Article 21. Zoning Enforcement

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Section 21.1. ZONING ADMINISTRATOR.

The purpose of this section is for the City of Rock Valley, Iowa to appoint or confirm a Zoning Administrator. It shall be the primary duty of said Zoning Administrator to enforce this ordinance. The role of city’s Zoning Administrator is to provide and review zoning permits for the construction of new buildings and structures, to act as a liaison between the city and public or developers related to zoning matters, and to enforce the provisions of this ordinance to ensure the city’s zoning laws are followed. The Zoning Administrator is also given the responsibility of serving as the recording secretary for the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment, and will act on the city’s behalf in matters being reviewed before these boards. The Zoning Administrator may be a person holding other appointive office in the city, or another governmental agency. The term of appointment for the Zoning Administrator shall be set by the City Council. Once the Zoning Administrator is appointed by City Council that appointment becomes perpetual until such further decision and notification is made by City Council. Termination of the Zoning Administrator and/or certain duties or responsibilities shall also be upon consideration and discretion of the City Council.

 

Section 21.2. ZONING COMPLIANCE.

If the Zoning Administrator shall find that any of the provisions of this ordinance are being violated, they shall notify in writing the person responsible for such violations indicating the nature of the violation and ordering the action necessary to correct it. The Zoning Administrator shall order discontinuance of illegal use of land, buildings, or structures; removal of illegal buildings or structures or of additions, alterations or structural changes thereto; discontinuance of any illegal work being done, or shall take any other action authorized by this ordinance to insure compliance with or to prevent violation of its provisions.

 

Section 21.3. ZONING PERMITS REQUIRED.

No buildings or structures shall be occupied in whole or in part for any purpose whatsoever and no buildings, structures, parking lots, fences or signs shall hereafter be erected, moved, placed, constructed or structurally altered until a permit is issued by the Zoning Administrator. Zoning permits shall be issued in conformance with the provisions of this ordinance, or upon written order from the Board of Adjustment, but shall be null and void if the purpose for which the permit is issued is not commenced within one (1) year from date of issuance. Typically, a zoning permit is not issued for demolition activities. The City of Rock Valley may have a separate demolition permit which may need to be completed and submitted to the city prior to demolition activities.

 

Section 21.4. APPLICATION FOR ZONING PERMIT.

Application for zoning permits may be obtained from City Hall. Prior to starting or proceeding with a project, including construction of parking lots, fences or erection of signs and billboards, a zoning permit must be issued. The application shall state the name and address of the owner of the proposed improvement or project and owner of the land upon which it is to be erected, constructed, altered or moved. Other building projects including sheds, outbuildings, decks, patios, and other yard structures; although not necessarily required to submit a site plan shall file a zoning permit and appropriate drawings or sketches to ensure setback distances and compliance with the provisions of this ordinance. Approved permits shall be kept on file in the office of the Zoning Administrator, and are available for public inspection. Copies of zoning permits shall be furnished upon request, but may include a fee for copying and administrative expenses. Zoning permits shall be reviewed and a decision to approve, deny or request for additional information shall be provided to complying applicants within ten (10) days after application is made. Each zoning permit application for new construction of residential, commercial or industrial buildings shall be accompanied by a site plan prepared in accordance with Article 14. In the case of a house mover permit, the permit application shall be accompanied by a photo of the structure to be moved. In the case of demolition of any existing dwelling or commercial/industrial buildings in Rock Valley, a demolition permit application must be completed and submitted to the Zoning Administrator for approval.

 

Section 21.5. CONSTRUCTION & USE TO BE AS APPROVED IN APPLICATION, PLANS & PERMIT.

Zoning permits issued on the basis of plans and applications, approved by the Zoning Administrator, authorize only that use, arrangement and construction. Use, arrangement and construction at variance with that authorized shall be deemed a violation of this ordinance and punishable as provided by Section 22.1.

 

Section 21.6. FEES.

The City Council shall establish, by resolution, zoning fees to be applied to zoning permits and appeals pursuant to this zoning ordinance. Before receiving a zoning permit the owner or the owner’s agent shall pay to the city the permit fee as provided by resolution of the council. Tax levying governmental agencies shall be exempt from paying any scheduled fees. Fees for zoning permits issued after construction has begun shall double in cost as a penalty for not complying with the city’s zoning permit process.

 

Section 21.7. CONDITIONAL USES.

The Zoning Administrator may issue a zoning permit for a conditional use only after review, approval and upon order of the Board of Adjustment.

 

Section 21.8. APPEALS AGAINST THE ZONING ADMINISTRATOR.

This procedure is intended to afford review of administrative actions taken pursuant to the zoning ordinance where such actions may be in error. Appeals to the Board of Adjustment concerning interpretation or administration of these ordinances by the Zoning Administrator may be taken by any person aggrieved or by any public officer, board, bureau, corporation or others affected by a decision of the Zoning Administrator. Such appeals should be taken within 30 days of the action by filing with the Zoning Administrator and with the City Clerk a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof. The Zoning Administrator shall forthwith transmit to the Board of Adjustment all papers constituting the record from which the action appealed was taken. A concurring vote of at least three (3) members of the Board shall be necessary to approve, modify or reverse any decision or action of the Zoning Administrator, even in the instance of absentee members or in conflicts of interest.

The Board of Adjustment shall fix a reasonable time (typically no more than 30 days) to conduct a hearing of appeal, give public notices thereof, as well as due notice to the parties of interest, and render a decision on the appeal or application. At the hearing any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney. The Board of Adjustment shall make written findings of fact and conclusions on all issues presented in any adjudicatory proceeding. In exercising the powers set out in this section, the Board of Adjustment may, in conformity with the provisions of this ordinance, reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision, or determination appealed from; and to that end shall have all the powers of the Zoning Administrator from which the appeal was taken. The Board shall notify the appellant of its decision. A fee to be determined by resolution of the City Council shall be paid to the Zoning Administrator at the time the notice of appeal is filed.

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