Article 3. Zoning Districts Established

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 City Council shall cause to be prepared and approved, an official zoning districts map showing the various districts, which may be changed or corrected from time to time as recommended by the Planning Commission and enacted by the City Council. For the purpose and intent of this ordinance the City of Rock Valley, Iowa, is hereby divided into zoning districts or zones as follows:

AG Agricultural District CN Conservation District
R-1 Single Family Residential District R-2 Multi-Family Residential District R-3 Suburban Residential
R-4 Mobile Home District
C-1 General Commercial District C-2 Arterial Commercial District I-1 Light Industrial District
I-2 Heavy Industrial District



The boundaries of these districts are indicated and established as shown upon maps designated as the official zoning map of Rock Valley, Iowa, which, with all the notations, designations, references, and other matters shown thereon, shall be as much a part of this zoning ordinance as if fully described and set forth herein. Amendments, supplements, or changes of the boundaries of districts as shown on the official zoning map shall be made by an ordinance amending this zoning ordinance. The amending ordinance shall refer to the official zoning map and shall set out the identification of the area affected by legal description, and identify the zoning district as the same exists and the new district designation applicable to said property. Said ordinance shall, after adoption and publication, be recorded by the Sioux County Recorder as other ordinances and a certified copy thereof be attached to the official zoning map. Such amendatory ordinance shall, however, not repeal or reenact said map, but only amend it. The official zoning map, together with amending ordinances, shall be the final authority as to the current zoning status of land areas, buildings, and other structures in the city.

The official zoning map shall be on file in a convenient place in the municipal office of the City of Rock Valley and all references hereafter to said official map described hereinabove. In the event that the official zoning map becomes damaged, destroyed, lost or difficult to interpret because of use or the nature of a number of changes and additions, the City Council may, by resolution, adopt a new official zoning map which shall supersede the prior zoning map. The new official zoning map may correct drafting or other errors or omissions in the prior map, but no such corrections shall have the effect of amending the original official zoning map or any subsequent amendments thereof.


Where uncertainty exists as to a district’s boundaries as shown on the official zoning map, the following rules shall apply.

  1. Boundaries indicated as approximately following the center lines of streets, highways, alleys or other public right-of-ways shall be construed to follow such center lines.
  2. Boundaries indicated as approximately following platted lot lines shall be construed as following such lot lines.
  3. Boundaries indicated as approximately following section lines, quarter section lines, or quarter- quarter section lines shall be construed as following such lines.
  4. Boundaries indicated as approximately following city limits shall be construed as following such city limits.
  5. Boundaries indicated as approximately following railroad lined or railroad rights-of-way shall be construed to at the center the tracks or the center of the right-of-way.
  6. Boundaries indicated as approximately following the center line of streams, rivers, canals, lakes or other bodies of water shall be construed as following such center lines.
  7. Boundaries indicated as parallel to or extensions of features indicated in subsections 1-6 above shall be so construed. Distances not specifically indicated on the official zoning map shall be determined by the scale of the map.
  8. Where physical or cultural features existing on the ground are at variance with those shown on the official zoning map, or in other circumstances not covered by subsection 1-6 above, the Board of Adjustment shall interpret the district boundaries.



Whenever any road, street, or other public right-of-way is vacated by the official action of the City Council, the zoning district(s) adjoining each side of such road or public right-of-way shall automatically extend to the center of such vacation and all area included in such vacation shall then and henceforth be subject to all appropriate regulations of the extended district.



Any land annexed into the City of Rock Valley, after the effective date of this ordinance shall be automatically assigned the (AG) Agriculture District. All newly annexed lands shall remain such zoning classification until such time the annexed land may be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Commission make a recommendation of which zoning district shall be most applicable to the annexed land. The City Council shall then make the determination of the zoning classification that best depicts the city’s zoning based on the current use of the land.


Except as herein provided:

  1. No buildings or structures or parts thereof shall be erected, constructed, reconstructed, remodeled, converted, altered, enlarged, extended, raised, moved or used; nor shall any land or building be used except in conformity with the regulations herein prescribed by this ordinance for the district in which such building or land is located. No construction or building activity of any kind may start until a zoning permit is issued by the Zoning Administrator.
  2. The principal building on a lot shall front on a street or public place.
  3. No yard or lot existing at the time of passage of this ordinance shall be reduced in dimension or area below the minimum required by this ordinance. No yard, off-street parking or loading space, or other open space provided about any building, structure or use for the purpose of complying with the provisions of this ordinance shall be considered as providing a yard, off-street parking or loading space, or open space for any other building, structure, or use.
  4. The depths of front yards or rear yards and width of side yards shall be measured from the lot line to the nearest point of the building wall or supporting structural elements of the building under consideration.
  5. No lot shall hereafter be so reduced in the area that any required yard, court or other open space will be smaller than is prescribed in this ordinance for the district in which it is located.
  6. Every building or structure erected or structurally altered, after the effective date of this ordinance, shall be located on a lot or parcel as herein defined by this ordinance.
  7. In no case shall there be more than one (1) single family dwelling located upon one (1) lot unless otherwise permitted by this ordinance.
  8. Any portion of a building that is covered by a roof shall be considered a part of the building.
  9. No building shall be erected or structurally altered to the extent specifically provided hereinafter except in conformity with the off-street parking and loading regulations of this ordinance.
  10. These regulations shall be required in addition to any applicable federal, state and city health and building regulations.


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