|General Information about the
Floyd County zoning office
The Zoning Administrator is appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The Zoning Department also consists of five members of the Zoning Commission and five members of the Board of Adjustment, all of which are appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The Boards are comprised of residents in the unincorporated area of the county. The Zoning Commission meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month pending zoning change requests. The Board of Adjustment meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month pending conditional use or variance requests.
Duties of the Zoning Office
The Zoning Administrator and/or staff of the Planning & Zoning Department accepts requests for zoning changes, requests to review subdivision plats, and requests for conditional use permits and variances; sets a time and place for public hearings before the Zoning Commission or Board of Adjustment; publishes notices of the public hearings in the local newspaper and sends a notice to all property owners within 500 feet of the subject property; keeps minutes of the public hearings; reviews all surveys for the unincorporated areas of the County; accepts and reviews Agricultural Exemption Applications, Building Permit Applications, and Site Plans; and issues building permits a/k/a zoning certificates for new structures. The Floyd County Zoning Ordinance lays out each zoning district in the County and what is permitted in each district, as well as what conditional uses may be allowed in that district after a public hearing before the Board of Adjustment is held. Each district also includes certain setbacks and minimum lot sizes for new structures and lots. A copy of the Floyd County Zoning Ordinance, as well as procedures for a zoning change request and a conditional use/variance request can be found under the forms link to the left of the page. The Zoning Administrator and/or staff of the Planning & Zoning Department will be able to help an applicant determine which request they will need to make based on which zoning district the property is located in. The applications for each of these requests can also be found under the forms link to the left of the page, and shall be submitted to the Planning & Zoning Department no later then twenty-one (21) working days prior to the appropriate Boards’ regular scheduled meeting date as listed in the General Information section above, along with a $150.00 fee pursuant to the above referenced procedures.
The Zoning Administrator and/or staff of the Planning and Zoning Department issues building permits a/k/a zoning certificates to property owners who are erecting a new building or structure on a parcel located in the unincorporated areas of Floyd County, Iowa. The Floyd County Zoning Ordinance states that ‘Zoning certificates shall be obtained from the Zoning Administrator before starting or proceeding with the erection, construction, moving in, or the structural alteration of a building or structure’. In order to obtain a building permit a/k/a zoning certificate, an applicant must submit a Building Permit Application, Site Plan, and a copy of their contractor’s estimate. The building permit fee will be based on the contractor’s estimate and if an estimate is not available, it will be based on the square footage of the proposed building or structure. There are also minimum setback requirements for each zoning district and a call to the Planning & Zoning Department can help an applicant determine what those setbacks are. Upon receiving the Building Permit Application and Site Plan, the Zoning Administrator and/or staff of the Planning & Zoning Department will ensure that the required setbacks are being met, that the use of the structure is allowed in the zoning district in which it will be located, whether a septic and/or well permit will be required, that the building or structure will not be located in the floodplain, and what the building permit fee will be. In the event that one does not agree with the required setbacks for the zoning district they are building in, they do have the option to apply for a variance as described above. If the proposed use of the structure is only permitted as a conditional use, the applicant must apply for a conditional use permit and have a public hearing before the Board of Adjustment before erecting the new building or structure. The Building Permit Application and Site Plan can also be found under the forms link to the left of the page.
The State of Iowa and the Floyd County Zoning Ordinance provides for an agricultural exemption from County zoning regulations, by stating that ‘no regulation or restriction shall be construed to apply to land, farmstead, farm houses, farm barns, farm outbuildings or other buildings, structures or erections which are primarily adapted by reason of nature and area, for use for agricultural purposes, while so used’. The agricultural exemption DOES NOT apply to well or septic permitting or floodplain permitting requirements. In order to qualify for an agricultural exemption from any regulation contained in the Floyd County Zoning Ordinance, the applicant must fill out an Agricultural Exemption Application and submit that to the Floyd County Planning & Zoning Department. The Zoning Administrator and/or staff of the Planning and Zoning Department will then make a determination as to whether the new building, structure, or use qualifies for the agricultural exemption within five (5) business days of receiving the application. Although these structures and uses are exempt from County zoning regulations, including setback and minimum lot size requirements, the Floyd County Planning and Zoning Department still asks for voluntary compliance with same. The Agricultural Exemption Application can also be found under the forms link to the left of the page.
Whether one is building a residential or commercial size windmill, they are required to apply for a conditional use request before the Board of Adjustment, as well as obtain a building permit regardless of whether or not they fall under the agricultural exemption definition. The building permit fee for a commercial wind generator is $500; and the building permit fee for a residential wind generator is $50.
Update of Zoning Ordinance
The Floyd County Supervisors approved the final reading of the updated Floyd County Zoning Ordinance on December 27, 2011. The original Zoning Ordinance was passed June 1, 1967, and underwent a re-write in 1984. Due to the outdated nature of the ordinance, the Planning & Zoning Commission began re-writing the Ordinance with the assistance of NIACOG in October of 2009. Through the update of the Zoning Ordinance, the definition section was greatly expanded to include many more definitions; a Wind Energy Section was added to the ordinance; a Commercial-Recreational District and Mobile Home Park District were added to the Ordinance; Sign and Parking Regulations were added to the Ordinance; the uses within the Districts were increased to include many more uses; and the Floodplain Section was updated. Please feel free to contact the Planning & Zoning Department if you have any questions regarding your property and whether there were any specific changes that could affect you.