Minor Subdivision Process Summary

Woodbury County, Iowa

Process Timeline

The minor subdivision process in Woodbury County requires a public hearing and review of a final subdivision plat by the Woodbury County Zoning Commission and approval by the Board of Supervisors.  If the property is located within 2 miles of any incorporated city or town, the respective city or town must approve or waive the final plat prior to being presented to the Woodbury County Zoning Commission and Board of Supervisors.  All final plats must be identically approved by the city and the county (map and signature page).  It is imperative to have the extraterritorial review complete prior to submitting the application to Woodbury County.  If the property is not within 2 miles of an incorporated area, extraterritorial review is not required. 

The Woodbury County application deadline is the 1st day of the month before 4:30 PM.  When a complete and accurate application is received, the subdivision application will tentatively be placed on the Zoning Commission agenda for a public hearing which meets on the 4th Monday of the month at 6:00 PM at the Woodbury County Courthouse in the 1st floor boardroom.  Following the Zoning Commission recommendation, the subdivision will typically be placed on the Board of Supervisors agenda within two weeks of the Commission meeting.  The Board of Supervisors meet weekly on Tuesday at 4:30 PM in the basement of the courthouse. 

If the property to be subdivided includes 5 or more acres that includes portions of the special flood hazard area (SFHA – floodplain), the applicant is required to obtain the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) data from the Iowa Department of Resources (IDNR) and submit it as part of the consideration of the application.  The BFE can be obtained by calling 515-725-8333.  Please note, obtaining this data can take up to three months.  The data is provided free; therefore, it is recommended to request the data as early as possible. 

The minor subdivision application procedure is a multiphase process.  Once an application is received with a final plat, the proposal is sent to various stakeholders including other departments, agencies, and utilities for review.  During this investigation, issues might arise that have an impact on the application’s completeness, thereby impacting the review timeframe.  It is possible that delays to placing the application on the Zoning Commission or Board of Supervisors schedule could occur depending on the information discovered.  If there are any delays, the staff will directly communicate the reason to the applicant.  A complete application is typically completed within a 60-day timeframe. 

It is important for applicants to hire an attorney and surveyor to guide you through the process. 

Application Materials

The minor subdivision application includes a list of attachments required to be filed at the same time the application is filed with the Community and Economic Development (CED) office.  You are required to obtain each of the attachment documents, complete the application, provide a check for filing fees and file each of the documents with the CED office. Should you have any questions regarding the application or the attachment documents, call the office at 712-279-6609.

One of the required application attachments is a current title opinion which contains a full and correct legal description of the area to be subdivided. The title opinion allows the CED office to determine the subdivision’s  zoning district designation and  determine the potential impact of the county’s floodplain management ordinances. The title opinion also provides up to date verification of the property’s legal owners and lien holder information. 

Another required application attachment is a Certified Abstractor’s Listing affidavit. This affidavit certifies a list of all property owners within 1000’ of any portion of the current parcel to be subdivided. Iowa Law, and Woodbury County’s subdivision ordinance, requires that these nearby property owners be contacted regarding the subdivision proposal and advised of the date, time and place of the subdivision’s public hearing before the Zoning Commission.

Your Iowa licensed surveyor will provide a number of copies of the final plat which will be provided to numerous government officials, departments and agencies for review. The final plat must be prepared in a manner that is acceptable to the Woodbury County Recorder.  Prior to proceeding with this process, be sure to contact the Woodbury County Recorder for their respective requirements.  See the last page of this document for stakeholder contact information. 

Any draft final plats that do not conform, can delay this process by up to a month or more.  Each lot must conform to the Zoning District Dimensional Standards of the Zoning Ordinance.  Each zoning district has specific required minimum lot areas, lot widths, front yard/side yard/corner yard and rear yard setbacks that must be met for each lot.  Newly established property lines must be positioned at the minimum setbacks from existing structures to be compliant for the respective zoning district.  No new property lines may establish zoning violations.  The well and septic systems must be located on the lot they serve.  If they are not located on the lot they serve, an easement agreement for access and maintenance must be presented with the application materials and granted as a condition for the approval of the final plat.  Each parcel must have access to the road system.  The proposal must be presented to the County Engineer to determine the acceptable driveway location(s) for the lot(s).  If a parcel is landlocked, access must be granted through a separately recorded access and maintenance easement agreement. 

Your surveyor will also provide certain topographical information in plat form for drainage analysis. Should grading be required a “before and after” grading plan may also be required. As the property owner/developer you are responsible for determining the exact location of any easements impacting the subdivision including road right-of–way or utility, drainage and pipeline easements. Your surveyor or engineer will assist you in this easement review requirement.



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This content was printed from the County website at woodburycountyiowa.gov on May 24, 2024.