Does your county attorney consider the zoning ordinance to be equivalent to the comprehensive plan, per a court ruling several years ago, I think it was Monroe
    County? Maybe the law on this has been changed. zoning decisions are notorius for being made in violation of, or simply ignoring comprehensive plans.

    ________________________________

    From: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com on behalf of kikowallace
    Sent: Mon 6/23/2008 3:05 PM
    To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com
    Subject: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan



    I'm on the Zoning Commission in my rural Iowa county. At this
    evening's meeting we'll consider a rezoning request from agricultural
    to manufacturing. A retiring farmer wants to sell some land to an
    industrial agricultural enterprise that wishes to place two 30,000
    gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks and one 30,000 gallon propane
    storage tank on the property.
    I recently attended an ISU Extension "Introduction to Planning and
    Zoning" single-session evening course put on by Dr. Gary Taylor of
    ISU. In it, he stressed the value of the comprehensive plan as a
    planning and zoning tool.
    Our county's comprehensive plan amounts to an almost 9-year-old zoning
    ordinance that does not appear to be at all forward-looking, and at
    last month's zoning commission meeting I suggested that we consider
    updating it. This was fairly well received, although there's some
    concern about the amount of work it will take to do.
    It occurs to me that if we soon do undertake the writing of a
    comprehensive plan, wouldn't it be particularly prudent to agree only
    to a conditional use permit for this proposed new facility, as opposed
    to a full rezoning?

  3. #3
    Marian Kuper
    Guest

    Re: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

    Good question. I'll ask him. But Taylor told us it's not unusual for there
    to be no comprehensive plan OTHER than the zoning ordinance, in many Iowa
    counties, and he mentioned that there are court cases that say that there
    need not be a formal plan document. I would think, then, that the existing
    zoning ordinance sort of becomes the comprehensive plan by default. If I
    have anything to say about it, this situation needs to change!

    On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 3:10 PM, Burke, Bill <bburke (AT) davyinc (DOT) com> wrote:

    > It is preferable if such specialized uses, particularly with safety and
    > health issues, be conditional uses, not uses of right.
    > Does your county attorney consider the zoning ordinance to be equivalent to
    > the comprehensive plan, per a court ruling several years ago, I think it was
    > Monroe
    > County? Maybe the law on this has been changed. zoning decisions are
    > notorius for being made in violation of, or simply ignoring comprehensive
    > plans.
    >
    > ________________________________
    >
    > From: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com <IowaAPA%40yahoogroups.com> on behalf of
    > kikowallace
    > Sent: Mon 6/23/2008 3:05 PM
    > To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com <IowaAPA%40yahoogroups.com>
    > Subject: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan
    >
    >
    > I'm on the Zoning Commission in my rural Iowa county. At this
    > evening's meeting we'll consider a rezoning request from agricultural
    > to manufacturing. A retiring farmer wants to sell some land to an
    > industrial agricultural enterprise that wishes to place two 30,000
    > gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks and one 30,000 gallon propane
    > storage tank on the property.
    > I recently attended an ISU Extension "Introduction to Planning and
    > Zoning" single-session evening course put on by Dr. Gary Taylor of
    > ISU. In it, he stressed the value of the comprehensive plan as a
    > planning and zoning tool.
    > Our county's comprehensive plan amounts to an almost 9-year-old zoning
    > ordinance that does not appear to be at all forward-looking, and at
    > last month's zoning commission meeting I suggested that we consider
    > updating it. This was fairly well received, although there's some
    > concern about the amount of work it will take to do.
    > It occurs to me that if we soon do undertake the writing of a
    > comprehensive plan, wouldn't it be particularly prudent to agree only
    > to a conditional use permit for this proposed new facility, as opposed
    > to a full rezoning?
    >
    >
    >

  4. #4
    Erik Lundy
    Guest

    RE: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

    Typically, Conditional Uses as authorized to County Governments under the special exceptions provision the State Code 335.15(2) are limited to a certain set of uses which may be permitted in a given Zoning District listed in the Ordinance if certain conditions can be met. (i.e. a single-family residential zoning district in a County's Zoning Ordinance may allow Communications Towers or Home Occupations if the Board of Adjustment can determine that certain performance standards (or conditions) are met. These uses should already be legislated along with their related performance criteria in the Zoning Ordinance as those to which the Board may grant, otherwise they would probably have to be considered as Use Variances and must meet the statutory requirements for unnecessary hardship found in 335.15(3). Unless the activities sought in this instance (anhydrous and propane storage) were within those uses listed for a Conditional Use in the existing Zoning District or for all Districts in the Ordinance, then rezoning would probably be the first option, then a use Variance if Zoning is denied.

    The question you have to answer yourself, since the actual Zoning Ordinance we're dealing with is unrevealed, is "does the Zoning Ordinance provide for this particular use to be granted by the Board of Adjustment?" If not, the rezoning is probably the appropriate first process. That said, the mere discussion of the possibility that the Comprehensive Plan may begin the process of updating is good justification for the County to hold off on amendments to the Zoning Ordinance or Zoning Map.


    To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) comFrom: bburke (AT) davyinc (DOT) comDate: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:10:47 -0500Subject: RE: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan


    It is preferable if such specialized uses, particularly with safety and health issues, be conditional uses, not uses of right.
    Does your county attorney consider the zoning ordinance to be equivalent to the comprehensive plan, per a court ruling several years ago, I think it was Monroe
    County? Maybe the law on this has been changed. zoning decisions are notorius for being made in violation of, or simply ignoring comprehensive plans.


    From: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com on behalf of kikowallaceSent: Mon 6/23/2008 3:05 PMTo: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) comSubject: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan




    I'm on the Zoning Commission in my rural Iowa county. At thisevening's meeting we'll consider a rezoning request from agriculturalto manufacturing. A retiring farmer wants to sell some land to anindustrial agricultural enterprise that wishes to place two 30,000gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks and one 30,000 gallon propanestorage tank on the property. I recently attended an ISU Extension "Introduction to Planning andZoning" single-session evening course put on by Dr. Gary Taylor ofISU. In it, he stressed the value of the comprehensive plan as aplanning and zoning tool. Our county's comprehensive plan amounts to an almost 9-year-old zoningordinance that does not appear to be at all forward-looking, and atlast month's zoning commission meeting I suggested that we considerupdating it. This was fairly well received, although there's someconcern about the amount of work it will take to do.It occurs to me that if we soon do undertake the writing of acomprehensive plan, wouldn't it be particularly prudent to agree onlyto a conditional use permit for this proposed new facility, as opposedto a full rezoning?

  5. #5
    Marian Kuper
    Guest

    Re: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

    Erik, thank you for that analysis.

    OK, here's what I see in the existing ordinance. The land is currently zoned
    agricultural. Conditional uses available in ag districts are things like
    penal institutions, amusement parks, sawmills, airports, Go-Kart tracks,
    campgrounds, hospitals, landfills, grain storage bins and mining/extraction,
    so there's no good fit there. Conditional use permits available across
    districts appear to be things like government buildings, TV towers/studios,
    water towers & treatment facilities, communication towers and (this last one
    may be pertinent) "Public utility substations, either publicly or privately
    owned. Communications stations, *pipelines for the transmission of any
    substance*, the type or location of any poles, towers, wires, cables, *
    conduits* or any other similar *distributing equipment* of a telephone,
    telegraph, light, power, *gas, pipeline,* trucking or railroad company,
    except that no [conditional use] permit shall be issued unless any and all
    equipment used or located thereon shall be housed in a building comparable
    in appearance and size to the surrounding buildings and houses or the use
    for which the area is zoned."

    I guess I'm focusing on pipelines, transmission, etc. because I suppose this
    is somehow contemplated within the context of the storage facility. But that
    aspect may be so small as to be insignificant.

    If so, and rezoning to Manufacturing is appropriate, here's another dilemma.
    Within the portion of the zoning ordinance pertaining to Manufacturing
    Districts, one of the General Conditions states "*No activities involving
    the storage...of materials or products, which decompose by detonation, shall
    be permitted except as authorized by a Conditional Use Permit by the Board
    of Adjustment.*"

    This seems to suggest that even if we rezone to Manufacturing, a Conditional
    Use Permit will come into play. Which is good, I think.

    On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 4:13 PM, Erik Lundy <tru2cy (AT) msn (DOT) com> wrote:

    > Typically, Conditional Uses as authorized to County Governments under
    > the special exceptions provision the State Code 335.15(2) are limited to a
    > certain set of uses which may be permitted in a given Zoning District listed
    > in the Ordinance if certain conditions can be met. (i.e. a single-family
    > residential zoning district in a County's Zoning Ordinance may allow
    > Communications Towers or Home Occupations if the Board of Adjustment can
    > determine that certain performance standards (or conditions) are met. These
    > uses should already be legislated along with their related performance
    > criteria in the Zoning Ordinance as those to which the Board may grant,
    > otherwise they would probably have to be considered as Use Variances and
    > must meet the statutory requirements for unnecessary hardship found
    > in 335.15(3). Unless the activities sought in this instance (anhydrous and
    > propane storage) were within those uses listed for a Conditional Use in the
    > existing Zoning District or for all Districts in the Ordinance, then
    > rezoning would probably be the first option, then a use Variance if Zoning
    > is denied.
    >
    > The question you have to answer yourself, since the actual Zoning Ordinance
    > we're dealing with is unrevealed, is "does the Zoning Ordinance provide for
    > this particular use to be granted by the Board of Adjustment?" If not, the
    > rezoning is probably the appropriate first process. That said, the mere
    > discussion of the possibility that the Comprehensive Plan may begin the
    > process of updating is good justification for the County to hold off on
    > amendments to the Zoning Ordinance or Zoning Map.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com
    > From: bburke (AT) davyinc (DOT) com
    > Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:10:47 -0500
    > Subject: RE: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan
    >
    >
    > It is preferable if such specialized uses, particularly with safety and
    > health issues, be conditional uses, not uses of right.
    > Does your county attorney consider the zoning ordinance to be equivalent to
    > the comprehensive plan, per a court ruling several years ago, I think it was
    > Monroe
    > County? Maybe the law on this has been changed. zoning decisions are
    > notorius for being made in violation of, or simply ignoring comprehensive
    > plans.
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > *From:* IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com on behalf of kikowallace
    > *Sent:* Mon 6/23/2008 3:05 PM
    > *To:* IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com
    > *Subject:* [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan
    >
    > I'm on the Zoning Commission in my rural Iowa county. At this
    > evening's meeting we'll consider a rezoning request from agricultural
    > to manufacturing. A retiring farmer wants to sell some land to an
    > industrial agricultural enterprise that wishes to place two 30,000
    > gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks and one 30,000 gallon propane
    > storage tank on the property.
    > I recently attended an ISU Extension "Introduction to Planning and
    > Zoning" single-session evening course put on by Dr. Gary Taylor of
    > ISU. In it, he stressed the value of the comprehensive plan as a
    > planning and zoning tool.
    > Our county's comprehensive plan amounts to an almost 9-year-old zoning
    > ordinance that does not appear to be at all forward-looking, and at
    > last month's zoning commission meeting I suggested that we consider
    > updating it. This was fairly well received, although there's some
    > concern about the amount of work it will take to do.
    > It occurs to me that if we soon do undertake the writing of a
    > comprehensive plan, wouldn't it be particularly prudent to agree only
    > to a conditional use permit for this proposed new facility, as opposed
    > to a full rezoning?
    >
    >
    >
    >

  6. #6
    Burke, Bill
    Guest

    RE: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

    Use variances have historically been the undoing of many planning and
    zoning programs, and have led to many of the land use problems we have.
    Use variances are considered illegal in most places.

    Land should not be rezoned to manufacturing, especially just for the
    location of storage tanks, unless you want that land to be used for any
    of the other permitted uses in the manufacturing district. This is
    because above ground tanks can easily be moved, and I've seen many such
    uses discontinued for a variety of reasons-its easy to do, and after
    being moved the owner can then market and sell this land for many other
    manufacturing uses. These kinds of zoning decisions are intended to be
    made with land use planning in mind.

    Also, rezoning small parcels of land, for reasons indicated in this
    case, leads to spot zoning, which has also been the undoing of many
    zoning programs-over time it destroys the purposes for zoning, not to
    mention the broader purposes of comprehensive planning.



    From: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com [mailto:IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com] On Behalf
    Of kikowallace
    Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 3:05 PM
    To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com
    Subject: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan



    I'm on the Zoning Commission in my rural Iowa county. At this
    evening's meeting we'll consider a rezoning request from agricultural
    to manufacturing. A retiring farmer wants to sell some land to an
    industrial agricultural enterprise that wishes to place two 30,000
    gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks and one 30,000 gallon propane
    storage tank on the property.
    I recently attended an ISU Extension "Introduction to Planning and
    Zoning" single-session evening course put on by Dr. Gary Taylor of
    ISU. In it, he stressed the value of the comprehensive plan as a
    planning and zoning tool.
    Our county's comprehensive plan amounts to an almost 9-year-old zoning
    ordinance that does not appear to be at all forward-looking, and at
    last month's zoning commission meeting I suggested that we consider
    updating it. This was fairly well received, although there's some
    concern about the amount of work it will take to do.
    It occurs to me that if we soon do undertake the writing of a
    comprehensive plan, wouldn't it be particularly prudent to agree only
    to a conditional use permit for this proposed new facility, as opposed
    to a full rezoning?

  7. #7
    Erik Lundy
    Guest

    RE: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

    It appears you have a pretty good handle with the analysis of the current Ordinance. I think it would be a stretch to find commercial anhydrous or propane storage and dispensing within a clause intended for utilities serving the general public. Bill Burke is correct though, the integrity of your Zoning Ordinance relies on careful analysis when making amendments. Otherwise, a spot rezoning could undermine the intent and purpose. It is probably a good exercise to go through a true comprehensive planning process before making revisions to the code. If you don't have professional planning staff, you should look to your Council of Governments staff or a planning consultant to guide you through the process. You might look to do this even if you have professional staff. Of course nothing comes for free. In the long haul, good planning pays for itself and then some.

    One thing I was wondering is if your Agriculture District allowed for elevator cooperatives. It is common for the anhydrous and propane sales to be an accessory function to grain transfer and feed sales. Based on my past experience with some County Zoning Ordinances in Northwest Iowa several years ago working with the COG, I recall that Agriculture Districts would allow for this kind of thing as an ancillary function to the primary use of an elevator co-op. As a stand alone business I would see the need for an industrial zoning category. Just as a matter of reference, in the City of Des Moines, above ground storage of flammable liquids over 1,000 gallons requires a similar conditional use process even with industrial zoning, not unlike the situation you describe.


    To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) comFrom: marian.kuper (AT) gmail (DOT) comDate: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 17:05:29 -0500Subject: Re: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan




    Erik, thank you for that analysis.OK, here's what I see in the existing ordinance. The land is currently zoned agricultural. Conditional uses available in ag districts are things like penal institutions, amusement parks, sawmills, airports, Go-Kart tracks, campgrounds, hospitals, landfills, grain storage bins and mining/extraction, so there's no good fit there. Conditional use permits available across districts appear to be things like government buildings, TV towers/studios, water towers & treatment facilities, communication towers and (this last one may be pertinent) "Public utility substations, either publicly or privately owned. Communications stations, pipelines for the transmission of any substance, the type or location of any poles, towers, wires, cables, conduits or any other similar distributing equipment of a telephone, telegraph, light, power, gas, pipeline, trucking or railroad company, except that no [conditional use] permit shall be issued unless any and all equipment used or located thereon shall be housed in a building comparable in appearance and size to the surrounding buildings and houses or the use for which the area is zoned."I guess I'm focusing on pipelines, transmission, etc. because I suppose this is somehow contemplated within the context of the storage facility. But that aspect may be so small as to be insignificant.If so, and rezoning to Manufacturing is appropriate, here's another dilemma. Within the portion of the zoning ordinance pertaining to Manufacturing Districts, one of the General Conditions states "No activities involving the storage...of materials or products, which decompose by detonation, shall be permitted except as authorized by a Conditional Use Permit by the Board of Adjustment."This seems to suggest that even if we rezone to Manufacturing, a Conditional Use Permit will come into play. Which is good, I think.
    On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 4:13 PM, Erik Lundy <tru2cy (AT) msn (DOT) com> wrote:





    Typically, Conditional Uses as authorized to County Governments under the special exceptions provision the State Code 335.15(2) are limited to a certain set of uses which may be permitted in a given Zoning District listed in the Ordinance if certain conditions can be met. (i.e. a single-family residential zoning district in a County's Zoning Ordinance may allow Communications Towers or Home Occupations if the Board of Adjustment can determine that certain performance standards (or conditions) are met. These uses should already be legislated along with their related performance criteria in the Zoning Ordinance as those to which the Board may grant, otherwise they would probably have to be considered as Use Variances and must meet the statutory requirements for unnecessary hardship found in 335.15(3). Unless the activities sought in this instance (anhydrous and propane storage) were within those uses listed for a Conditional Use in the existing Zoning District or for all Districts in the Ordinance, then rezoning would probably be the first option, then a use Variance if Zoning is denied. The question you have to answer yourself, since the actual Zoning Ordinance we're dealing with is unrevealed, is "does the Zoning Ordinance provide for this particular use to be granted by the Board of Adjustment?" If not, the rezoning is probably the appropriate first process. That said, the mere discussion of the possibility that the Comprehensive Plan may begin the process of updating is good justification for the County to hold off on amendments to the Zoning Ordinance or Zoning Map.


    To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) comFrom: bburke (AT) davyinc (DOT) comDate: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:10:47 -0500Subject: RE: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan




    It is preferable if such specialized uses, particularly with safety and health issues, be conditional uses, not uses of right.
    Does your county attorney consider the zoning ordinance to be equivalent to the comprehensive plan, per a court ruling several years ago, I think it was Monroe
    County? Maybe the law on this has been changed. zoning decisions are notorius for being made in violation of, or simply ignoring comprehensive plans.


    From: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com on behalf of kikowallaceSent: Mon 6/23/2008 3:05 PMTo: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) comSubject: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan



    I'm on the Zoning Commission in my rural Iowa county. At thisevening's meeting we'll consider a rezoning request from agriculturalto manufacturing. A retiring farmer wants to sell some land to anindustrial agricultural enterprise that wishes to place two 30,000gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks and one 30,000 gallon propanestorage tank on the property. I recently attended an ISU Extension "Introduction to Planning andZoning" single-session evening course put on by Dr. Gary Taylor ofISU. In it, he stressed the value of the comprehensive plan as aplanning and zoning tool. Our county's comprehensive plan amounts to an almost 9-year-old zoningordinance that does not appear to be at all forward-looking, and atlast month's zoning commission meeting I suggested that we considerupdating it. This was fairly well received, although there's someconcern about the amount of work it will take to do.It occurs to me that if we soon do undertake the writing of acomprehensive plan, wouldn't it be particularly prudent to agree onlyto a conditional use permit for this proposed new facility, as opposedto a full rezoning?

  8. #8
    Burke, Bill
    Guest

    RE: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

    Progress is being made here. In rural zoning ordinances, its fairly
    common for anhydrous ammonia installations (businesses) to be
    specifically mentioned in zoning ordinances since they are so common in
    rural areas. About the only time they appear as permitted uses is only
    in heavy industrial districts in rural areas, and are conditional uses
    in all other districts, particularly in municipalities. This is not an
    advisable use near a residential area. In recent years zoning conditions
    are being added to prevent use in meth production.



    From: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com [mailto:IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com] On Behalf
    Of Erik Lundy
    Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:20 AM
    To: iowaapa (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com
    Subject: RE: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan



    It appears you have a pretty good handle with the analysis of the
    current Ordinance. I think it would be a stretch to find commercial
    anhydrous or propane storage and dispensing within a clause intended for
    utilities serving the general public. Bill Burke is correct though, the
    integrity of your Zoning Ordinance relies on careful analysis when
    making amendments. Otherwise, a spot rezoning could undermine the
    intent and purpose. It is probably a good exercise to go through a true
    comprehensive planning process before making revisions to the code. If
    you don't have professional planning staff, you should look to your
    Council of Governments staff or a planning consultant to guide you
    through the process. You might look to do this even if you have
    professional staff. Of course nothing comes for free. In the long
    haul, good planning pays for itself and then some.

    One thing I was wondering is if your Agriculture District allowed for
    elevator cooperatives. It is common for the anhydrous and propane sales
    to be an accessory function to grain transfer and feed sales. Based on
    my past experience with some County Zoning Ordinances in Northwest Iowa
    several years ago working with the COG, I recall that Agriculture
    Districts would allow for this kind of thing as an ancillary function to
    the primary use of an elevator co-op. As a stand alone business I would
    see the need for an industrial zoning category. Just as a matter of
    reference, in the City of Des Moines, above ground storage of flammable
    liquids over 1,000 gallons requires a similar conditional use process
    even with industrial zoning, not unlike the situation you describe.



    ________________________________

    To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com
    From: marian.kuper (AT) gmail (DOT) com
    Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 17:05:29 -0500
    Subject: Re: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

    Erik, thank you for that analysis.

    OK, here's what I see in the existing ordinance. The land is
    currently zoned agricultural. Conditional uses available in ag districts
    are things like penal institutions, amusement parks, sawmills, airports,
    Go-Kart tracks, campgrounds, hospitals, landfills, grain storage bins
    and mining/extraction, so there's no good fit there. Conditional use
    permits available across districts appear to be things like government
    buildings, TV towers/studios, water towers & treatment facilities,
    communication towers and (this last one may be pertinent) "Public
    utility substations, either publicly or privately owned. Communications
    stations, pipelines for the transmission of any substance, the type or
    location of any poles, towers, wires, cables, conduits or any other
    similar distributing equipment of a telephone, telegraph, light, power,
    gas, pipeline, trucking or railroad company, except that no [conditional
    use] permit shall be issued unless any and all equipment used or located
    thereon shall be housed in a building comparable in appearance and size
    to the surrounding buildings and houses or the use for which the area is
    zoned."

    I guess I'm focusing on pipelines, transmission, etc. because I
    suppose this is somehow contemplated within the context of the storage
    facility. But that aspect may be so small as to be insignificant.

    If so, and rezoning to Manufacturing is appropriate, here's
    another dilemma. Within the portion of the zoning ordinance pertaining
    to Manufacturing Districts, one of the General Conditions states "No
    activities involving the storage...of materials or products, which
    decompose by detonation, shall be permitted except as authorized by a
    Conditional Use Permit by the Board of Adjustment."

    This seems to suggest that even if we rezone to Manufacturing, a
    Conditional Use Permit will come into play. Which is good, I think.

    On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 4:13 PM, Erik Lundy <tru2cy (AT) msn (DOT) com>
    wrote:

    Typically, Conditional Uses as authorized to County Governments
    under the special exceptions provision the State Code 335.15(2) are
    limited to a certain set of uses which may be permitted in a given
    Zoning District listed in the Ordinance if certain conditions can be
    met. (i.e. a single-family residential zoning district in a County's
    Zoning Ordinance may allow Communications Towers or Home Occupations if
    the Board of Adjustment can determine that certain performance standards
    (or conditions) are met. These uses should already be legislated along
    with their related performance criteria in the Zoning Ordinance as those
    to which the Board may grant, otherwise they would probably have to be
    considered as Use Variances and must meet the statutory requirements for
    unnecessary hardship found in 335.15(3). Unless the activities sought in
    this instance (anhydrous and propane storage) were within those uses
    listed for a Conditional Use in the existing Zoning District or for all
    Districts in the Ordinance, then rezoning would probably be the first
    option, then a use Variance if Zoning is denied.

    The question you have to answer yourself, since the actual
    Zoning Ordinance we're dealing with is unrevealed, is "does the Zoning
    Ordinance provide for this particular use to be granted by the Board of
    Adjustment?" If not, the rezoning is probably the appropriate first
    process. That said, the mere discussion of the possibility that the
    Comprehensive Plan may begin the process of updating is good
    justification for the County to hold off on amendments to the Zoning
    Ordinance or Zoning Map.

    ________________________________

    To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com
    From: bburke (AT) davyinc (DOT) com
    Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:10:47 -0500
    Subject: RE: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan



    It is preferable if such specialized uses, particularly
    with safety and health issues, be conditional uses, not uses of right.


    Does your county attorney consider the zoning ordinance
    to be equivalent to the comprehensive plan, per a court ruling several
    years ago, I think it was Monroe

    County? Maybe the law on this has been changed. zoning
    decisions are notorius for being made in violation of, or simply
    ignoring comprehensive plans.



    ________________________________

    From: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com on behalf of kikowallace
    Sent: Mon 6/23/2008 3:05 PM
    To: IowaAPA (AT) yahoogroups (DOT) com
    Subject: [IowaAPA] comprehensive plan

    I'm on the Zoning Commission in my rural Iowa county. At
    this
    evening's meeting we'll consider a rezoning request from
    agricultural
    to manufacturing. A retiring farmer wants to sell some
    land to an
    industrial agricultural enterprise that wishes to place
    two 30,000
    gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks and one 30,000
    gallon propane
    storage tank on the property.
    I recently attended an ISU Extension "Introduction to
    Planning and
    Zoning" single-session evening course put on by Dr. Gary
    Taylor of
    ISU. In it, he stressed the value of the comprehensive
    plan as a
    planning and zoning tool.
    Our county's comprehensive plan amounts to an almost
    9-year-old zoning
    ordinance that does not appear to be at all
    forward-looking, and at
    last month's zoning commission meeting I suggested that
    we consider
    updating it. This was fairly well received, although
    there's some
    concern about the amount of work it will take to do.
    It occurs to me that if we soon do undertake the writing
    of a
    comprehensive plan, wouldn't it be particularly prudent
    to agree only
    to a conditional use permit for this proposed new
    facility, as opposed
    to a full rezoning?

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