Zoning Commission Minutes

August 22nd, 2005

Minutes - Woodbury County Zoning Commission Meeting
August 22, 2005

The meeting convened on the 22nd of August, 2005 at 7:00 PM in the Board of Supervisors Meeting Room in the Court House, Sioux City, Iowa. Present were the following Commission members – Chairman Don Groves, Dwight Rorholm, Arvin Nelson, Larry Tobin, and Grady Marx; Zoning Staff: John Pylelo and Peggy Napier; Riley Simpson, Dennis and Judy Bollmeyer, and Dan Kriener from the public were in attendance. Chairman Groves informed those present the meeting was being audio taped.

The first agenda item was approval of the previous meeting’s minutes of July 26, 2005.

Minutes of the July 26, 2005 Zoning Commission meeting were approved on motion made by Mr. Nelson; seconded by Mr. Rorholm; motion carried.

Chairman Groves explained while a special meeting had been scheduled for Monday, August 15, to continue review of the 2005 Development Plan, it seemed more prudent for all involved to continue the review at the regularly scheduled meeting tonight.

The second agenda item was the review and recommendation of Preliminary Plats of Bollmeyer’s First Addition Subdivision – Parcel #883515.

At their meeting of August 9, 2005, the Board of Supervisors considered the preliminary plats and now forwards the preliminary plats to your Commission for review and recommendation.

The Woodbury County Office of Planning and Zoning has received a Subdivision application from Dennis and Judy Bollmeyer for the Bollmeyer First Addition Subdivision. The Bollmeyers intend to develop 31.563 acres into five lots for residential development. Four of the five lots will be subdivided with the intention of single family residential development. The fifth lot, a flag lot consisting of 19.345 acres, will remain in agricultural production.

A 2.738 acre Outlot A on the west side of the subdivision will provide access to property also owned by the Bollmeyers to the South. The remainder of the property within 40 acre tract lies to the East of the proposed subdivision and was recently sold to Mr. Randy Ryan. Mr. Ryan did not wish to be part of the Bollmeyer’s proposed subdivision.

The property is located in the NW ¼, NE 1/4, of Section 7 Concord Township less than 1 mile east of Sioux City and abutting the south side of 110th St. A paving agreement will not be required as 110th St. is a paved, county maintained roadway.

The property is zoned AG (Agricultural) with the intended use permitted within this Zoning District. The property in question is within two miles of the corporate limits of Sioux City and will require approval by the City Council of Sioux City. The property has a 39.05 average Crop Suitability Rating. Notifications were sent to the agencies listed in your report. There were no responses since the date we had mailed that to you. Since then we received a letter from the County Engineer who in part states we would recommend approval of the plat as proposed. No other responses were received. The 22 property owners within 1000 feet were notified. To date there has been one telephone response with no objection to the project. Adjacent landowner to the east, Mr. Randy Ryan, was also notified, although he was not listed in the abstract certificate due to this very recent purchase of property from the Bollmeyers.

Since you have received your packets we have had two contacts from parties:

1. On August 16 Mr. Willard Fish, a property owner to the north, inquired about the exact location of the Bollmeyer parcel in relation to his land. The comment was that “farming around there is getting awfully cutup.” He was aware of this meeting and said he could attend but was not in attendance.

2. Mr. James Shook of 1095 Pachsama Court, which is in the Niles Subdivision, was not able to make tonight’s meeting but he did stop in late this afternoon to look at the preliminary plat and indicated he has no objections.

The Commission discussed whether Mr. Ryan’s parcel, which Bollmeyers had sold prior to consideration of creation of a subdivision development, should be considered part of the subdivision process or not. Mr. Ryan did not wish his land to be part of the Bollmeyer subdivision. Mr. Pylelo agreed to research the specific issue of existence of any statutes or County ordinances requiring inclusion of entire portions of any forty (40) acre tracts within the platting process and assigning lot designations thereto.

Mr. Marx made the motion and Mr. Rorholm seconded that the Bollmeyer First Addition Subdivision be approved by the Board of Supervisors subject to review by the Zoning Administrator finding any problem related to tract inclusion issue which would bring an impasse. Mr. Tobin opposed the motion. Motion carried.

Mr. Marx made a general observation that shared driveways are not always acceptable to future lot owners and offered possible acceptable options. It was agreed this was something the County Engineer may want to review at some future date.

Mr. Nelson requested the subdivision ordinances be clarified and/or rewritten to avoid any future confusion regarding the question of 40 acre parcels and what is or is not considered in the subdivision process. Discussion ensued.

The fourth Agenda item was a review and update by Riley Simpson of the Woodbury County 2005 General Development Plan:

This was a presentation by Riley Simpson, consultant, of the continuing revisions to the 2005 Woodbury County General Development Plan. Some of the issues discussed follow:

• Mr. Tobin requested maps with a more detailed reflection of land use around small towns in the county.
• 3.2 on page 18, the definition from the State Code was added; “except to the extent required to implement t section 335.27, no ordinance adopted under this chapter applies to land, farm houses, farm barns, farm outbuildings or other building or structures which are primarily adapted, by reason of nature and area, for use for agricultural purposes, while so used.”
• 3.3 is a new point defining farms: Establish a procedure and test for determining that a use is eligible for the agricultural farming exemption from zoning. A use that is not clearly non-agricultural in nature (i.e., not an industrial or commercial use) conducted on a site larger than a specified minimum tract should be assumed to be a “farm” and therefore exempt from zoning. A use conducted on a site of less than a specified minimum tract may be determined to be a “farm” and therefore exempt from zoning based on information describing the nature of the “farming” activity.
• Mr. Simpson read several definitions of a “farmer” based on definitions found on a variety of county websites. A “tax return” test and an “income” test were two of the more favored ones. Using a Schedule F for taxes and parcel size (i.e. 35-40 acres) were other suggestions. One of the best options considered was from Linn County which included parts of other considerations and was fastidiously worded. Mr. Marx felt use of land should be main consideration for farm exemption. Mr. Nelson, Mr. Rorholm, and Mr. Simpson consider size of land a possible first consideration. Mr. Pylelo said he would like the capability of having landowners sign an affidavit which would allow him upon request to have them present a tax schedule or evidence showing how their income is related to farming (i.e. expense items, operation items, etc.). It was determined that much of these specifics would enter more fully into play when the regulations are revised.
• A line was added on page 17 under General Land Use Policies because of a question that was raised regarding development rights:
1.5 Encourage use transfers of development rights to encourage conservation of the Loess Hills and prime agricultural land.
• Mr. Simpson considered adding another line to specifically conserve prime agricultural land. Transferring development rights means if someone feels they are in an area that has pressure from development, but they really want to maintain the property as it is either for farm land or pristine Loess Hills, they can find someone who will buy the development rights from them, taking some of the pressure off them. They already have the money that developing the land would have brought them, but somebody else then holds the development rights and would be able to keep that from being subdivided into further developments. A city could still annex it, but it couldn’t be developed. There are environmental agencies that exist primarily to hold easements that give them the right to refuse to allow any development.
• Mr. Simpson showed a slightly revised map with clearer indications of future land use around major highway corridors, ¼ mile around small towns, and indications of all subdivisions.

Chairman Groves asked if there were any other questions or concerns that have come up now that the Commission has had a chance to more thoroughly review the present plan:

• Mr. Pylelo asked if Mr. Groves felt the new plan adequately dealt with the major issues presented in the past five (5) meetings.
• Mr. Tobin commented that if there were land uses that needed to “go away,” the map should reflect those areas ceasing to exist. Mr. Groves said that if, for instance, an alcohol plant wanted to move into an area around a small town that wasn’t zoned for that commercial use, the Commission should wait until that situation presents itself and then deal with amending the present provisions to fit the new or expanded use.
• Mr. Marx asked if the next step was to put this plan as presented to the public. Mr. Groves said if there were no more questions, he would be asking for a motion that they put this to a public hearing, and if so, when that would be.
• Mr. Pylelo explained that the process would be for the public to see it one more time before the plan is brought to the Board of Supervisors for approval.
• Mr. Nelson asked that new maps showing subdivisions be included in the new plan including overlays indicating future developments.

Mr. Tobin made a motion the Commission meet again on Monday, September 26, for the final public meeting on the 2005 General Development Plan with other agenda items addressed before reviewing the Development Plan. Chairman Groves clarified at that time the plan will be voted on and, if accepted taken to the Board of Supervisors for approval. Mr. Marx seconded the motion; motion carried.

Mr. Marx made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Mr. Rorholm; motion carried.

Meeting adjourned 9:30 PM