Testing the water

County and City Zoning Overview

A zoning ordinance can restrict any of the following:

  • Height, number, and size of buildings or structures allowed in an area
  • Percentage of a lot that can be occupied
  • Size of yards, courts, or other open spaces
  • Population density
  • Location and use of buildings, structures, and land for trade, industry, residence, or other purposes
  • Use of tents, trailers, and portable or potentially portable structures for residential purposes

Board of Supervisors

The county board of supervisors has the authority to pass ordinances that regulate land use on land that is located within the county but outside of the city limits. A zoning ordinance divides the county into districts for different types of land use, such as agricultural, commercial, industrial, and residential. Supervisors can set regulations in one district that differ from regulations in another, but restrictions must be uniformly applied for each type of building within a district.

When adopting a county zoning ordinance, county supervisors must ensure that the regulations are consistent with a comprehensive plan designed to fulfill the following objectives:

  • Preserve the availability of agricultural land
  • Protect soil from wind and water erosion
  • Encourage efficient development
  • Lessen roadway congestion
  • Secure safety from fire, flood, panic, and other dangers
  • Protect the health and general welfare of county citizens
  • Provide adequate light and air
  • Prevent overcrowding
  • Avoid undue population concentration
  • Promote the conservation of energy resources
  • Promote access to solar energy
  • Facilitate adequate transportation, water, sewage, schools, parks, and other public requirement provisions

Agriculture Exemption

Zoning should be utilized to carefully plan...

Members Only Content

Join Iowa Farm Bureau or login to view all members only content and receive other member benefits.