Article 23. Planning & Zoning Commission

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.


The members of the Rock Valley Planning and Zoning Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission, are hereby confirmed to continue their appointed terms of office. The Commission shall consist of five (5) members, each appointed by the Mayor, subject to the approval by the City Council. The members shall not hold any elective office in the City government. Members of the Planning Commission shall be appointed to terms of five (5) years. The member’s terms of appointment should be staggered so that no more than two (2) member’s terms expire in the same years. Members of the Planning Commission shall serve without pay and may be removed from the Commission for cause, upon written charges, and after a public hearing. Vacancies shall be filled by the City Council for the unexpired term of any member whose seat becomes vacant. Absences by any member of the Planning Commission for three (3) consecutive meetings without prior excuse from the Chairperson or City Administrator shall be deemed as sufficient cause for removal. (Code of Iowa, Sec.414.6, 414.23 & 392.1)


Section 23.2. TERMS OF OFFICE.

The term of office of the members of the Commission shall be five (5) years. The terms of not more than one-third of the members will expire in any one (1) year. Members of the Commission may be removed from office by the City Council for cause upon written charges and after a public hearing. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)


Section 23.3. VACANCIES.

If any vacancy exists on the Commission caused by resignation, or otherwise, a successor for the unexpired term shall be appointed by the City Council in the same manner as the original appointee. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)



The Commission shall adopt rules necessary to the conduct of its affairs, and in keeping with the Commission’s responsibilities as outlined in this Article. Meetings shall be held at the call of the chairperson and at such other times as the Commission may determine. The chairperson, or in the chairperson’s absence the acting chairperson, may direct the meetings. All meetings shall be open to the public. The Commission shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the vote of each member upon each action, of if absent or failing to vote indicating such fact. The Commission shall also keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be made available for public inspection. The presence of five (5) voting members shall constitute a quorum. A quorum may be achieved and verbal communication to vote shall be counted by phone, teleconferencing or other verbal electronic means. The votes of all members, including members calling in from another location, shall be recorded in the official minutes of the meeting.


Section 23.5. COMPENSATION.

All members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, except their actual expenses, which shall be subject to the approval of the City Council. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)


Section 23.6. POWERS AND DUTIES.

The Planning & Zoning Commission shall have and exercise the following powers and duties and other such powers as may be incidental to the successful carrying out of the powers invested herein.

SELECTION OF OFFICERS. The Commission shall choose annually at its first regular meeting one of its members to act as Chairperson and another as Vice Chairperson, who shall perform all the duties of the Chairperson during the Chairperson’s absence or disability. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)

ADOPT RULES AND REGLATIONS. The Commission shall adopt such rules and regulations governing its organization and procedure as it may deem necessary. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)

ZONING ORDINANCE. The Commission shall have and exercise all the powers and duties and privileges in preparing and establishing the city zoning regulations and other related matters and may from time to time recommend to the council amendments supplements, changes or modifications, all as provided by Chapter 414 of the Code of Iowa. To this end the Commission shall prepare preliminary reports and hold public meetings thereon and after such hearings have been held, to submit its final reports and recommendations to the City Council for approval. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)

RECOMMENDATIONS OF IMPROVEMENTS. No statuary, memorial or work of art in a public place, and no building, bridge, viaduct, street fixtures, public structure or appurtenances, shall be located or erected, or site thereof obtained, nor shall any permit be issued by any department of the City for the erection or location thereof until and unless the design and proposed location of any such improvement shall be been submitted to the Commission and its recommendations thereon obtained, except such requirements and recommendations shall not act as a stay upon action for any such improvement when the Commission after thirty (30) days’ written notice requesting such recommendations, shall have failed to file the same. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)

PLANS (COMPREHENSIVE PLAN). To make such surveys, studies, maps, plans, or plats of the whole or any portion of the City and of any land outside thereof, which in the opinion of such Commission bears relation to a comprehensive plan, and shall submit such plan to the Council with its studies and recommendations and it may publish the same. Furthermore, the Commission shall recommend to the Council, from time to time, as conditions require, amendments, supplements, changes, or modifications in the comprehensive plan.

REVIEW OF SUBDIVISION PLATS. All plans, plats, or re-plats of subdivision or re- subdivisions of land embraced in the City or adjacent thereto, laid out in lots or plats with streets, alleys, or other portions of the same intended to be dedicated to the public in the City, shall first be submitted to the Commission and its recommendations obtained before approval by the Council. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)

REVIEW AND COMMENT ON STREET AND PARK IMPROVEMENTS. No plan for any street, park, parkway, boulevard, traffic-way, river front, or other public improvement affecting the City plan shall be finally approved by the City or the character or location thereof determined, unless such proposal shall first have been submitted to the Commission and the Commission shall have had thirty (30) days within which to file its recommendations thereon. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)

TRENDS. The Commission is granted the responsibility and authority to study trends of development in industrial, physical and social aspects of the community and make such reports to the City Council as it may deem necessary.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITIES. The Commission shall have the full, complete and exclusive authority to expend for an on behalf of the City all sums of money appropriated to it, and to use and expend all gifts, donations or payments whatsoever which are received by the City for City planning and zoning purposes. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)

LIMITATIONS ON ENTERING CONTRACTS. The Commission shall have no power to contract debts beyond the amount of its original or amended appropriation as approved by the Council for the present year. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)

ANNUAL REPORT. The Commission may make a report to the Mayor and Council of its proceedings, upon request. The report shall include a full statement of its receipts, disbursements and the progress of work during the preceding fiscal year. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 392.1)



In exercising the above mentioned powers and duties, the Planning and Zoning Commission is granted the responsibility to provide informed and educated recommendations to the City Council or Board of Adjustment on matters under review. The Planning and Zoning Commission may recommend wholly, partly or may modify or request alterations of the original proposal. A concurring vote of the majority of the entire Planning Commission Board shall be necessary in order to further a recommendation to the City Council or Board of Adjustment for consideration.


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