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  1. #1
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    City Zoning Question

    So, I just got this letter in the mail from the Planning and Zoning Commission in the town that I live, and it concerns me because it looks like they might be trying to rezone the area my house is in to commercial/light industrial. Does this mean I'm going to lose my house?

    Honestly this thing is completely legalese and I don't understand it at all. There is a map of the proposed changes that makes it look like the rezoning will overtake our house but I'm so ignorant on this stuff it's ridiculous.




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    Re: City Zoning Question

    Go to one of your city council meetings and ask them to explain what they're trying to do.



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    Re: City Zoning Question

    The only way they can take your house is through Eminent Domain. It really all depends on your City's Zoning Ordinance on what you may and may not be able to do if your property is rezoned. I would agree with the last post, go to the meetings that you are being notified about, best way to get info and voice your concern! Your walking right down the road of my profession, let me know if you need any help!


    Last edited by chuckd4735; 02-22-2008 at 08:59 PM.

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    Re: City Zoning Question

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckd4735 View Post
    The only way they can take your house is through Eniment Domain
    and if they do take your house, I would think you will be well compensated for your loss.



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    Re: City Zoning Question

    I wouldn't wait for a city council meeting. Go in and talk to the commission to find out what they are trying to do. If it is not acceptable, get the neighbors together and start lobbying the council before they have a vote on the matter. Something that could be as bad or worse than taking your house would be to allow an undesirable business to start up next door, down the street, or up against your back yard. You could end up with no compensation while suffering a loss in property value.

    Somebody has something in mind with a proposal like this and money behind these projects influences decisions. Fortunately, so does voter desires if you can rally enough support. Good luck.



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    Re: City Zoning Question

    As others have said it will all depend on what a persons intentions are for it. Likely there is someone that wants to purchase a parcel of land near yours to put, something there besides residential, or I am going to guess the land my be agricultural. Depending on what is going in there it will effect your property value for good or worse.

    As others have stated you need to goto the county planning and zoning meeting.

    There should be a date for when it will be discussed at a public meeting. So that is when you should go, if it doesn't have a date call someone with the county to find out when and where the meeting will take place.

    After you know what is going to happen I would talk to a realtor and ask them how the proposed changes will effect the value of your property and then go from there. If it is something you don't want near your house it is likely you will be in need of a lawyer to proceed.



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    Re: City Zoning Question

    Depending on what kind of light industrial is going to go in to your area, you may see the day when you WISHED they took your house through eminent domain.

    There are worse things that can happen to your property than the .gov taking it.

    I suppose it's "possible" that his could increase the value of your land, but I wouldn't hold my breath.


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    Re: City Zoning Question

    When an area is rezoned, existing uses are typically (almost always) grandfathered.

    But it is like Phaedrus stated, if you remain you might later wish that they took your house through eminent domain. Who wants to live around a bunch of industrial warehouses?

    When I lived in Las Vegas I attended a number of zoning variance hearings. During one of these hearings a developer was seeking to get the zoning changed from low density to multi-density housing. The developer bought lunches for a large number of senior citizens to sign a petition favoring the rezoning and to speak at the hearing. The senior citizens didn't even live in the area and were just signing the petition to get a free lunch out of the deal.

    The public are allowed to comment at the rezoning hearings but in the end the planning commission members determine the zoning. At least that was my experience in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada.


    Last edited by alaskaguy; 02-22-2008 at 11:54 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Re: City Zoning Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Somebody has something in mind with a proposal like this and money behind these projects influences decisions. Fortunately, so does voter desires if you can rally enough support. Good luck.
    I'd say this would be the case as well. I work in engineering and see rezoning quite often due to the growth of our area. I'm guessing something has or is about to be submitted to warrant a change. Definitely make a couple calls and see what's up.



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    Re: City Zoning Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Depending on what kind of light industrial is going to go in to your area, you may see the day when you WISHED they took your house through eminent domain.

    There are worse things that can happen to your property than the .gov taking it.

    I suppose it's "possible" that his could increase the value of your land, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
    Mostly depends on your area. Housing values in commercial zoning down here tends to do very well....light industrial, not so well.



  11. #11
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    Re: City Zoning Question

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    When an area is rezoned, existing uses are typically (almost always) grandfathered.

    But it is like Phaedrus stated, if you remain you might later wish that they took your house through eminent domain. Who wants to live around a bunch of industrial warehouses?

    When I lived in Las Vegas I attended a number of zoning variance hearings. During one of these hearings a developer was seeking to get the zoning changed from low density to multi-density housing. The developer bought lunches for a large number of senior citizens to sign a petition favoring the rezoning and to speak at the hearing. The senior citizens didn't even live in the area and were just signing the petition to get a free lunch out of the deal.

    The public are allowed to comment at the rezoning hearings but in the end the planning commission members determine the zoning. At least that was my experience in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada.

    Through Iowa Code, rezonings are the decision of the City Council if youíre inside a city and the County Board of Supervisors if you are unincorporated. For both situations, it is done through an ordinance change and requires three separate hearings by the Council or Supervisors. The three hearings need to be on separate meeting dates, and the body needs to approve it on all three readings. There are situations where they will waive readings, and that is usually left to the discretion of the decision making body. The Commission's responsibility is to provide a recommendation to the final decision making body.

    You are always "grandfathered" in, but the one thing you need to be careful about is that some jurisdictions do not allow you to expand on a non-conforming use, even if it is grandfathered in. That means if you would attempt to get a building permit for any new construction on your land (i.e. a dwelling addition, new garage or storage shed), it may be denied due to the fact that the new construction would not conform to the proposed industrial zoning district.

    I would call your city's Planning and Zoning department on Monday and ask them for details of the proposal. Donít under-estimate the power of public opinion. If there is enough of the public opposed to a certain proposal, it can become very political for the decision making body, I have seen it way to many times...look at the Ames mall proposal for example.



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