Planning and zoning in even the smallest community is a team effort. For it to work well, the elected body, planning commission, board of adjustment, and zoning administrator have to understand their roles and place within the system.
For more information about the roles of decision makers, see the following fact sheets and the table below:
The following table lists the roles and functions of each decision-making body as commonly found in local zoning and subdivision ordinances in Iowa. Your ordinances may prescribe different procedures.
|Function||Elected Body||Planning Commission||Board of Adjustment||Zoning Administrator|
|Zoning ordinance adoption||D||R||P|
|Zoning ordinance amendments (map or text changes)||D||R||P|
|"Major" site plans||D||R||P|
|"Minor" site plans or minor amendments to site plans||D (rarely)||D (rarely)||P or D|
|Certificates of Occupancy (1)||A||D|
|Temporary use permits||D (some)||A (if D by Zoning Administrator)||D (some)|
|Special Exceptions||R (occasionally)||D||P|
|Zoning ordinance interpretations||A||D|
|Subdivision ordinance adoption and amendments||D||R||P|
|Subdivision plat approval||D||R||P|
P = Process request. Work with applicant. Prepare staff report.
R = Review and recommendation.
D = Final decision.
(1) For communities that do not issue final certificate through the building permit process.
(2) Elected body may review granted variances and remand to Board of Adjustment for further study.