Article 2. Zoning Definitions

This is only one article of the full zoning ordinances. To see the full, official document, either scroll to the bottom of this article or click here.


For the purpose of interpreting this ordinance certain words, terms and expressions are herein defined.

  • Words used in the present tense shall include the future;
  • Singular number includes the plural and the plural includes the singular;
  • The word “may” is discretionary and the word “shall” is always mandatory;
  • The word “person” includes a firm, association, organization, partnership, trust, limited liability company, business or corporation as well as an individual;
  • The words “used” or “occupied” include intended, designed or arranged to be used or occupied;
  • The word “lot” includes a plot or parcel and all other words or phrases used to denote an individual building site on a zoning lot that complies with this ordinance’s minimum requirements.
  • The word “includes” means including but not limited to.
  1. ACCESSORY BUILDING: Any building that is subordinate in area, extent or purpose to the principal building on the same zoning lot or lots, not attached thereto and used for purposes customarily incidental to those of the principal building. Private detached garages are considered accessory buildings.
  2. ACCESSORY USE (OR STRUCTURE): A structure or use which is subordinate to and serves a principal building or use; is subordinate in area, extent, or purpose to the principal building or use served; contributes to the comfort, convenience, or necessity of occupants of the principal building or principal use; and is located on the same zoning lot or lots as the principal building or use.
  3. ADDITION: Any construction that increases the site coverage, height, length, width, or gross floor area of a structure.
  4. ALLEY: A public or private thoroughfare that affords a secondary means of access to abutting properties.
  5. ALTERATION (STRUCTURAL): Any change in the supporting members of a building, such as bearing walls, partitions, columns, beams or girders. The enlargement of the size or height of a building shall be construed to be a structural alteration.
  6. APARTMENT: A room or set of rooms occupied as a dwelling unit which is part of a multi-family structure containing cooking and bathroom facilities for each dwelling unit.
  7. ATTACHED: Sharing one or more common walls with the principal building, or joined to a principal building by a covered roof, porch or passageway.
  8. BASEMENT: That portion of a building either partly or completely below grade.
                            (Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) Basic/National Building Code.)

  9. BLOCK: That property abutting on one side of a street, and lying within the two nearest intercepting or intersecting streets or lying within the nearest intercepting or intersecting streets and unsubdivided acreage or railroad right-of-way.
  10. BUILDABLE AREA: The property area remaining for allowable buildings established by the setback distances from the front, sides and rear property lines as provided for in this ordinance.
  11. BUILDING: A roofed structure supported by posts, columns, supports, walls or other structure and used or intended for the shelter, support, or enclosure of persons, animals or property of any kind. When separated by fire rated division walls from the ground up without openings, each portion of such structure shall be deemed a separate building. The connection of two buildings by means of a roofed porch, breezeway, passageway, carport or other such structures with a roof or solid walls shall make them one building.
  12. BUILDING HEIGHT: The vertical distance measured from the average natural grade at the building line to the highest point of the roof. Where a building or structure is situated on a lot with more than one grade or level, the measurements shall be taken from the main entrance elevation (typically the side of the building or structure that is addressed).
  13. BUILDING LINE: The setback distance from the front property line, rear lot line, and side lot lines as provided in the ordinance.
  14. BUILDING WALL: A wall of the principal building forming a part of the main structure. The foundation walls of unroofed or open porches, decks, steps, walks and retaining wall or similar structures, shall not be considered as building walls under the provisions of this ordinance.
  15. CARPORT: Space for the parking, housing or storage of vehicles and enclosed on not more than two sides by affixed or semi-permanent walls. Those structures identified as hoop buildings, portable or folding buildings, tent buildings or fully enclosed steel buildings shall not be considered a carport for the purposes of this ordinance. Carports attached to the principal building are considered a part of the principal building, and shall be of similar appearance or materials to the principal building. Freestanding carports are considered an accessory building.
  16. CITY: The City of Rock Valley, Iowa
  17. COMMISSION (OR PLANNING COMMISSION): The Rock Valley Planning and Zoning Commission.
  18. CONTIGUOUS: Being in actual contact or touching along a boundary or at a singular point. Contiguous properties are touching or connected in an unbroken sequence. Similar to the definition of adjoining which also means touching or bounding at a point or line. For purposes of this definition, contiguous shall also apply to two or more properties separated by an alley.
  19. COUNCIL: The City Council of the City of Rock Valley, Iowa.
  20. COUNTY: Sioux County, Iowa.
  21. COURT (or COURTYARD): An open, unobstructed and unoccupied space other than a yard bounded on two (2) or more sides by walls or a building on the same lot.
  22. CURB LEVEL: The established curb grade adjacent to a lot.
  23. DECK: A non-roofed structure open on two or more sides and projecting from a wall of the principal building. Decks higher than twelve inches above the average grade of the ground at the parameter of the deck shall be subject to required yard setbacks.
  24. DETACHED: Fully separated from any other building or structure.
  25. DOMESTICATED ANIMALS: Those animals that have been tamed and made fit to live in a human environment, as further defined within the Rock Valley City Code.
  26. DRIVEWAY: A permanently paved area providing vehicular access in that area only between a road or street and an off-street parking area or structure (e.g. garage or carport).
  27. DWELLING: Any building, or portion thereof, designed, used or intended to be occupied exclusively for residential purposes, either permanently or transiently, but not including a tent, cabin, trailer, or factory-built home which is not located within a manufactured home subdivision or mobile home park. However, a dwelling shall include any factory-built home constructed to comply with the Iowa State Building Code for modular factory built structures.
  28. DWELLING, SINGLE FAMILY: A dwelling that is a detached building consisting of one housing unit arranged, designed for or occupied as the primary residence of one (1) family, having no party wall in common with an adjacent dwelling and is surrounded by open space or yards.
  29. DWELLING, TWO FAMILY: A dwelling that is a building consisting of two housing units arranged, designed for or occupied as the primary residence of two (2) families living independently of each other in separate dwellings with separate entrances, cooking and bathroom facilities for each.
  30. DWELLING, MULTIPLE FAMILY: A dwelling that is a building consisting of three (3) or more housing units arranged, designed for or occupied as the primary residence of three (3) or more families living independently of each other in separate dwellings with separate entrances, cooking and bathroom facilities for each unit.
  31. EASEMENT: A grant of one or more of the property rights by a property owner to and/or for use by the public or another person or entity.
  32. ENCROACHMENT: Any obstruction, or illegal or unauthorized intrusion in a delineated floodway, right-of-way, or on adjacent land.
  33. ENGINEER, CITY: A duly qualified individual or firm designated by the City Council to provide engineering services.
  34. ESSENTIAL SERVICES: The erection, construction, alteration or maintenance by developers, public utilities or governmental agencies of underground or overhead communications, electrical, wastewater, water, stormwater, or gas transmission or distribution systems, including poles, wires, mains, drains, sewers, pipes, conduits, cables, fire alarm boxes, police call boxes, traffic signals, hydrants, and other similar equipment and accessories in connection with and necessary for the furnishing of adequate service by such developers, public utilities, or governmental agencies, and/or for the public health, safety or general welfare. Essential services do not include towers, devices, or other structures defined as communication services and shall not include buildings or conditional uses as established by this ordinance.
  35. ESTABLISHMENT: An economic unit, generally at a single physical location, where business is conducted or services or industrial operations performed.
  36. FAÇADE: The exterior walls of a building exposed to public view or that wall viewed by persons not within the building.
  37. FACTORY-BUILT STRUCTURE: Any structure, building, component, assembly or system which is made or assembled in manufacturing facilities, on or off the building site, for installation or assembly and installation, on the building site. Factory-built structures may also mean, at the option of the manufacturer, any structure or building made or assembled in manufacturing facilities away from the building site, for installation or assembly on the building site.
  38. FAMILY: A person living alone, or two or more persons related to the second degree of collateral consanguinity by blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship, or otherwise duly authorized custodial relationship as verified by official public records such as drivers licenses, birth or marriage certificates living together in a dwelling and sharing common living, sleeping, cooking, and bathroom facilities; including not more than one additional unrelated person.
  39. FENCE: Any artificially constructed barrier of approved fencing material or combination of materials as established in Section 15.7, and erected to enclose or screen areas of land.
  40. FLOODPLAIN: The channel and relatively flat area adjoining the channel of a natural stream or river that has historically been or may have the potential to be covered by flood waters.
  41. FLOOR AREA: The square feet of floor space within the outside line of walls, including the total of all space on all floors of a building. Floor area shall not include porches, garages, or space in a basement that is not living space or used for storage or other incidental uses.
  42. FRONTAGE: All the property on one side of a street between two intersecting streets (crossing or terminating), measured along the line of the street, or if the street is dead ended, then all of the property abutting on one side between an intersecting street and the dead end of the street. The frontage of a double fronted lot shall face the street upon which the property will be addressed.
  43. GARAGE: An accessory building or portion of a building used only for the enclosed parking of or storage of one or more vehicles by the occupants of the principal building or the leasing of space as provided herein, but in which no business services or industry connected with motor vehicles is carried on other than leasing of space.
  44. GRADE: The lowest horizontal elevation of a finished surface of the ground, paving, or sidewalk at a point where the height is to be measured.
  45. HOME OCCUPATION: An accessory business use or occupation conducted entirely within a dwelling or associated accessory building by the inhabitants thereof, and complies with the home occupation requirements outlined in Section 16.5 of this ordinance.
  46. HOUSEHOLD: A family living together in a dwelling unit, with common access to all living and eating areas and all facilities within the dwelling unit.
  47. HOUSING UNIT: A unit that is part of a dwelling and is arranged, designed for or occupied as a primary residence of a family living independently with separate entrance, cooking and bathroom facilities.
  48. IMPERVIOUS SURFACE (OR COVERAGE): Any material that prevents absorption of stormwater into the ground.
  49. INCIDENTAL: Subordinate and minor in significance and bearing a reasonable relationship with the primary use.
  50. JUNK (OR SALVAGE): All old or scrap copper, brass, lead, or any other non-ferrous metal; old or discarded rope, rags, batteries, paper, trash, rubber, debris, waste or used lumber, or salvaged wood; dismantled vehicles, machinery and appliances or parts of such vehicles, machinery or appliances; iron, steel or other old scrap ferrous materials; old or discarded glass, tin ware, plastic or old or discarded household goods or hardware. Neatly stacked firewood located on a side yard or a rear yard is not considered junk. See also: “Junk” as defined in the Rock Valley City Code.
  51. LAND USE: A description of how land is occupied or utilized.
  52. LANDSCAPED: An area devoted to or developed predominantly with plant material or natural landscape features, including lawn, ground cover, gardens, trees, shrubs, and other plant materials; and also including accessory decorative outdoor landscape elements such as pools, fountains, water features, paved or decorated surfaces or rock, stone, brick, block or similar material (excluding driveways, parking, loading, or storage areas), and sculptural elements, provided the use of brick, stone aggregate, or other inorganic materials shall not predominate over the use of natural material.
  53. LOADING SPACE: An area used for loading or unloading of goods from a vehicle in connection with the use of the site on which such space in located.
  54. LOT: A parcel of land as established by plat, subdivision, or as otherwise permitted by law, which may be owned, used, developed, or built upon, having its frontage upon one or more streets or an officially approved public place.
  55. LOT AREA: The net horizontal area of land bounded by property lines and providing access to a street, but excluding any right-of-way providing access to another lot.
  56. LOT (or BUILDING) COVERAGE: The area of a lot covered by buildings or roofed areas, excluding incidental projecting eaves and gutters and also excluding ground level paving or decks below twelve inches in height, landscaping, and open recreational facilities.
  57. LOT, CORNER: A lot fronting on two (2) intersecting streets.
  58. LOT, INTERIOR: A lot other than a corner lot.
  59. LOT, THROUGH: An interior lot having frontage on two parallel or approximately parallel streets. Also known as a double frontage lot.
  60. LOT DEPTH: The distance from the front lot line to the rear lot line. In the case of a lot of irregular shape, the mean depth shall be the lot depth.
  61. LOT LINES: The lines bounding a lot.
  62. LOT LINE, FRONT: In the case of an interior lot abutting on only one street, the front lot line is the street line (the right-of-way line) of such lot. In the case of any other lot, the front lot line will be such street line as elected by the property owner to be the front lot line for purposes of this ordinance, except that on corner lots, the front lot line is considered the line adjacent to the street on which the house is addressed.
  63. LOT LINE, REAR: That boundary line that is opposite and most distant from the front lot line.
  64. LOT LINE, SIDE: Any boundary lines which are not a front lot line or a rear lot line.
  65. LOT OF RECORD: A lot of which is part of a legal subdivision of the City of Rock Valley, Iowa, the plat of which has been recorded in the office of the County of Recorder; or a lot or parcel of land, the deed or valid contract of sale of which was recorded in the office of the County Recorder of Sioux County, Iowa prior to the effective date of this ordinance.
  66. LOT WIDTH: The distance measured perpendicular between the side lot lines. In the case of a lot of irregular shape, the mean width shall be the lot width.
  67. MANUFACTURED HOME: A factory-built structure which is manufactured or constructed under the authority of 42 U.S.C. Sec. 5403, Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, which was constructed on or after June 15, 1976, and is required by Federal law to display a seal from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development certifying that it is in compliance with the Federal Manufactured Housing Construction Act of 1974. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 435.1).

  68. MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITY: The same as land-leased community defined in Sections 335.30A and 414.28A Code of Iowa. Any site, lot, field or tract of land under common ownership upon which two (2) or more occupied manufactured homes are parked and connected to utilities, either free of charge or for revenue purposes, and includes any building, structure or enclosure used or intended for use as part of the equipment of the manufactured home community (Code of Iowa, Sec. 435.1). A manufactured home community or mobile home park shall not be construed to include manufactured or mobile homes, buildings, tents, or other structures temporarily maintained by any individual, educational institution, or company on their own premises and used exclusively to house their own labor or students. The manufactured home community or a mobile home park must be classified as to whether it is a “residential” or “recreational” manufactured home community or mobile home park or both. The manufactured home community or mobile home parks residential landlord and tenant Act, Chapter 562B, Code of Iowa, only applies to “residential” manufactured home community or mobile home park (Code of Iowa, Sec. 435.1).
  69. MANUFACTURED HOME CONVERTED TO REAL ESTATE: An unencumbered mobile or manufactured home which is attached to a permanent foundation on real estate owned by the manufactured home owner, and which has the vehicular frame destroyed rendering it impossible to reconvert it to a mobile manufactured home. If a manufactured home is placed in a manufactured home community or mobile home park, the home must be titled and is subject to the manufactured or mobile home square foot tax. If a manufactured home is placed outside of a manufactured home community or mobile home park, the home must be titled and is to be assessed and taxed as real estate (Code of Iowa, Sec. 435.1). With that stated, manufactured housing may be placed outside of a manufactured home community or a mobile home park if the manufactured housing unit is located on private property as part of a retailer’s or manufacturer’s stock not used as a place of human habitation; or if a taxable mobile home or manufactured housing is located outside of a manufactured housing community or mobile home park prior to January 1, 1995, it shall be assessed and taxed as real estate but is exempt from the permanent foundation requirement until the home is relocated.
  70. MANUFACTURED HOME SUBDIVISION: A subdivision designed according to the Rock Valley Subdivision Regulations Ordinance, and designed only for the location of manufactured homes on lots owned by the manufactured home owner.
  71. MOBILE HOME: Any vehicle without motive power used or so manufactured or constructed as to permit it being used as a conveyance upon the public streets and highways and so designed, constructed, or reconstructed as will permit the vehicle to be used as a place for human habitation by one or more persons; but also includes any such vehicle with motive power not registered as a motor vehicle in Iowa. A mobile home means any such vehicle built before June 15, 1976, which was not built to a mandatory building code and which contains no State or Federal seals. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 435.1) All mobile homes shall be located within a mobile home park.
  72. MOBILE HOME PARK: Any site, lot, field or tract of land upon which three (3) or more occupied mobile homes or manufactured homes, or a combination of any of these homes, are placed on developed spaces and operated as a for-profit enterprise with water, sewer, or septic, and electrical services available. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 435.1).

  73. MODULAR HOME: A factory-built structure manufactured or constructed to be used as a place of human habitation, and is constructed to comply with the Iowa State Building Code for modular factory-built structures, as adopted pursuant to Section 103A.7, Code of Iowa, and must display the seal issued by the state building code commissioner. If a modular home is placed in a manufactured housing community or mobile home park, the home is subject to the annual tax as required by Section 435.22 Code of Iowa. If a modular home is placed outside a manufactured housing community or mobile home park, the home shall be considered real property and is to be assessed and taxed as real estate. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 435.1)

  74. NONCONFORMING LOT (OR SUBSTANDARD LOT): A lot of record that does not comply with applicable minimum area, width, or depth requirements for the zoning district in which it is located, but which previously complied or was conforming with applicable requirements when it was placed on record prior to the enactment of this zoning ordinance.
  75. NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE (OR BUILDING): A structure or building in size, dimensions, or location of which was lawful prior to the adoption, revision, or amendment to this zoning ordinance, but which fails to conform to present requirements of the zoning district.
  76. NONCONFORMING USE: A lawful use of any land, building, or structure, other than a sign, that does not conform with currently applicable use regulations, but which complied with use regulations in effect at the time the use was established.
  77. OCCUPANCY (or OCCUPIED): The residing of a person or group of individuals overnight in a housing unit; or the storage or use of equipment, merchandise, or machinery in any principal building. A change of occupancy is not intended to include a change of tenants or proprietors.
  78. OPEN SPACE (GREENSPACE): Any parcel or area of land or water essentially unimproved and set aside, designated or reserved for the use or enjoyment of the owners, occupants, neighbors or the general public. Such open space areas are not occupied by any structures or impervious surfaces.
  79. PARKING AREA: An area on a lot or lots within a building, or both, including one or more parking spaces together with driveways, aisles, turning and maneuvering areas, clearances, and similar features, and meeting the requirements established by this ordinance. Parking areas shall include parking lots, garages, and parking structures.
  80. PARKING LOT: An off-street, ground level open area surfaced for the temporary storage of motor vehicles. See also: PARKING AREA.
  81. PARKING SPACE: An area, enclosed or unenclosed, having not less than two hundred square feet (200 sq.ft.) plus necessary maneuvering space for the parking of a motor vehicle, and connected with a street or alley by a surfaced driveway which affords satisfactory ingress and egress for vehicles. By definition, driveways for one or more housing units may be considered as parking spaces.
  82. PERMANENT FOUNDATION: A permanent frost-free foundation system meets the support and anchorage requirements as recommended by the manufacturer or required by the State Building Code.
  83. PORCH, OPEN: A roofed structure, open or screened on two (2) or more sides, projecting from the front, side or rear wall of the building. An open porch may be enclosed after securing a zoning permit.
  84. PRINCIPAL BUILDING: A building in which the primary use of the lot or parcel is conducted.
  85. PRIVATE PARKING LOT (OR AREA): A parking lot or area for the exclusive use of the owners, tenants, lessees or occupants of the lot or lots on which the parking lot or area is located or their customers, employees, or whomever else they permit to use the parking area.
  86. PROHIBITED USE: Any use not permitted by right or by conditional use in a zoning district.
  87. PROPERTY: A lot, parcel, or tract of land together with any buildings and structures located thereon.
  88. PUBLIC NOTICE: A publication of the time and place of any public hearing not less than four (4) or not more than twenty (20) days prior to the date of said hearing in one newspaper of general circulation in the city. In the instances of publications amending or adopting changes to this zoning ordinance, the public notice notification period is not less than seven (7) or not more than twenty (20) days prior to the date of said public hearing.
  89. RECREATIONAL VEHICLE: A vehicle or structure so designed and constructed in such a manner as will permit temporary occupancy for one or more persons, or for sporting or recreational purposes; and as further defined in the Rock Valley Municipal Code. A recreational vehicle may include or be used for, but not limited to, vacationing, recreational purposes, travel trailers, pick-up campers, camping trailers, motor coaches, converted trucks or buses, boats and trailers, snowmobiles, off-road vehicles, ATVs, jet skis, etc.
  90. RECREATIONAL VEHICLE PARK: Any area providing spaces for two or more travel trailers, motor homes, camping trailers or tent sites for temporary occupancy for revenue purposes.
  91. RESIDENTIAL CONVENIENCE SERVICE: A use or activity of a commercial nature conducted as an accessory use to multiple family residential or mobile home park residential use, and intended solely for the convenience of residents thereof.
  92. RESIDENTIAL PURPOSES: The intent to use and/or the use of a room or group of rooms for the sleeping, living and housekeeping activities for the same person or the same group of persons on a permanent or semi-permanent basis of an intended tenure of one month or more.
  93. RIGHT-OF-WAY LINE: The dividing line between a lot, tract, or parcel of land and the right- of-way line of a contiguous road, street, or alley.
  94. ROOMS, HABITABLE: A room which provides the required area and window area to provide necessary light and ventilation of occupants, and shall be clean and sanitary at all times.
  95. SETBACK: The required distance between any lot line and the exterior building walls or structures of any building or deck more than 12” above grade.
  96. SETBACK LINE: A line within a lot parallel to and measured from a corresponding lot line, forming the boundary of a required yard and defining that minimum distance between the building and lot line where buildings and structures may not be placed.
  97. SIGHT TRIANGLE: An area forming a triangle bounded by the street right of way lines or lot lines of a corner lot and a straight line joining points on the curb line thirty-five feet (35’) from the point of intersection of the right-of-way or lot lines.
  98. SITE DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS: The combinations of controls that establish the maximum size of a building and its location on the lot. Components of site development regulations include: size and height of building; location of exterior walls at all levels with respect to lot lines, streets, or other buildings; building coverage; gross floor area of building in relation to the lot area; open space; and amount of lot area provided per dwelling.
  99. SITE PLAN: A plan, prepared to scale, showing accurately and with complete dimensions, all of the buildings, structures and uses, and principal site development features including parking, access, and landscaping and screening, proposed for a specific parcel of land.
  100. SPOT ZONING: Rezoning of a lot or parcel of land to benefit an owner for a use incompatible with surrounding land uses and that does not further the comprehensive plan.
  101. SPRAWL: Uncontrolled growth, usually of a low-density nature, in previously rural areas and some distance from existing development and infrastructure.
  102. STORY: That portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor above it; or if there is no floor above it then the space between the floor and the ceiling next above it.
  103. STREET: A public or private thoroughfare that affords the primary means of access to abutting property.
  104. STREET LINE: The dividing line between a lot, tract or parcel of land and a contiguous road, street, or alley.
  105. STRUCTURE: Anything which is built, constructed, moved, located or erected with a fixed location on the ground, or attached to something having a fixed location on the ground. Structures include, but are not limited to buildings, mobile homes, billboards, decks, and carports. Attached uncovered steps and planters are not considered structures.
  106. TEMPORARY STRUCTURE: A structure without any foundation or footings, or permanently attached to the ground, and is removed when the designated time period, activity, or use has ceased.
  107. USE: The conduct of an activity or the performance of a function or operation, on a site or in a building or facility.
    1. Principal Use: Any use which is the primary function of a lot or building.
    2. Permitted Use: Any use permitted as a matter of right when conducted in accord with the regulations established by this ordinance; of which fulfills the primary function of a household, establishment, institution, or other entity.
    3. Conditional Use: A use allowable solely on a discretionary and conditional basis subject to a Conditional Use Permit, and to all other regulations established by this ordinance.
    4. Accessory Use: A use or activity located on the same lot and of a nature customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use or building.
  108. UTILITY: A utility owned and operated by the City of Rock Valley, Iowa or any private utility franchised by the City of Rock Valley.
  109. VACANCY: Any unoccupied land, structure, or part thereof available or suitable for occupancy.
  110. VALUATION: One hundred percent (100%) valuation of a building or structure, as determined by the Sioux County Assessor.
  111. VARIANCE: The relaxation of the terms of the Zoning Ordinance where such variance will not be contrary to the public interest and where, owing to conditions and peculiarity of the property and not the results of actions of the applicant, a literal enforcement of the zoning regulations would result in an unnecessary and undue hardship and as further defined in Article 25 of this ordinance.
  112. YARD: Any open space on the same lot adjoining a lot line.
    1. Front Yard: An area of yard extending across the full width of a lot and measured between the front lot line and the nearest principal building wall or other supporting element thereof, other than the projection of typical steps and gutters. In the case of corner lots, the front yard shall be considered as the yard adjacent to the street where the principal building has its main entrance.
    2. Interior Yard: An area of yard, not adjacent to a street, which is determined on the basis of an interior lot line.

    3. Rear Yard: An area of yard extending across the full width of a lot and measured between the rear lot line and the nearest principal building or other supporting element other than steps or gutters, but excluding any area located within the street side yard of a corner lot. On both corner lots and interior lots, the opposite end of the lot from the front yard shall be considered the rear yard.

    4. Side Yard: An area of yard extending the depth of a lot from the front yard to the rear yard and measured between the side lot line and the nearest principal building. In the case of a corner lot, the street side yard shall extend from the front yard to the rear lot line.

  113. ZERO LOT LINE: A development concept wherein a wall, typically a side wall, of the building is located directly on or immediately adjacent to the property line of the real property.
  114. ZONING: The delineation of districts and the establishment of regulations governing the use, placement, spacing, and size of land and buildings.
  115. ZONING ADMINISTRATOR: The person or firm appointed by the City Council to administer and ensure compliance with the provisions of this zoning ordinance and to issue zoning permits.
  116. ZONING DISTRICT: A designated land classification, within which all building sites are subject to a unified group of use and site development regulations set forth in this zoning ordinance.
  117. ZONING LOT: A tract of land, parcel or multiple contiguous parcels of land under single ownership that is large enough to meet the minimum zoning requirements of the zoning district it is located in; and can provide such yard area and open spaces that are required by the site development regulations.

  118. ZONING MAP: An ordinance in map form adopted by the City Council that conclusively shows the location of zoning district boundaries, proposed streets, public areas, and other data referencing the distinction and separation of zoned land uses.
  119. ZONING PERMIT: A permit issued and enforced by the Zoning Administrator as required in this ordinance, as a condition precedent to the commencement of a use, or the erection, construction, reconstruction, restoration, alteration, conversion, or installation of a structure or building; acknowledging the proposed use, building, or structure complies with the provisions of the zoning ordinance or authorized variance.



The purpose of the land use definitions shall be to provide a consistent set of terms encompassing and defining uses permitted by right or conditional use in the zoning districts, and to provide a procedure for determination of the applicable land use definition of any activity not clearly within any defined land use definition. In event of any question as to the appropriate land use definition of any existing or proposed use or activity, the Zoning Administrator shall have the authority to determine the definition, subject to the right of appeal pursuant to Section 24.3. In making such determinations, the Zoning Administrator shall consider the characteristics of the use in question, and consider any functional, product, service, or physical requirements common with or similar to uses cited as examples of land use definitions.

Agricultural uses include the on-site production of plant and animal products by agricultural methods and purposes related to agriculture, dairying, pasturage, horticulture, floriculture, viticulture, and animal husbandry. Conservation uses include environmentally sensitive areas or uniqueness that may be designated or protected from other development or activities that may alter the ecological integrity, balance or character of the site.

  1. Animal Production: The care and breeding of domestic animals, cattle, swine, poultry, horses, sheep, goats or other similar animals.
  2. Commercial Farm Operation: An area that is used for the growing of the usual farm products and/or the raising of usual livestock as defined by the Rock Valley Municipal Code. Typical uses include but not limited to grazing, ranching, dairy farming, poultry farming, and the raising of fur bearing animals. It is unlawful for a person to keep livestock within the city except by written consent of the City Council.
  3. Critical Area: A critical area is a natural feature in need of preservation from encroaching land uses. Such areas may include sensitive or prime agricultural soils as defined by the Natural Resource Conservation Service, areas of excessive slope, natural marshes, sloughs, woodlands, and floodplains.
  4. Crop Production: The raising and harvesting of tree crops, row crops or field crops on an agricultural or commercial basis including incidental packing and processing.
  5. Farm: An area which is used for the growing of the usual farm products and commodities such as vegetables, fruits, seed crops, crops and grains and their storage on the premises. The term “farm” includes the operating of such an area for one (1) or more of the above uses including the necessary accessory uses for treating or storing produce, provided accessory uses shall be secondary to the primary farming activities. The terms “farm” or “farming” does not mean commercial animal or poultry feeding or confined animal operations.
  6. Farm Dwelling, Principal: A dwelling located on a farm and occupied by the owner or operator of the farm or renter.
  7. Farm Dwelling, Support Housing: The occupancy of any living accommodations by one (1) agricultural employee and their family on the same property as the principal permitted residence, without regard to duration, which occurs exclusively in association with the performance of agricultural labor, on the same property as the support housing
  8. Horticulture: The growing of horticultural and floricultural plants flowers, shrubs, or trees intended for ornamental or landscaping purposes, but excluding retail sales. Typical uses include but are not limited to wholesale plant nurseries and greenhouses.
  9. Residential Animal Raising (Recreational): The keeping of animals only on a non-commercial, non-profit basis. It is unlawful for a person to keep livestock within the city except by written consent of the City Council. This does not limit the keeping or incidental raising of customary or ordinary domesticated pets.
  10. Stables: Boarding, breeding or raising of horses not owned by the occupants of the property or riding of horses by other than the occupants of the premises or their non-paying guests. Typical uses include but not limited to boarding stables or public stables. It is unlawful for a person to keep livestock within the city except by written consent of the City Council.
  11. Undeveloped or Unimproved Land: Land in its natural state before development.
  12. Water Control Structures, Irrigation or Retention Basins: Man-made structures intended to direct and/or control the water flow, drainage and percolation rate to aid in the prevention of flooding or direct water away from developments or agricultural land.
  13. Wildlife Management Area/Preserve: Areas designated for the protection and sustaining of wildlife habitat in which human activities are limited and the natural environment is protected.


Residential uses include living accommodations on a primarily non-transient basis or institutional living basis, but excluding those providing forced residence such as prisons or detention centers.

  1. Apartment: A structure containing three (3) or more housing units with private bath and kitchen facilities comprising a series of independent, self-contained housing units in a single building. See also: Multiple Family Residential
  2. Condominium Residential: The use of a site for three (3) or more multiple family residential housing units intended for separate ownership, together with common area serving all of the housing units; whereas the structure, common areas and facilities are owned by all of the owners on a proportional, undivided basis.
  3. Family Home (as per Chapter 414.22 Iowa Code): A community based residential home which is licensed as a residential care facility under Chapter 135C, Iowa Code, or as a child foster care facility under Chapter 237, Iowa Code, to provide room and board, personal care, habilitation services, and supervision in a family environment exclusively for not more than eight (8) persons with a developmental disability or brain injury and any necessary support personnel. However, family home does not mean an individual foster care family home licensed under Chapter 237.
  4. Group Residential: The residential occupancy of living accommodations by groups of more than five (5) persons not defined as a family on a weekly or longer basis. Typical uses include but are not limited to fraternity or sorority houses, dormitories, or residence halls.
  5. Guest House: A guest house is a separate accessory structure or portion thereof which is used by members of the family residing in the primary dwelling or for non-paying guests or employees on the property. A Guest House shall be a temporary place of residence and shall not be used for boarders. Although this zoning ordinance only permits one single family dwelling per property, the Guest House is a special exception to this rule.
  6. Mobile Home or Manufactured Housing: The residential occupancy of mobile homes or manufactured housing by families on a weekly or longer basis. Mobile or manufactured housing is created and assembled in a factory and can be classified as temporary or permanently built. Mobile or manufactured homes are designed to be moved from one place to another with ease.
  7. Multiple Family Residential: The use of a site for three (3) or more housing units, within one or more buildings.
  8. Personal Recreational Facilities (as an accessory use to residential uses): Recreational uses and facilities provided as an accessory use on the same lot as the principal use and intended to be used primarily by the occupants of the principal use and their guests. Such facilities may include but not limited to swimming pools, trampolines, play equipment, swings and slides.
  9. Relocated Residential: An existing, previously inhabited residential structure intended for occupancy, which is moved into the community from a location outside of Rock Valley, or an existing residential dwelling relocated from another location from within the community to a new residential site. A relocated residential dwelling does not include the moving of a new manufactured, modular or mobile home into the city. Relocated residential properties shall submit a route plan, photographs of the building to be moved, and a house mover permit and zoning permit prior to moving a building or structure into Rock Valley. Such relocated dwellings shall also obtain a house mover permit in accordance with Chapter 123 of the Rock Valley Code.
  10. Residential Convenience Service: A use or activity of a commercial nature conducted as an accessory use to multiple family residential, mobile home park or manufactured housing community uses, and intended solely for the convenience of residents thereof. Typical uses may be permitted by conditional use within the above mentioned districts and include but are not limited to eatery, café, health club, barbershop/stylist, post office substation, or other appropriate and incidental uses as determined by the Board of Adjustment.
  11. Residential Healthcare Facilities: Includes residential care services, intermediate care facility or skilled nursing home.
    1. Residential Care Services: A use, other than a hospital, nursing or convalescent facility, providing care for ambulatory persons in a residential environment, including overnight occupancy or extended care.
    2. Assisted Living Facility: Residences for primarily senior or retired persons that provide dwelling units, housekeeping services, meals, personal care, and supervision of self- administered medication. Assisted living facilities may also provide other services such as recreational activities, financial services, and transportation. These facilities are sometimes combined with other types of housing such as congregate housing or senior housing.
    3. Nursing or Convalescent Facility: A building or structure having accommodations and where care is provided for invalid, infirmed, aged, convalescent, or physically disabled or injured persons, not of the immediate family are received, kept and provided with food, and shelter for compensation. This shall not include facilities for the insane, mental or contagious persons.
  12. Single Family Residential: The use of a site for only one (1) single family housing unit.
  13. Townhouse Residential: The use of a site for three (3) or more housing units, constructed with common or adjacent fire-resistant walls; each located on a separate parcel within the total development site.
  14. Two Family Residential (also duplex or twin home): The use of a site for two (2) housing units within a single building separated from each other by a vertical common wall, and located on a single lot or parcel.


Commercial uses include the sale, rental, service, and distribution of goods; and the provision of services other than those classified as industrial or civic uses.

  1. Administrative and Business Offices: Offices of private firms or organizations primarily used for the provision of executive, management, or administrative services. Typical uses include but not limited to administrative and professional offices including real estate, insurance, lawyers, engineers, architects, property management, investment, personnel, travel, secretarial, telemarketing, photocopying, etc.
  2. Agricultural Sales and Services: Places of business engaged in sale from the premises of feed, grain, fertilizers, pesticides and similar goods or services with incidental storage on lots other than where the service is rendered. Typical uses include but are not limited to nurseries, hay, feed and grain stores, and tree service firms.
  3. Automotive Rentals: Rental of automobiles, noncommercial trucks, trailers, and recreational vehicles. Typical uses include but are not limited to auto rental agencies, trailer rental agencies, and taxicab parking and dispatching.
  4. Automotive Repair Services: Repair of automobiles, noncommercial truck, motorcycles, motor homes, recreational vehicles or boats, including the sale, installation, and servicing of equipment and parts. Typical uses include but are not limited to new and used car dealerships, motorcycle, boat, trailer, and recreational vehicle dealerships.
  5. Automotive Sales: Sales or rental of automobiles, noncommercial truck, motorcycles, motor homes, recreational vehicles or boats, including incidental storage, maintenance, and servicing. Typical uses include but not limited to new and used car dealerships, motorcycle dealerships, and boat, trailer, and recreational vehicle dealerships.
  6. Automotive Washing: Washing and cleaning of automobiles, related light equipment, recreation vehicles, and trucks. Typical uses include but are not limited to auto laundries, car washes, or truck washes. Does not include large truck cleanouts or wash outs.
  7. Bar: Any use, building or facility engaged in the serving or retail sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises. Typical uses include but are not limited to cocktail lounges, taverns, night clubs and similar uses.
  8. Building Maintenance Services: Establishments primarily engaged in the provision of maintenance and custodial services to firms rather than individuals. Typical uses include but are not limited to janitorial, landscape maintenance, or window cleaning services.
  9. Business Support Services: Establishments or businesses primarily engaged in the sale, rental or repair of equipment and supplies used by office, professional and service establishments; but exclude automotive, construction and farm equipment. Typical uses include but are not limited to office equipment, machine repair or hotel equipment and supply.
  10. Business or Trade School: A use providing education or training in business, commerce, language, or other similar activity or occupational pursuit, and not otherwise defined as a home occupation, college or university, or public or private educational facility.
  11. Commercial Auction Yards and Barns: A place or structure where primarily, but not exclusively, livestock, fowl, poultry, other animals, and hay or other agricultural commodities are offered for sale to persons who bid in competition with each other.
  12. Commercial Off-Street Parking: Parking of motor vehicles on a temporary basis within privately owned off-street parking facility, other than accessory to a principal use. Uses include commercial parking lots or parking garages.
  13. Commercial Recreation: Establishments or places primarily engaged in the provision of sports, entertainment, or recreation for participants or spectators.
    1. Indoor Entertainment and Recreation: Uses conducted within an enclosed building. Typical uses include but are not limited to bowling alleys, billiard parlors, ice and roller skating rinks, arcades, motion picture theatres, dance halls, etc.
    2. Outdoor Entertainment and Recreation: Uses conducted in open, partially enclosed or screened facilities. Typical uses include but are not limited to sporting arenas, pools, tennis or racquetball courts, racing/go-kart track, amusement park, drive-in theatre, or driving range.
  14. Communications Services: Establishments primarily engaged in the provision of broadcasting and information relay services accomplished through the use of electronic and telephonic mechanisms but exclude those classified as Major Utility Facilities. Typical uses include but are not limited to telecommunication services; radio, television, cellular and other similar receiving antennas, towers, or structures; and fiber optic lines and transmission facilities.
  15. Condominium or Business Storage Unit: A building or series of buildings in which the storage units or floor area is owned independently; and whereas the structure and property is owned by all of the owners on a proportional, undivided basis or by single or business ownership. These storage units are designed for individually owned, rented, leased or sub-let indoor storage of RVs, boats, watercrafts, snowmobiles, motorcycles, automobiles, antiques, toys, trailers, record storage or other similar uses. Condominium storage must be designed in a way that each unit maintains a separate entrance. Condominium storage units shall not be used to conduct business or be the location for any business, establishment or occupation.
  16. Construction Sales and Services: Establishments or places of business primarily engaged in construction activities and incidental storage on lots other than construction sites as well as the retail or wholesale, from the premises, of materials used in construction of building or other structures other than retail sale of paint, fixtures and hardware; but excludes those classified as one of the Automotive and Equipment Services use types. Typical uses include but are not limited to building materials stores, tool and equipment rental or sales, or building contractors.
  17. Consumer Repair Services: Establishments primarily engaged in repair services to individuals or households rather than firms, but excluding automotive and equipment uses. Typical uses include but not are limited to appliance repair, watch/jewelry repair, computer repair or instrument repair.
  18. Convenience Storage: Storage services primarily for personal effects and household goods within enclosed storage areas having individual access, but excluding use as workshops, hobby shops, manufacturing, or commercial activity. Typical uses include but are not limited to mini-storage.
  19. Convenience Store: An establishment engaged in the retail sale of food and household products, including gasoline. The repair, storage or servicing of vehicles shall be prohibited.
  20. Equipment Repair Services: Repair of trucks, tractors, construction equipment, agricultural implements, and similar heavy equipment. Typical uses include but are not limited to truck repair and farm implement repair services, and machine shops, but exclude dismantling or salvage.
  21. Equipment Sales: Sale or rental of trucks, tractors, construction equipment, agricultural implements, mobile homes and similar heavy equipment, including incidental storage, maintenance, and servicing. Typical uses include but are not limited to truck dealerships, construction equipment dealerships, farm implement dealerships and mobile home sales.
  22. Financial Services: Establishments primarily engaged in the provision of financial and banking services. Typical uses include but are not limited to banks, savings and loan institutions, loan and lending activities, and similar services.
  23. Funeral Services: Establishments engaged in undertaking services such as preparing the human dead for burial and arranging and managing funerals. Typical uses include but are not limited to funeral homes, crematoriums or mortuaries.
  24. General Retail Sales: Sale or rental of commonly used goods, and merchandise for personal or household use, but excludes those classified more specifically in this section inclusive. Typical uses include but are not limited to department stores, apparel stores, furniture stores, grocery stores, meat markets, retail bakeries, delis, café’s, or establishments providing the following products or services: household cleaning and maintenance products; drugs, cards, stationery, notions, books, tobacco products, cosmetics, and specialty items; flowers, plants, hobby materials, toys and handcrafted items; apparel, jewelry, fabrics, and like items; cameras, photography services, household electronic equipment, records, sporting equipment, kitchen utensils, home furnishing and appliances, art supplies and framing, arts and antiques, paint and wallpaper, carpeting and floor covering, interior decorating services, office supplies; bicycles; and automotive parts and accessories (excluding service and installation)
  25. Golf Course: Land area and buildings containing golf courses and incidental associated uses such as club house, restaurant and lounge, swimming pool, tennis courts, etc.
  26. Hospital Services: A facility providing medical, psychiatric, or surgical services for sick or injured persons primarily on an inpatient and emergency treatment, diagnostic services, training, research, administration, and services to patients, employees, or visitors. Additionally, this definition includes those support or accessory commercial & retail uses located within the same building as the principal hospital or medical use.
  27. Kennel, public: Any establishment in which dogs, cats or the usual domesticated animals at least six months of age are housed, groomed, bred, boarded, trained, or sold for business purposes and for a fee or compensation. Typical uses include but are not limited to boarding kennels, pet motels, dog training centers, or private in-home animal breeding for profit.
  28. Kennel, private: A structure including a fenced-in area or series of enclosures intended for the keeping, housing and general care of the usual domesticated and household animals, not including livestock, at least six months of age; and where no fee or compensation is received.
  29. Laundry Sales: Establishments primarily engaged in the provision of laundering, dry cleaning, or dyeing services other than those classified as Personal Services. Typical uses include but are not limited to bulk laundry and cleaning facilities, diaper services, or linen supply services.
  30. Liquor Sales: Establishments or places of business engaged in retail sale for consumption off the premises of alcoholic beverages. Typical uses include but are not limited to liquor stores, bottle shops, or any licensed sales for off-site consumption.
  31. Medical Clinics/Offices: A use providing consultation, diagnosis, therapeutic, preventative, or corrective personal treatment services by doctors, dentists, medical and dental laboratories, and similar practitioners of medical and healing arts licensed for practice by the State of Iowa.
  32. Personal Improvement Services: Establishments primarily engaged in the provision of informational, instructional, personal improvement and similar services of nonprofessional nature. Typical uses include but are not limited to photography studios, driving schools, health or physical fitness studios, dance studios, or hobby instruction.
  33. Personal Services: Establishments or places of business primarily engaged in the provision of frequently or recurrently needed services of a personal nature. Typical uses include but are not limited to beauty and barbershops, tailor, shoe repair, laundromat, apparel services, tanning, tattoo parlors, piercing studios or massage parlors.
  34. Pet Services: Retail sales and grooming of dogs, cats, birds, fish, and similar small animals customarily used as household pets. Typical uses include but are not limited to pet stores, animal bathing facilities, or pet grooming shops.
  35. Restaurant: A use engaged in the preparation and retail sales of food and beverages, including sale of alcoholic beverages when conducted as an accessory or secondary feature and producing less than 50 percent of the gross income. A restaurant may include live entertainment. Typical uses include but are not limited to restaurants, bar & grills, sandwich shops, cafes, coffee shops, and other similar establishments.
  36. Service Station: Any building or property used for the retail sale of fuel, lubricants, parts and accessories, and incidental services to motor vehicles, but not for the purpose of making other than minor repairs. When the dispensing or retail sale of products becomes incidental to the conduct of a commercial garage, the property shall be classified as an Automotive Repair Service.
  37. Vehicle Storage: Long term storage of operating or non-operating vehicles including but not limited to automobiles, trucks, heavy equipment, motorcycles, boats, recreation vehicles, and any other motor powered vehicles. Typical uses include but are not limited to storage of private parking lots, paid long term storage lots, tow-a-ways or impound yards, but excludes dismantling or salvage.
  38. Veterinary Services: Veterinary services for animals. Typical uses include but are not limited to pet clinics, dog and cat hospitals, and veterinary hospitals.
  39. Visitor Habitation: Establishments primarily engaged in the provision of lodging on a temporary basis with incidental food, drink and other sales and services intended for the convenience of guests. The following are visitor habitation use types:
    1. Campground: Facilities or an area providing spaces for two (2) or more travel trailers, recreational vehicles, camping trailers, or tent sites for temporary occupancy with necessary incidental services, sanitation and recreation facilities to serve the traveling public. Typical uses include but are not limited to campgrounds or recreational vehicle parks.
    2. Hotel or Motel: A building or group of buildings containing guest rooms primarily intended for temporary occupancy to transient guests for compensation and provides parking for the guests. Other such accessory uses associated with a hotel or motel may include a swimming pool, restaurant, conference rooms, management office and quarters for personnel.
    3. Bed & Breakfast Inn: A private, owner-occupied residential dwelling unit, or portion thereof where short term lodging and meals are provided for guests for rent to the general public. In any residential district, the only meal to be provided to guests is breakfast and it shall only be served to those taking lodging in the facility. Individual units designed as rentals shall contain no cooking facilities.
    4. Boarding House: A building other than a hotel or motel where, for compensation, lodging is provided on a temporary basis. Furthermore, any dwelling, whether single family or multifamily residential, which is rented on a weekly or daily basis or any number of days less than on a monthly basis shall be considered a Boarding House by definition.
  40. Wind Energy Device: Any device such as a wind charger, windmill, wind turbine or wind generator which converts wind energy to a form of useable energy.


Industrial uses include the on-site extraction or production of goods by methods not agricultural, and the storage and distribution of products.

  1. Biotechnology Production and/or Manufacturing: Facilities, warehouses, and production or assembly plants engaged in the active production, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of products generally associated with the fields of animal or human biotechnology.
  2. Bulk Stations: Distributing stations commonly known as bulk or tank stations used for the storage and distribution of flammable liquids or liquefied petroleum products where the aggregate capacity of all storage tanks is more than twelve thousand (12,000) gallons.
  3. Custom Manufacturing: Establishments primarily engaged in the on-site production of goods by hand manufacturing which involves the use of hand tools or mechanical equipment and the incidental direct sale to consumers of only those goods produced on-site. Typical uses include but not limited to ceramic studios, candle making shops, glass blowing or custom jewelry.
  4. Fertilizer or Chemical Storage or Processing: Those uses which promote the sale, storage, transfer or processing of agricultural, industrial or other chemicals used primarily as fertilizers for agricultural purposes.
  5. Fuel Storage: The storage of any fuel source in above ground or below ground tanks for purposes of distribution, storage, or for sale. Such uses may include, but are not limited to gasoline storage facilities, companies that sell or store propane, or natural gas storage sites.
  6. Heavy Industry: A use engaged in the processing and manufacturing of materials or products predominantly from extracted or raw materials, or a use engaged in storage of, or manufacturing processes utilizing flammable or explosive materials; or storage or manufacturing processes which potentially involve hazardous or commonly recognized offensive conditions.
  7. Light Industry: A use engaged in the manufacture, predominantly from previously prepared materials, of finished products or parts, including processing, fabrication, assembly, treatment, and packaging of such products, and incidental storage, sales, and distribution of such products, but excluding heavy industrial processing.
  8. Railroad Facilities: A rail transportation use of which may include but are not limited to rail yards, equipment servicing facilities, loading and unloading facilities and rail terminal facilities.
  9. Renewable Energy/Renewable Resources Industries: Those industries or businesses engaged in use of products that are sustainable in the environment or in harnessing or capturing of renewable resources for energy purposes. Typical uses include but are not limited to biofuels, biomass, wind energy, solar energy, hydro power, and geothermal.
  10. Research and Production Services: Establishments primarily engaged in research of an industrial or scientific nature, including animal or human products testing. Typical uses include but are not limited to animal or human research laboratories, research and development firms, or animal or human pharmaceutical research labs.
  11. Resource Extraction: A use involving the on-site extraction of surface mineral products or natural resources. Typical extractive uses include but are not limited to quarries, borrow pits, sand and gravel operations, oil and gas extraction, and mining operations.
  12. Sanitary Landfill: An area of land designated for the disposal of garbage, refuse, waste, rubbish, and other solid or semisolid materials, of which are buried between layers of earth.
  13. Scrap and Salvage Services: Places of business primarily engaged in the storage, sale, dismantling or other processing of used or waste materials which are not intended for reuse. Typical uses include but are not limited to automotive scarp or storage yards, junk or salvage yards.
  14. Stockyards: Services or place of business involving the temporary keeping of livestock for slaughter, market or shipping. Typical uses include but are not limited to animal stockyards or animal sales establishments. This definition does not include a meat market or meat locker which may include the incidental slaughter of animals for packaging and retail sale.
  15. Warehousing and Distribution: Establishments or places of business primarily engaged in wholesaling, storage, distribution and handling of materials and equipment other than live animals and plants. The following are warehousing use types:
    1. Limited Warehousing and Distribution: Wholesaling, storage and warehousing services within enclosed structures. Typical uses include but are not limited to wholesale distributors, storage warehouses or moving and storage firms.
    2. General Warehousing and Distribution: Open-air storage, distribution and handling of materials and equipment. Typical uses include but are not limited to grain elevators or open storage yards.


Civic uses include the performance of utility, educational, recreational, cultural, medical, public safety, governmental, and other uses which are strongly vested with public or social importance.

  1. Aviation Facilities: Landing fields, aircraft parking and service facilities, and related facilities for operation, service, fueling, repair, storage, charter, sales, and rental of aircraft.
  2. Cemetery: Land used or intended to be used for the burial of the dead and dedicated for cemetery purposes including columbiums, crematoriums, mausoleums and mortuaries when operated in conjunction with and within the boundary of such cemetery.
  3. Club or Lodge: A use providing meeting, recreational, or social facilities for private or non-profit association, primarily for use by members and guests.
  4. Cultural Services: A library, museum, art gallery, or similar nonprofit use affording display, preservation and exhibition of objects of permanent interest in the arts and sciences.
  5. Daycare Center: A facility, or use of a building or portion thereof, for daytime care of seven (7) or more individuals, or as specified by the State of Iowa. This term may include day care centers for children or adults, and similar respite type uses.
  6. Detention Facilities: Any use providing housing and care for individuals confined by law.
  7. Educational Facilities: Any public, private, or parochial school offering educational instruction.
  8. Government/Public Services: Offices, administrative, clerical, governmental, or public services that deal directly with the citizen. Typical uses include but are not limited to federal, state, county, and city offices, postal facilities, or other organizations directly benefiting the general public.
  9. Local Utility Services: Essential services which are necessary to support principal development and involve only minor structures such as lines and poles.
  10. Major Utility Facilities: Generating plants, electrical switching facilities and primary substations, refuse collection or disposal facilities, water and wastewater treatment plants and similar facilities of public use, and firms having a potentially significant impact upon surrounding uses
  11. Military Installations: Military facilities of federal or state governments.
  12. Park and Recreation Services: Publicly owned and operated parks, playgrounds, open spaces, and swimming pools.
  13. Pre-Kindergarten, Preschool, or Nursery School: An establishment enrolling children where tuition or other forms of compensation for the care of children is charged, and which is licensed or approved to operate as an educational facility for children.
  14. Public Assembly: Publicly owned or operated facilities for major public assembly, recreation, sports, amusement or entertainment, including civic or community auditoriums, sports stadiums, convention facilities, fairgrounds, and exhibition facilities.
  15. Religious Assembly: A use located in a permanent building and providing regular organized religious worship and religious education incidental thereto, excluding educational facilities.
  16. Safety Services: Facilities for public safety and emergency services, including police and fire protection services and emergency medical and ambulance services.
  17. Treatment Services: A use providing counseling, guidance, recuperative, or similar services to persons requiring rehabilitation assistance as a result of mental illness, alcoholism, detention, drug addiction, or similar condition on a residential or daytime basis.


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