Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Fact Sheets

Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Fact Sheets help to address common questions and explain basic concepts.  These fact sheets represent best practices in planning and zoning in Iowa, but are no substitute for legal advice. Only your city or county attorney is qualified to give you advice as to how the specific facts in your case affect you.


Responsibilities of Land Use Decision-Makers

Iowa Laws Relating to Planning and Zoning

Legislative v Quasi-Judicial Decisions

Comprehensive Planning

The Purpose of the Comprehensive Plan

Adopting a Comprehensive Plan

Being an Effective Planning Commission

The Elements of a Comprehensive Plan

Iowa Smart Planning Principles


The Zoning Ordinance

Nonconforming Uses

Special or Conditional Uses


Spot Zoning

Ethic and Meetings

Rules of Decorum for Audience at Board of Adjustment Hearings

Conflicts of Interest

Pre-hearing Ethics Checklist

Ex Parte Contacts