City Ordinances: Chapters 165-170

NOTICE:

This is just a part of the full ordinance document. Find the full, official document at the bottom or click here.

CHAPTER 165: ZONING REGULATIONS

EDITOR’S NOTE
“The Zoning Ordinance of the City of Rock Valley, Iowa,” adopted January 3, 2008, by Ordinance No. 366, and updated by Ordinance No. 455-16 on May 19, 2016 with amendments thereto, contained in a separate volume, are a part of this Code of Ordinances and are in full force and effect.  The following ordinances have been adopted amending the Official Zoning Map of the City and are specifically saved from repeal.
ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. ADOPTED
404-11 April 29, 2011
415-12 September 6, 2012
416-12 August 23, 2012
417-12 August 23, 2012
435-14 June 19, 2014
445-14 November 20, 2014
448-15 February 5, 2015
450-15 June 11, 2015
451-15 September 3, 2015
455-16 May 19, 2016
462-16 December 1, 2016
473-17 December 7, 2017

 

CHAPTER 170: SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS

170.01    PURPOSE.  It is deemed essential to establish minimum standards for the design and development of all new subdivisions so that existing developments will be protected and so that adequate provisions are made for public utilities and other public requirements and to improve the health, safety and general welfare of the public.

170.02    JURISDICTION.  In accordance with the provisions of Section 354.9 of the Code of Iowa, and all amendatory acts thereto, these regulations are adopted by the City governing the subdivision of all lands within the corporate limits of the City and governing subdivision of all lands within two (2) miles of the corporate limits.

170.03    DEFINITIONS.  For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms and words are herein defined:

  1. “Access street” means a street that is parallel to and adjacent to a major thoroughfare or highway; and which provides access to abutting properties and protection from through traffic.
  2. “Block” means an area of land within a subdivision that is entirely bounded by streets, highways, or ways, except alleys; or by streets, highways or ways, except alleys, and the exterior boundary or boundaries of the subdivision.
  3. “Building lines” shall be shown on all lots intended for residential use of any character, and on commercial and industrial lots when required by ordinance. Such building lines shall not be less than required by the Zoning Ordinance.  Where the subdivided area is not under zoning control, the Commission shall require building lines in accordance with the needs of each addition.
  4. “City Engineer” means any duly qualified person or firm designated by the Council.
  5. “Commission” means the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City.
  6. “Collector streets” means those which carry traffic from minor streets to the major system of arterial streets and highways, including the principal entrance streets of a residential development and streets for circulation within such a development.
  7. “Cul-de-sac” means a short, minor street, having one end open to motor traffic, the other end being permanently terminated by a vehicular turn-around.
  8. “Easement” means a grant by the property owner of the use for a specific purpose, of a strip of land by the general public, a corporation, or a certain person or persons, and within the limits of which the owner of the fee shall not erect any permanent structures but shall have the right to make any other use of the land subject to such easement which is not inconsistent with the rights of the grantee. Public utilities shall have the right to trim or remove trees which interfere with the use of such easements.
  9. “Engineer” means a registered engineer authorized to practice civil engineering, as defined by the Registration Act of the State of Iowa.
  10. “Half street” means a one-half width street right-of-way on the boundary of a subdivision dedicated by the subdivider to the City for future development when another subdivision is platted along the side of the half street. Half streets are not permitted in new subdivisions.
  11. “Lot” means a portion of a subdivision or other parcel of land intended for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership or for building development.
  12. “Major thoroughfare” means a street used primarily for fast, large-volume traffic.
  13. “Minor street” means a street used primarily for access to the abutting properties.
  14. “Mobile Home Subdivision” means a subdivision designed according to this chapter and designed only for the location of mobile homes on lots owned by the mobile home owner.
  15. “Performance bond” means a surety bond or cash deposit made out to the City in an amount equal to the full cost of the improvements which are required by this chapter, such cost being estimated by the City Engineer. Said improvements will be constructed in accordance with this chapter.
  16. “Plat” means a map, drawing or chart on which the subdivider’s plan of the subdivision is presented and which the subdivider submits for approval and intends in final form to record.
  17. “Right-of-way” means the area measured between property lines, dedicated to and accepted for public use and providing access to abutting properties.
  18. “Roadway” means that portion of the street available for vehicular traffic, and where curbs are laid, measured from back to back of curbs.
  19. “Subdivision” means the division of land into three (3) or more lots for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership or building development; or any change in existing street lines or public easement. The term, when appropriate to the context, relates to the process of subdividing or to the land subdivided, or the resubdivision of land heretofore divided or platted into lots or other divisions of land, or if a new street is involved, any division of land.
  20. “Surveyor” means a registered surveyor authorized to practice surveying, as defined by the Registration Act of the State of Iowa.

170.04    PRELIMINARY PLAT APPROVAL.  In obtaining preliminary approval of a proposed subdivision by the City, the subdivider shall submit a preliminary plat in accordance with the following order and procedure:

  1. Preliminary Plat Filed. The subdivider shall first prepare and file with the Zoning Administrator four (4) copies of a preliminary plat conforming in detail to the requirements set forth in this chapter.  Eight (8) copies of the preliminary plat shall be submitted for subdivisions within the extraterritorial limits of the City.
  2. The Zoning Administrator shall forthwith refer two (2) copies of the preliminary plat to the Council.  In the case of a subdivision outside the corporate limits of the City, the Zoning Administrator shall refer two (2) copies of the preliminary plat to the County Board of Supervisors and keep the County Zoning Administrator advised of the status of the plat and actions taken thereon.
  3. Review by Council. The Council or their designees shall carefully examine said plat as to its compliance with the laws and ordinances of the City, existing street system, and sound engineering practices.  The Council may confer with the subdivider on changes deemed advisable and the kind and extent of such improvements to be made.  Before recommending approval or rejection of a preliminary plat, the Council may, at its discretion, hold a public hearing on the proposed plat, and shall approve or disapprove the preliminary plat within thirty (30) days after the preliminary plat is first submitted to the City.
  4. Authority to Prepare Final Plat. Upon approval of the preliminary plat by the Council, the subdivider may proceed with the preparation of the final plat and detailed construction drawings and specifications for the improvements required under these regulations.  The approval of the preliminary plat by the Council shall be null and void unless the final plat is presented to the Council within 180 days after date of approval.
  5. Approval Conditional. Approval of the preliminary plat by the Council is revocable and does not constitute final plat approval of the subdivision by the Council or the Council’s authorization to proceed with construction of improvements within the subdivision.

170.05    FINAL PLAT APPROVAL.  In obtaining approval of a proposed subdivision by the City, the subdivider shall submit a final plat in accordance with the following order and procedures:

  1. Plans and Information Submitted. Before submitting the final plat to the Commission for approval, the subdivider shall furnish all plans and information as required by this chapter, including eight (8) copies of the final plat.  One copy of the final plat shall be an electronic copy and one shall be a reproducible mylar.
  2. Commission Action. The Commission shall then consider the final plat and shall submit a recommendation to the Council, together with a copy of the resolution showing action of the Commission.
  3. Council Action. The Council shall then consider the plat and if the same is acceptable and in accordance with this chapter, the Council may accept the same.  If said plat is disapproved by the Council, such disapproval shall point out in writing wherein said proposed plat is objectionable.
  4. Plat Recorded. The passage of a resolution by the Council accepting the plat shall constitute final approval of the platting of the area shown on the final plat, but the subdivider or owner shall cause such plat to be recorded in the office of the County Recorder, as provided in Chapter 354 of the Code of Iowa and amendatory acts thereto, and shall file satisfactory evidence of such recording in the office of the Clerk before the City shall recognize the plat as being in full force and effect.

170.06    PLATS OUTSIDE CORPORATE LIMITS.  Procedure for approval of preliminary and final plats of land within two (2) miles of the corporate limits shall be the same as set out in subsection 1 and 2 of Section 170.05 above, except that eight (8) copies of the plat shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator and the Zoning Administrator shall refer one (1) copy to the County Engineer and one (1) copy to the County Planning and Zoning Commission, and request their recommendations to be submitted to the City Planning and Zoning Commission.  The Commission shall have forty-five (45) days to submit a recommendation to the Council and shall not take action on the plat prior to receiving the recommendations of the County, provided that the County shall submit its recommendations within thirty (30) days after the referrals of the plat.

170.07    PRELIMINARY PLAT REQUIREMENTS.  The preliminary plat of a subdivision is not intended to serve as a recorded plat.  Its purpose is to show on a map all facts needed to enable the Commission to determine whether the proposed layout of the land in question is satisfactory from the standpoint of the public interest.

  1. Number of Copies and Scale. The required number of copies of the preliminary plat shall be submitted as prescribed for review.  The scale of the map shall be one inch equals one hundred feet (1″ = 100′), and placed on a drawing, the dimensions of which will be 18 inches by 24 inches.  A scale other than 1″ to 100′ may be used if prior approval is obtained from the Commission and County Recorder.
  2. Contents of Preliminary Plat. The preliminary plat shall contain the following:
    1. Name of subdivision, date, point of compass, scale, and official description of the property being platted.
    2. Name and address of recorded owner and of developer.
    3. Name and address of engineer and/or land surveyor.
    4. Existing buildings, railroads, underground utilities and other rights-of-way.
    5. Location, names and widths of all existing and proposed roads, alleys, streets and highways in or adjoining the area being subdivided.
    6. Location and names of adjoining subdivisions, and the names of the owners of adjoining subdivisions, and the names of the owners of adjoining acreage parcels.
    7. Proposed lot lines with approximate dimensions and the square foot area of non-rectangular lots.
    8. Areas dedicated for public use, such as schools, parks and playgrounds.
    9. Contour lines at intervals of not more than five (5) feet.
    10. Building setback lines.
    11. Boundaries of the proposed subdivision shall be indicated by a heavy line.
    12. Zoning classification of the area.
    13. Proposed utility service, including location and size or capacity, and:
      1. Source of water supply.
      2. Provision for sewage disposal.
      3. Provision for storm water drainage, including proposed storm sewers, ditches, culverts, bridges and other structures.
    14. A vicinity sketch at a legible scale showing the relationship of the plat to its general surroundings.
    15. Lot numbers
    16. A typical cross-section of the proposed streets showing the roadway location, type and width of surfacing, type of drainage and other improvements to be installed.
  3. Accompanying Material. The following shall accompany the preliminary plat at the time of filing:
    1. Any plat that cannot reasonably be served by public sewer shall show results of soil percolation tests made by the Engineer preparing the plat.
    2. Restrictions, if any, proposed to be included in the owner’s dedication of the plat.
    3. Written statement by the appropriate officials of the availability of gas and electricity to the proposed subdivision.
    4. Written and signed statements explaining how and when the subdivider proposes to provide and install all required improvements required by this chapter. Such statement shall acknowledge required inspections and approvals by the City Engineer.

170.08     FINAL PLAT REQUIREMENTS.  The final plat area may include all or part of the preliminary plat.  Final plat requirements are as follows:

  1. Number of Copies and Scale. When and if the preliminary plat is approved, the subdivider shall submit six (6) copies of the final plat for review by the Commission.  The scale of the map shall be one inch equals one hundred feet (1″ = 100′), and placed on a drawing the dimensions of which will be 18 inches by 24 inches.  A scale other than 1″ to 100′ may be used if prior approval is obtained from the Commission and County Recorder.
  2. Contents of Final Plat. The final plat shall contain the following:
    1. Accurate boundary lines, with dimensions and angles which provide a survey of the tract, closing with an error of not more than one foot in 10,000 feet on the boundary, and one foot in 5,000 feet for any individual lot. Distances shall be measured to the nearest one-hundredth of a foot.
    2. Accurate references to known or permanent monuments giving the bearing and distance from some corner of a congressional division of the County of which the subdivision is a part.
    3. Accurate locations of all existing and recorded streets intersecting the boundaries of the tract.
    4. Accurate metes and bounds description of the boundary.
    5. Street names.
    6. Complete curve notes for all curves included in the plat.
    7. Street right-of-way lines with accurate dimensions in feet and hundredths of feet with angles to right-of-way lines and lot lines.
    8. Lot numbers and dimensions.
    9. Accurate locations and descriptions of easements for utilities and any limitations on such easements.
    10. Accurate dimensions for any property to be dedicated or reserved for public, semi-public or community use.
    11. Building lines and dimensions.
    12. Location, type, material and size of all monuments and markers.
    13. Name of the subdivision.
    14. Name and address of owners and subdivider.
    15. North point, scale and date.
    16. Certification by a registered land surveyor of the State of Iowa.
  3. Accompanying Material. The following shall accompany the final plat at the time of filing:
    1. Plans and profiles, approved by the City Engineer, of all streets, alleys, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and water lines at a 50-foot horizontal scale and 5-foot vertical scale. Profiles shall show location, size and grade of all conduits, sanitary and storm sewers, pipelines, etc.  Profiles of shall be drawn so that north will be oriented to the top or to the left side of the drawing.
    2. Any protective covenants or restrictions to be imposed upon the plat shall be submitted for approval.
    3. A dedication to the City, properly executed, for all streets intended as public streets, and for any other property intended for public use except for areas outside the corporate limits.
    4. The following documents:
      1. A certificate by the owner and spouse, if any, that the subdivision is with their free consent and is in accordance with the desire of the owner and spouse.  This certificate must be signed and acknowledged by the owner and spouse before some officer authorized to take the acknowledgments of deeds.
      2. A statement from the mortgage holders or lienholders, if any, that the plat is prepared with their free consent and in accordance with their desire, signed and acknowledged before an officer authorized to take the acknowledgment of deeds.  An affidavit and bond as provided for in Section 354.12 of the Code of Iowa may be recorded in lieu of the consent of the mortgage or lienholder.  When a mortgage or lienholder consents to the subdivision, a release of mortgage or lien shall be recorded for any areas conveyed to the City or dedicated to the public.
      3. An opinion by an attorney-at-law who has examined the abstract of title of the land being platted.  The opinion shall state the names of the proprietors and holders of mortgages, liens or other encumbrances on the land being platted and shall note the encumbrances, along with any bonds securing the encumbrances.
      4. A certificate of the County Treasurer that the land is free from certified taxes and certified special assessments or that the land is free from certified taxes and that the certified special assessments are secured by bond in compliance with Section 354.12 of the Code of Iowa.
      5. A resolution and certificate for approval by the Council and for signatures of the Mayor and Clerk.
    5. Drainage plans for the positive removal of storm water.

170.09    SUBDIVISION DESIGN STANDARDS.  The standards and details of design herein contained are intended only as minimum requirements so that the general arrangement and layout of a subdivision may be adjusted to a wide variety of circumstances.  However, in the design and development of a plat, the subdivider shall use standards consistent with the site conditions so as to assure an economical, pleasant and durable neighborhood.

170.10    STREET DESIGN STANDARDS.  Minimum design standards for streets are as follows:

  1. Comprehensive Plan. All proposed plats and subdivisions shall conform to the Comprehensive Plan.  All proposed plats and subdivisions shall also conform to additional proposed street plans as set out by the City.
  2. Continuation of Existing Streets or Planned Streets. Proposed streets shall provide for continuation or completion of any existing streets (constructed or recorded) or any streets which are part of an approved preliminary subdivision plan, in adjoining property, at equal or greater width, but not less than sixty (60) feet in width, and in similar alignment, unless variations are recommended by the Commission.
  3. The street pattern shall provide ease of circulation within the subdivision as well as convenient access to adjoining streets, thoroughfares, or unsubdivided land as may be required by the Commission.  In a case where a street will eventually be extended beyond the plat, but is temporarily dead ended, an interim turnaround may be required.
  4. Street Intersections. Street intersections shall be as nearly at right angles as possible.
  5. Cul-de-sac. Whenever a cul-de-sac is permitted, such street shall be no longer than six hundred (600) feet and shall be provided at the closed end with a turnaround having a street property line diameter of at least one hundred ten (110) feet in the case of residential subdivisions.  The right-of-way width of the street leading to the turnaround shall be a minimum of sixty (60) feet.  A turnaround diameter greater than 110 feet may be required by the Commission in the case of commercial or industrial subdivisions if it is deemed necessary.
  6. Street Names. All newly platted streets shall be named and in a manner conforming to the prevailing street naming system.  A proposed street that is obviously in alignment with other existing streets, or with a street that may logically be extended although the various portions be at a considerable distance from each other, shall bear the same name.  Names of new streets shall be subject to the approval of the Commission in order to avoid duplication or close similarity of names.
  7. Physical and Cultural Features. In general, streets shall be platted with appropriate regard for topography, creeks, wooded areas, and other natural features which would lend themselves to attractive treatment.
  8. Half Streets. Dedication of half streets will not be permitted.  Where there exists a dedicated or platted half street or alley adjacent to the tract to be subdivided, the other half shall be platted if deemed necessary by the Commission.
  9. Alleys may be required in business areas and industrial districts for adequate access to block interiors and for off-street loading and parking purposes.  Except where justified by unusual conditions, alleys will not be approved in residential districts.  Dead-end alleys shall be provided with a means of turning around at the dead end thereof.
  10. Neighborhood Plan. If any overall plan has been made by the Commission for the neighborhood in which the proposed subdivision is located, the street system of the latter shall conform in general thereto.
  11. Land Not Platted. Where the plat to be submitted includes only part of the tract owned by the subdivider, the Commission may require topography and a sketch of a tentative future street system of the unsubdivided portion.
  12. Major Thoroughfares. Where a new subdivision, except where justified by limiting conditions, involves frontage on a heavy trafficway, the street layout shall provide motor access to such frontage by one of the following means:
    1. A parallel street, supplying frontage for lots backing onto the trafficway;
    2. A series of cul-de-sacs or short loops entered from and planned at right angles to such a parallel street, with their terminal lots backing onto the highway;
    3. An access drive separated by a planting strip from the highway to which a motor access from the drive is provided at points suitably spaced;
    4. A service drive or alley at the rear of the lots.

      Where any one of the above-mentioned arrangements is used, deed covenants or other means should prevent any private residential driveways from having direct access to the trafficway.

  13. A dedication to the City shall be given for all streets before the same will be accepted for City maintenance.
  14. Street Grades. Streets and alleys shall be completed to grades which have been officially determined or approved by the City.  All streets shall be graded to the full width of the right-of-way and adjacent side slopes graded to blend with the natural ground level.  The maximum grade shall not exceed six percent (6%) for main and secondary thoroughfares, or ten percent (10%) for minor or local service streets.  All changes in grades on major roads or highways shall be connected by vertical curves of a minimum length in feet equivalent to twenty (20) times the algebraic difference between the rates of grades, or greater, if deemed necessary by the City; for minor streets, fifteen (15) times.  The grade alignment and resultant visibility, especially at intersections, shall be worked out in detail to meet the approval of the City.
  15. Street Rights-of-way and Widths. Minimum rights-of-way, unless otherwise recommended by the Commission, shall be provided as follows:
    1. Thoroughfares – 80 feet;
    2. Collector streets – 66 feet;
    3. Residential or minor streets – 60 feet
    4. Cul-de-sacs – 110 feet in diameter.
    5. Alleys – 20 feet.
  16. Other Considerations. Other considerations shall be as follows:
    1. The street and alley layout shall provide access to all lots and parcels of land within the subdivision.
    2. Street jogs of less than 200 feet shall be avoided.
    3. No dead-end streets or alleys will be permitted except at subdivision boundaries.
    4. Thoroughfare and collector streets in a subdivision shall extend through to the boundaries thereof.
    5. Intersection of more than two streets at a point shall not be permitted.

170.11    EASEMENTS.  Easements shall be provided as follows:

  1. Minimum Width. Easements not less than five (5) feet in width shall be provided along each side of the rear lot lines of all lots, and along such other lot lines as may be required by public and private utility companies and the Council.
  2. Greater Width. Easements of greater width may be required for trunk lines, pressure lines, open drainage courses or high voltage lines and shall be provided as determined by the utility or Council.
  3. Utility Easements. Utility easements shall convey to the City, its successors and assigns, the perpetual right within the areas shown on the plat and described in the easement, to construct, reconstruct, operate and maintain electric lines consisting of poles, wires, cables, conduits, fixtures, anchors and other similar equipment, including the right to trim or remove trees within such areas where necessary to secure a clearance of four (4) feet from the wires or poles, together with the right to extend to any telephone, telegraph, electric or power company, the right to use separately or jointly with the City, the areas included in the easement for the purposes above enumerated.
  4. Water Course. Whenever any stream or important surface water course is located in an area that is being subdivided, the subdivider shall, at the subdivider’s own expense, make adequate provision for widening the channel so that it will properly carry the surface water, and shall provide and dedicate to the City an easement along each side of the stream, which easement shall be for the purpose of installation of public utilities.  The waterway easement shall be adequate to provide for these purposes, and said easement shall be a minimum of twenty feet on each side plus stream design width and a total width adequate to provide any necessary channel straightening or relocation.

170.12    BLOCK DESIGN STANDARDS.  The following minimum design standards are application to blocks:

  1. No block shall be longer than 990 feet.
  2. At street intersections, block corners shall be rounded with a radius of not less than sixteen (16) feet; unless at any one intersection a curve radius has been previously established, then such radius shall be used as standard.
  3. Crosswalks may be required by the City in blocks over 700 feet long or in areas where curbed streets require excessive out of the way travel.  If required, they shall be constructed by the developer.  Rights-of-way for crosswalks shall not be less than ten (10) feet.

170.13    LOT DESIGN STANDARDS.  The following minimum design standards are applicable to lots:

  1. Corner Lots. Corner lots shall not be less than twenty (20) feet greater in width than the minimum required interior lot width so as to permit adequate building setbacks on both front and side streets.
  2. Double Frontage Lots. Double frontage lots, other than corner lots, shall be prohibited except where such lots back on to a major street or highway or except in the case of large commercial or industrial lots.
  3. Street Access. Each lot shall be provided by means of a public street with satisfactory access to an existing public street.
  4. Street Frontage. Each lot shall be provided with not less than sixty (60) feet of access frontage to a public street.
  5. No lot shall be less in size or shape than that required to provide an adequate building size in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.
  6. Health Standards. For the purpose of complying with minimum health standards, the following minimum lot sizes shall be observed:
    1. Lots which cannot be reasonably served by an existing public sanitary sewer system and public water mains shall have a minimum width of 100 feet, measured at the building line, and an area of not less than 20,000 square feet or the minimum permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, whichever is larger.
    2. Lots which are not within a reasonable distance of a public sanitary sewer system but are connected to a public water supply main shall have a minimum width of 80 feet and an area of 10,000 square feet or the minimum permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, whichever is larger.
  7. Lot Line Angle. Side lot lines where possible shall be at right angles or radial to the street lines.

170.14    MONUMENTS.  Permanent monuments and survey markers shall be provided as follows:

  1. Plat Boundary Corners. Concrete monuments at least 36 inches long and four inches square with a suitable center point shall be set at all boundary corners of the plat and at all block corners.  Except in cases where it is deemed clearly unreasonable or infeasible by the Commission, these monuments shall be described in relation to the standard subdivisional lines of the section to which the monument is placed.
  2. Lot Iron pin or pipe monuments ¾-inch in diameter and 24 inches long or suitable concrete markers shall be placed at all points on boundary lines where there is a change of direction and at all lot corners.
  3. Surveyor’s Registration. The registered land surveyor shall affix a cap of reasonably inert material bearing an embossed or stencil cut marking of the Iowa registration number of the registered land surveyor to the top of the monument.

170.15    REQUIRED IMPROVEMENTS.  Required improvements are as follows:

  1. Installation and Warranty. The subdivider shall be responsible for installation and/or construction of all improvements required by this chapter, and shall warrant the design, materials, and workmanship of such improvements, installation and/or construction for a period of two (2) years from and after completion.  Such warrant shall be by bond or other acceptable collateral; shall be subject to review by the City Attorney; shall specifically assure the expedient repair or replacement of defective improvements under warranty; and shall indemnify the City from any and all costs or losses resulting from, contributed to, etc., such defective improvements.
  2. Acceptance by Council. Before the Council approves the final plat, all of the required improvements shall be constructed and accepted by formal resolution of the Council.  Before passage of said resolution of acceptance, the City Engineer shall report that said improvements meet all City specifications and ordinances or other requirements and agreements between the subdivider and the City.
  3. Bond in Lieu of Construction. The installation and/or construction of improvements may be waived if the subdivider will post a performance bond or certified check with the City, guaranteeing that said improvements will be constructed within a period of two (2) years from final acceptance of the plat; however, if a performance bond is posted, final acceptance of the plat will not constitute final acceptance by the City of any improvements to be constructed.  Improvements will be accepted only after their construction has been completed, and no public funds will be expended in the subdivision until such improvements have been completed and accepted by the City.  If a performance bond is posted, such bond shall be subject to review by the City Attorney prior to acceptance; shall specifically assure the expedient installation and completion of all improvements within the specified construction time period; and shall indemnify the City from any and all costs or losses of the development and construction.
  4. Requirements Waived. The Council may waive the requirements of this section for the construction and installation of some or all of the improvements in cases of dedications of land or rights-of-way to public use where such dedication is in excess of the needs of the subdivision and is desired by a public agency in lieu of a purchase or condemnation.
  5. The Council may waive the requirements for the construction and installation of some or all of the improvements in cases of resubdivisions where only the size, shape or arrangement of the lots is being changed and no new streets are required and in cases of dedications of land or rights-of-way to public use where such dedication is in excess of the needs of the subdivision and is desired by a public agency in lieu of a purchase or condemnation proceeding.
  6. Construction Standards and Schedule. All plans, specification, installation, and construction required by this section shall conform to all current City specifications and standards, and shall be subject to the review, approval, and inspection by the City Engineer or other authorized City representative.  The subdivider shall furnish the City Engineer with a construction schedule prior to commencement of any and/or all construction, and shall notify the City Engineer, not less than twenty-four (24) hours in advance, of readiness for required inspections.
  7. The subdivider shall at the subdivider’s own expense bring all streets and alleys within the platted area which are being dedicated for public use to the grade approved by the Council after receiving the report and recommendations of the City Engineer.
  8. Sanitary Sewer. The subdivider shall at the subdivider’s own expense provide the subdivision with a complete sanitary sewer system including all necessary pumping stations, force mains, pumping equipment, and other appurtenances, which shall connect with a sanitary sewer outlet or treatment facility approved by the Council.  The sewers shall extend to the subdivision boundaries as necessary to provide for the extension of the sewers to adjacent property.  Where oversized sewers are required to serve other areas of the watershed, the additional cost shall be borne by the City or assessed on an area basis to the properties served.
  9. Storm Drains. The subdivider shall at the subdivider’s own expense provide the subdivision with adequate drains, ditches, culverts, complete bridges, storm sewers, intakes, and manholes to provide for the collection and removal of all surface waters.  These improvements shall extend to the boundaries of the subdivision so as to provide for extension to adjoining properties.  Where over-size storm sewers or drainage structures are required to serve other areas of the watershed, the additional cost shall be borne by the City or assessed on an area basis to the properties served.
  10. The subdivider shall at the subdivider’s own expense provide the subdivision with a complete water main supply system including hydrants, valves and other appurtenances which shall be extended into and through the subdivision to the boundary lines, and which shall provide a water connection for each lot, and shall be connected to the City water system.  Fire hydrants shall be uniform throughout the subdivision and shall meet the design standards approved by the Council.  Where oversized mains are required to serve other areas of the watershed, the additional cost shall be borne by the City or assessed on an equal basis to the properties served.
  11. Curb and Gutter. The subdivider may at the subdivider’s own expense install curb and gutter on all streets on the plat being dedicated for public use.  Curb and gutter shall be constructed of Portland cement concrete in accordance with designs and specifications and at grades approved by the Council.
  12. The subdivider shall at the subdivider’s own expense surface all streets being dedicated for public use from curb to curb.  Surfacing shall consist of not less than six (6) inches of Portland cement concrete over a prepared subgrade and shall be constructed in accordance with designs and specifications and at grades approved by the Council.  Where a surface width in excess of thirty-one (31) feet (back to back of curb) is required, the cost of the additional surface width, which may be assumed to be the center portion of the roadway surface, shall be paid by the City.  On collector and thoroughfare streets where a higher standard or greater thickness of street surface is deemed necessary by the Council than is herein required, the additional cost shall be borne by the City.  Asphalt may be used in lieu of concrete provided that the street is constructed in accordance with current City specifications.
  13. Markers or Monuments. The subdivider shall at the subdivider’s own expense place markers or monuments as required in Section 170.14 of this chapter and shall provide the City with G.I.S. coordinates of the plat.
  14. Underground Utilities Required. The Council may require that all utility lines except electric lines of nominal voltage in excess of fifteen thousand (15,000) volts, be installed underground.  The subdivider shall be responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the utility companies for installation of such facilities.  If overhead utility lines or wires are permitted, they shall be placed in the easements provided in the rear of the lots.  In their determination on whether or not to require underground utilities, the Council may consider that soil, topographical or other conditions make such installations within the subdivision unreasonable or impractical.
  15. Location of Utilities. Utilities shall be provided in rear lot easements wherever possible.  When it is necessary to install utilities in street rights-of-way, the following requirements shall apply:
    1. Time of Installation. After grading is completed and approved and before any pavement base is applied, all of the in-street underground work (water mains, gas mains, etc., and all service connections) shall be completely installed and approved through the length of the street and across the flat section.  Where the utility mains are outside the pavement area, the subdivider may be allowed to omit the installation of service connections provided that at such time as these service connections are needed, they may be jacked across the street without breaking or weakening the existing pavement.
    2. Rock. Where rock is known to exist beneath the pavement area and at such depth as to interfere with the jacking of service connections, the complete installation of service connections before any base is applied shall be required.  In cases where underground utilities must be provided within the right-of-way of streets, they should not be installed under the paved portions of such streets.
  16. Specifications. The type of construction, the materials, the methods, and standards of subdivision improvements shall be equal to the current specifications of the City for like work.  Plans and specifications shall be submitted to the Council for approval prior to construction, and construction shall not be started until plans and specifications have been approved.
  17. Acceptance. All of the above improvements shall, upon their completion, inspection, approval, and acceptance by the City become the property of the City.
  18. Improvements within Extraterritorial Jurisdiction. Improvements in the two-mile control area shall be the same as required above, provided they are not less than that required by the County subdivision policy, and provided further, that all road and drainage construction plans shall be approved by the County Engineer.  Completed roads shall be accepted by the Board of Supervisors for public maintenance.
  19. As-Built Drawings. The developer shall furnish the City with a complete set of as-built drawings at the completion of installation of utilities.

170.16    PARKS, SCHOOLS AND OPEN SPACES. 

  1. A minimum of five percent (5%) of the net area of subdivisions of any five (5) acres or over shall be dedicated for public parks, playgrounds or open space.
  2. Payments in Lieu of Dedication. The subdivider may, in lieu of dedication of such land, donate in cash to the City a sum equal to the value of 5% of the net area of the subdivision for such park, playground or open space purposes to benefit residents of the subdivision.  The purchase price of such land shall be equivalent to the value of said land as established by an independent appraisal.
  3. School Reservations. Areas which are planned for public school use shall be reserved for purchase by the school district within one (1) year from the endorsement date of the final plat.  After such time or upon written waiver from the school district, the subdivider may replat such areas for the subdivider’s own purposes.
  4. Public Open Spaces. Public open spaces shall, wherever possible, be located contiguous to other such areas in adjacent subdivisions, in order to provide for maximum use of the resulting area.  Such areas shall be shown on the preliminary plat.  The Council may not approve a site which is undesirable for such public or civic uses.
  5. Large Open Spaces. If the Council desires a public open space larger than 5% of the net area of the proposed subdivision, the subdivider shall reserve the area in excess of the dedication requirement for purchase by the appropriate public agency within one (1) year from the endorsement date of the final plat.  The purchase price of such land shall be equivalent to the value of said land as established by an independent appraiser.  After such time, the subdivider may replat such acreage for the subdivider’s own purposes.
  6. Preservation of Other Features. Natural features, historic sites and similar community assets shall be preserved.

170.17    FEES.  Each preliminary plat submitted for approval shall be accompanied by a fee to be determined by resolution of the Council, which fee shall be credited to the General Fund of the City.

170.18    VARIANCES.  Where the strict application of standards or requirements established by this chapter would cause substantial hardship or impose unreasonable restrictions on the development of a tract of land because of natural or physical conditions or limitations not created by the owner or developer, the Commission may recommend and the Council may grant such variances from these standards or requirements as may be necessary to permit the reasonable development of the land while preserving the intent of this chapter.

170.19    ENFORCEMENT.  In addition to other remedies and penalties prescribed by law, the provisions of this chapter shall be enforced as follows:

  1. Plat Invalid; Recording Prohibited. No plat or subdivision in the City or within two (2) miles thereof (subject to exceptions as provided in Section 354.9 of the Code of Iowa) shall be recorded or filed with the County Auditor or County Recorder, nor shall any plat or subdivision have any validity until it complies with the provisions of this chapter and has been approved by the Council as prescribed herein.
  2. Public Improvements. No public improvements over which the Council has control shall be made with City funds, nor shall any City funds be expended for street maintenance, street improvements or other services in any area that has been subdivided after the date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter (February 7, 1980), unless the subdivision and streets have been approved in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the street accepted by the Council as a public street.
  3. Sale of Lots. Any person who shall dispose of or offer for sale or lease any lots in the City or addition thereto or within the jurisdictional area thereof unless the plat thereof has been approved, acknowledged and recorded in accordance with this chapter and recorded, shall forfeit and pay fifty dollars ($50.00) for each lot or part of lot sold or disposed of, leased or offered for sale.  Each day that a violation exists constitutes a separate offense.
  4. Zoning Permits. No zoning compliance permit required by the Zoning Ordinance shall be issued until and unless all improvements required by this chapter have been made in accordance with City plans and specifications and accepted by the Council.

170.20    AMENDMENTS.  This chapter may be changed and amended from time to time by the Council; provided, however, such amendments shall first be submitted to the Commission for review and study.  The Commission shall report within thirty (30) days, after which the Council shall give notice of and hold a public hearing on the proposed amendment.  The amendment shall become effective from and after its adoption and required publication.

170.21    CHAIN SUBDIVIDING.  No more than two (2) building permits for each separate tract existing at the effective date of this chapter, February 7, 1980, shall be issued unless the tract has been platted in accordance with this chapter, except that this provision shall not limit the number of building permits that may be issued for accessory buildings as defined by the Zoning Ordinance or additions or improvements to a main or accessory building already legally located upon said tract.

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