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.
Elected officials, planning commissioners and board of adjustment members should review the following list in advance of hearing every application brought by a landowner to judge whether a situation might be present that would prevent them from taking part in the case:
The Municipal Leadership Academy provides elected municipal officials with a curriculum to assist them in effectively meeting the requirements of their office. The program offers a comprehensive overview of Iowa municipal government and is presented by the
Iowa League of Cities and the Office of State and Local Government Programs at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
The Introduction to Planning and Zoning for Local Officials workshop is a three-hour session designed to introduce the basic principles of land use planning and development management to elected officials, planning and zoning officials, and board of adjustment members without formal training in the subjects. Using case scenarios in a highly-interactive format, the workshop highlights issues frequently faced in the land use process, such as the roles and responsibilities of the planning and zoning commission, the board of adjustment, and the elected council and board of supervisors. It also will highlight legal issues frequently faced by local officials, such as variances, special uses, nonconforming uses, spot zoning, hearing procedures, and conflicts of interest.