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Chapter 170—Subdivision Control

170.01 Short Title
170.02 Purpose
170.03 Policy
170.04 Application and Jurisdiction
170.05 Interpretation
170.06 Action Under Prior Provisions
170.07 Definitions
170.08 Procedure
170.09 Pre-submission Consultations
170.10 Requirements of Preliminary Plat
170.11 Submission of Preliminary Plat
170.12 Referral of Preliminary Plat
170.13 Review of Preliminary Plat
170.14 Action by the Commission
170.15 Action by Council
170.16 Effective Period of Tentative Approval
170.17 Completion of Improvements
170.18 Performance Bond
170.19 Final Plat
170.20 Requirements of Final Plat
170.21 Submission of Final Plat
170.22 Referral of Final Plat
170.23 Action by Commission
170.24 Action by Council
170.25 Resubdivision of Land
170.26 Completion of Improvements
170.27 Performance Bond
170.28 Inspection of Improvements
170.29 Release or Reduction of Performance Bond
170.30 Maintenance of Improvements
170.31 Deferral or Waiver of Required Improvements
170.32 Issuance of Certificates of Occupancy
170.33 Improvements Required
170.34 Design Standards Are Minimum
170.35 Conformance to Applicable Rules
170.36 Subdivision Name
170.37 Monumentation
170.38 Character of the Land
170.39 Lots
170.40 Blocks
170.41 Streets, General Requirements
170.42 Streets, Design Standards
170.43 Storm Sewers and Drainage
170.44 Water Facilities
170.45 Sewerage Facilities
170.46 Sidewalks
170.47 Utilities
170.48 Preservation of Natural Features
170.49 Nonresidential Subdivisions
170.50 School and Park Reservations
170.51 Improvements Within Unincorporated Jurisdiction
170.52 Variations and Exceptions
170.53 Changes and Amendments
170.54 Enforcement, Violations and Penalties


This chapter shall be known and may be cited as “The City of Roland, Iowa, Subdivision Regulations.”

170.02 PURPOSE.

The purpose of these regulations is to establish minimum standards for the design, development and improvement of all new subdivisions and resubdivisions so that existing developments will be protected and so that adequate provisions are made for public services and to promote the health, safety and general welfare.

170.03 POLICY.

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the City to consider the subdivision of land and the subsequent development of the subdivided land as subject to the control of the City to provide for the orderly, efficient and economical development of the City. And further:

  1. Character of Land. Land to be subdivided shall be of such character that it can be used safely for building purposes without danger to health or peril from fire, flood or other menace.
  2. Regulations to Supplement and Facilitate. It is intended that these subdivision regulations shall supplement and facilitate the enforcement of provisions and standards, ordinances or regulations of the City.

In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 354 of the Code of Iowa, these regulations are adopted by the City of Roland, Iowa, governing the subdivisions of all lands within the corporate limits of the City and governing subdivisions of all lands within two (2) miles of the corporate limits of the City of Roland. The standards and conditions applied by the City for review and approval of a subdivision outside the corporate limits shall be the same standards and conditions used for review and approval of subdivisions within the City limits. The City Council may, by resolution, waive its right to review a subdivision outside the corporate limits or waive the requirements of any of its standards or conditions for approval of subdivisions, and certify the resolution which shall be recorded with the plat.


In their interpretation or application, the provisions of these regulations shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, and general welfare. Specifically:

  1. Relationship to Other Public Provisions. These regulations are not intended to interfere with, or abrogate, or annul any other ordinance, rules or regulation, statute, or other provision of law. Where any provision of these regulations imposes a restriction different from those imposed by any other provision of these regulations or any other ordinance, rule or regulation, or other provision of law, whichever provisions are more restrictive or impose higher standards shall control.
  2. Relationship to Private Provisions. These regulations are not intended to abrogate any easement, covenant or any other private agreement or restriction, provided that where the provisions of these regulations are more restrictive or impose higher standards or regulations than such easement, covenant, or other private agreement or restriction, the requirements of these regulations shall govern.

These regulations do not abate any action now pending under, or by virtue of, prior existing subdivision regulations. Nor do they discontinue, abate, modify, or alter any penalty accrued or about to accrue, or affect the liability of any person, or waive any right of the City under any section or provision existing at the time of adoption of these regulations. Nor do they vacate or annul any rights obtained by any person, by lawful action of the City except as expressed in these regulations.


For use in this chapter certain terms or words used herein shall be interpreted or defined as follows:

  1. “Alley” means a public or private right-of-way primarily designed to serve as secondary access to the side or rear of those properties whose principal frontage is on some other street.
  2. “Applicant” means the owner of land to be subdivided or any representative.
  3. “Block” means a tract of land bounded by streets, or by a combination of streets and public parks, cemeteries, railroad rights-of-way, shorelines of waterways, or corporate boundaries.
  4. “Bond” means any form of security including a cash deposit, surety bond, collateral, property or instrument of credit in an amount and form satisfactory to the Council.
  5. “Building” means any structure built for support, shelter, or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels, or movable property of any kind, and includes any structure.
  6. “Central Water System” means a private water system established by the developer to serve a new subdivision or resubdivision. It includes water treatment and distribution facilities.
  7. “Central Sewage System” means a private sewer system including collection and treatment facilities established by the developer to serve a new subdivision or resubdivision.
  8. “City Engineer” means the person designated by the Council to furnish engineering assistance for the administration of these regulations.
  9. “Commission” means the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City.
  10. “Cul-de-sac” means a municipal service street with only one outlet and having an appropriate terminal for safe and convenient reversal of traffic movement.
  11. “Developer” means the owner of land proposed to be subdivided or any representative.
  12. “Easement” means an authorization by a property owner for the use by another, and for a specified purpose, of any designated part of said owner’s property.
  13. “Frontage” means that portion of a lot abutting on a street or way and complying with the set back and front yard requirements as they may exist, but it shall not be considered as the side of a corner lot.
  14. “Individual Sewage Disposal System” means a septic tank, seepage tile sewage disposal system, or any other approved sewage treatment device.
  15. “Local Board of Health” means a county, city, or district board of health.
  16. “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.
  17. “Municipal Arterial Streets” means those streets which connect principal traffic generating areas or connect such areas with other street systems.
  18. “Municipal Collector Streets” means those streets that collect traffic from municipal service streets and connect to other street systems.
  19. “Municipal Service Streets” means those streets that primarily provide access to property.
  20. “Owner” means any person, firm, corporation or any legal entity having legal title to or sufficient proprietary interest in the land to be sought to be subdivided under these regulations.
  21. “Plat” means a map, drawing, or chart on which the developer’s plan of the subdivision of land is presented and which the developer submits for approval and intends in final form to record.
  22. “Public Improvement” means any drainage ditch, roadway, parkway, sidewalk, pedestrian crosswalk, tree, lawn, off-street parking area, lot improvement, or other facility for which the local government may ultimately assume the responsibility for maintenance and operation, or which may affect an improvement for which local government responsibility is established.
  23. “Right-of-way” means a strip of land occupied or intended to be occupied by a street, crosswalk, railroad, road, electric transmission line, oil or gas pipeline, water main, sanitary or storm sewer main, shade trees, or for another special use. The usage of the term “right-of-way” for land platting purposes means that every right-of-way hereafter established and shown on a final plat is to be separate and distinct from the lots or parcels adjoining such right-of-way and not included within the dimensions or areas of such lots or parcels. Rights-of-way intended for streets, crosswalks, water mains, sanitary sewers, storm drains, or any other use involving maintenance by a public agency shall be dedicated to public use by the maker of the plat on which such right-of-way is established.
  24. “Roadway” means that portion of the street available for vehicular traffic, and where curbs are laid, the portion from back to back of curbs.
  25. “Street” means and includes any public way, highway, street, avenue, boulevard, parkway, or other public thoroughfare, and each of such words shall include every other of them, and shall include the entire width between property lines.
  26. “Subdivider” means a person, firm or corporation undertaking the subdivision or resubdivision of a tract or parcel of land.
  27. “Subdivision” means the division of land into three (3) or more lots or other division of land for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership or building development. The term, when appropriate to the context, shall relate 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.
  28. “Surveyor” means a land surveyor licensed and registered under the provisions of Chapter 114, Code of Iowa.

In obtaining final approval of a proposed subdivision by the Council, the subdivider shall submit a preliminary plat in accordance with the requirements of Section 170.10 and install the required improvements or provide a performance bond.


Prior to the submission of the preliminary plat of any subdivision, the subdivider is encouraged to meet with the City Engineer and other City officials responsible for the administration of these regulations to be advised of the procedural steps, design standards, required improvements, and platting requirements. During such meetings, no commitments shall be made which will be binding upon the City.


Every proposed subdivision shall be submitted for tentative approval in the form of a preliminary plat prior to the submission of a final record plat. The purpose of the preliminary plat and accompanying material is to provide all facts needed for the Commission and the Council to determine whether the proposed subdivision is satisfactory from the standpoint of the public interest. The following graphic and descriptive material is required to be provided on the preliminary plat and in the accompanying material.

  1. Contents of Preliminary Plat. The preliminary plat shall be prepared by a registered land surveyor at a convenient scale of not more than one inch equals one hundred (100) feet, may be prepared in pen or pencil, and the sheets shall be numbered in sequence if more than one sheet is used. The following information shall be shown on the preliminary plat:
    1. Title, scale, north point and date.
    2. Subdivision boundary lines, showing dimensions, bearings, angles and references to section, townships and range lines or corners. Exterior boundaries are to be indicated with a solid heavy line.
    3. Present and proposed streets, alleys, and sidewalks, with their rights-of-way, in or adjoining the subdivision, including dedicated widths, approximate gradients, types and widths of surfaces, curbs and planting strips and location of street lights, fire hydrants and street signs.
    4. Proposed layout of blocks and lots showing dimensions, radii, chords and the square foot areas of lots that are not rectangular, and the lot and block number in numerical order.
    5. Building setback or front yard lines.
    6. Parcels of land proposed to be dedicated or reserved for schools, parks, playgrounds, or other public, semi-public or community purposes.
    7. Present and proposed easements, showing location, widths, purposes and limitations.
    8. Location and names of adjoining parcels of unsubdivided and subdivided land.
    9. Boundaries of the highest known flood of record affecting the subdivision and the source of information.
    10. If the proposed subdivision borders on a lake or stream, the distances and bearings of meander line established not less than twenty (20) feet back from the mean high water mark of the lake or stream.
    11. Existing blocks, lots, and buildings.
    12. Present and proposed utility systems including sanitary and storm sewers, other drainage facilities, water lines, gas mains, electric utilities, and other facilities, with the size, capacity, invert elevation and location of each. If the subdivision is within one mile of public sewer or water or both, notation shall be made of the direction and distance to such facilities.
    13. Proposed name of the subdivision.
    14. Names and addresses of the owner, subdivider, builder, and surveyor who prepared the preliminary plat, and the surveyor who will prepare the final plat.
    15. Official legal description of the property being platted.
    16. Contours at vertical intervals of not more than two (2) feet if the general slope of the site is less than ten (10) percent and at vertical intervals of not more than five (5) feet if the general slope is ten (10) percent or greater.
    17. Existing and proposed zoning of the proposed subdivision and adjoining property.
    18. Location of all proposed monuments.
  2. Information to Be Provided in Accompanying Material. The following information shall accompany a plat when filing.
    1. A complete listing of all existing covenants which apply to the land to be subdivided, and a complete listing of all covenants which are proposed by the developer to apply to the subdivided land.
    2. A table of the following information:
      (1) Total acreage of subdivision;
      (2) Total number of lots;
      (3) Minimum, average and maximum lot area;
      (4) Acreage of public lands to be dedicated or reserved other than streets.
    3. An attorney’s opinion showing that the fee title to the property proposed for subdividing is in the owner’s name as shown on the plat and showing any encumbrances that may exist against the land.
    4. If any portion of the subdivision is to have access on a State or County jurisdictional street, a written and signed statement acknowledging and permitting the access by the duly authorized official of the appropriate jurisdiction.
    5. Specifications and engineering construction drawings including profiles, cross-sections, and details of all public improvements. Elevations shall be referred to mean sea level and exhibited in standard U.S. Geological Survey Maps. Specifications and references shall meet those required by the City’s construction and specifications standards, including a site grading plan for the entire subdivision.

The subdivider shall prepare a preliminary plat in accordance with the provisions of Section 170.10 and shall file with the Clerk an application in triplicate for the tentative approval of the plat. The application shall:

  1. Forms and Fees. Be made on forms available from the Clerk together with a fee of ten dollars ($10.00) per lot.
  2. Number of Plats. Be accompanied by a minimum of ten (10) copies of the preliminary plat.
  3. Time of Submission. Be presented to the Clerk at least four (4) weeks prior to the regular meeting of the Commission.

The Clerk shall immediately refer two (2) copies of the preliminary plat to the City Engineer and seven (7) copies to the Commission. In the case of a subdivision outside the corporate limits of the City, the Clerk shall refer one copy of the preliminary plat to the County Board of Supervisors.


The preliminary plat shall be reviewed by the Commission to determine its conformity with these regulations and all other ordinances and regulations in force affecting subdivisions. Copies of the preliminary plat may be transmitted to other City or school officials, as the Commission deems necessary, for their recommendations concerning matters within their jurisdiction. Their recommendations, along with those of the City Engineer shall be transmitted to the Commission within three (3) weeks from the date the plat is filed. The Commission may confer with the subdivider on changes deemed advisable and the kind and extent of such improvements to be made.


The commission shall, as soon as possible, but not more than thirty (30) days thereafter, pass upon the preliminary plat as originally submitted or modified. If the Commission does not act within thirty (30) days, the preliminary plat shall be deemed to be approved; provided, however, that the subdivider may agree to an extension of the time period not to exceed an additional sixty (60) days. It shall then set forth its recommendations in writing, whether of approval, modification or disapproval.

  1. Reasons for Changes or Disapproval. In the event that substantial changes or modifications are made by the Commission or the Commission recommends disapproval of the plat, it shall give its reasons therefor and it may request and cause the revised preliminary plat to be resubmitted in the same manner as the original plat.
  2. Tentative Approval. If the Commission recommends approval, it shall express its approval as “Tentative Approval” and state the conditions of such approval, if any.
  3. Documenting Approval. The action of the Commission shall be documented on seven (7) copies of the preliminary plat, referenced and attached to any conditions determined. One copy shall be returned to the subdivider, one copy shall be retained by the Commission, and five (5) copies shall be referred to the Council.

Within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the preliminary plat, the Council shall, by resolution, tentatively approve or disapprove the plat. If the preliminary plat is disapproved, objections to it shall be returned to the Commission for further review and the Clerk shall notify the subdivider of such action. If approved, the Clerk shall sign five (5) copies of the preliminary plat with the notation of the date the preliminary plat received the Council’s tentative approval. One copy shall be returned to the Commission and three (3) copies shall be returned to the subdivider. The “Tentative Approval” by the Council shall not constitute final acceptance of the addition or subdivision by the City but an authorization to proceed with preparation of the final plat.


The tentative approval of a preliminary plat shall be effective for a period of one year at the end of which time final approval must have been obtained. Any plat not receiving final approval within this period of time shall be void, and the subdivider shall be required to resubmit anew plat for tentative approval subject to all new zoning restrictions and subdivision regulations.


Before the Council will approve the final plat, all of the foregoing 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 City requirements and the agreements between the subdivider and the City.


The completion requirement for improvements may be waived in whole or in part if the subdivider will post a performance bond with the Council guaranteeing that improvements not completed will be constructed within a period of one (1) year from final acceptance of the plat; but 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. Such performance bond shall be satisfactory to the City Attorney as to form, sufficiency, and manner of execution. Upon recommendation of the Commission, the Council may extend the completion date set forth in the bond for a maximum period of one additional year.

170.19 FINAL PLAT.

The final plat shall conform substantially to the preliminary plat as approved, and, if desired by the subdivider, it may constitute only that portion of the approved preliminary plat which he proposes to record and develop at the time, provided, however, that such portion conforms to all requirements of these regulations.


The following graphic and descriptive material is required to be provided on the final plat and in the accompanying material.

  1. Contents of the Final Plats: Every plat of a subdivision offered for record shall conform to al of the following provisions where applicable:
    1. The plat shall be a permanent copy or a photographic print made on a stable plastic film. Exact copies of the plat to be recorded shall be provided to and filed by the county recorder, assessor and auditor. The original plat drawing shall remain the property of the registered land surveyor.
    2. The size of each sheet showing any portion of the subdivided lands shall not be greater than eighteen (18) inches by twenty-four (24) inches nor less than eight and one half (8½) inches by eleven (11) inches.
    3. Whenever more than one sheet is used to accurately portray the lands subdivided, each sheet shall display both the number of the sheet and the total number of sheets included in the plat, as well as clearly labeled match lines indicating where the other sheets adjoin. An index sheet shall be provided to show the relationship between the sheets.
    4. A maximum scale of one hundred (100) feet to one inch shall be used. The scale used shall be clearly stated and graphically illustrated by a bar scale drawn on every sheet showing any portion of the lands subdivided.
    5. Subdivisions shall be designated, by name or as otherwise prescribed, in bold letters inside the margin at the top of each sheet included in the plat.
    6. An arrow indicating the northern direction shall be drawn in a prominent place on each sheet included in the plat, as well as the scale and date.
    7. All monuments to be of record shall be adequately described and clearly identified on the plat. When additional monuments are to be established subsequent to the recording of the plat the location of the additional monuments shall be shown on the plat.
    8. Sufficient survey data shall be shown to positively describe the bounds of every lot, block, street, easement, or other areas shown on the plat, as well as the outer boundaries of the subdivided lands.
    9. All distances shall be shown in feet to the nearest one-hundredth of a foot, and in accordance with the definition of a foot adopted by the United States Bureau of Standards. All measurements shall refer to the horizontal plane.
    10. The course of every boundary line shown on the plat shall be indicated by a direct bearing reference or by an angle between the boundary line and an intersecting line having a shown bearing, except when the boundary line has an irregular or constantly changing course, as along a body of water, or when a description of the boundary line is better achieved by measurements shown at points or intervals along a meander line having a shown course. All bearings and angles shown shall be given to at least the nearest minute of arc.
    11. Curve data shall be stated in terms of radius, central angel, and tangent, or length of curve. In all cases, the curve data must be shown for the line affected.
    12. The minimum unadjusted acceptable error of closure for all subdivision boundaries shall be 1:10,000 and shall be 1:5,000 for any individual lot.
    13. When any lot or portion of the subdivision is bounded by an irregular line, the Major portion of that lot or subdivision shall be enclosed by a meander line showing complete data with distances along all lines extending beyond the enclosure to the irregular boundary shown with as much certainty as can be determined or as “more or less,” if variable. In all cases, the true boundary shall be clearly indicated on the plat.
    14. All interior excepted parcels shall be clearly indicated and labeled “not a part of this plat.”
    15. All adjoining properties shall be identified, and where such adjoining properties are a part of a recorded subdivision, the name of that subdivision shall be shown. If the subdivision platted is a resubdivision of a part or the whole of a previously recorded subdivision, sufficient ties shall be shown to controlling lines appearing on the earlier plat to permit an overlay to be made. Resubdivisions shall be labeled as such in a subtitle following the name of the subdivision wherever the name appears on the plat.
    16. The purpose of any easement shown on the plat shall be clearly stated and shall be confined to only those easements pertaining to public utilities including gas, power, telephone, water, sewer, and such drainage easements as are deemed necessary for the orderly development of the land encompassed within the plat.
    17. A strip of land shall not be reserved by the subdivider unless the land is of sufficient size and shape to be of some practical use or service as determined by the Council.
    18. The purpose of all areas dedicated to the public must be clearly indicated on the plat.
    19. The plat shall contain a statement by a registered land surveyor that the plat was prepared by the surveyor or under the surveyor’s direct personal supervision and shall be signed and dated by the surveyor and bear the surveyor’s Iowa registration number or seal.
    20. Street names and clear designation of public alleys.
    21. Block and lot numbers.
    22. Name and address of owner and subdivider.
    23. Accurate dimensions for any property to be dedicated or reserved for public use.
    24. A sealed certification of the accuracy of the plat by the registered land surveyor who drew the plat.
  2. Information to Be Provided in Accompanying Material. The following material shall be submitted with the final plat:
    1. A correct legal description of the subdivision land.
    2. A statement by the proprietors and their spouses, 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 acknowledgments of deeds. The statement by the proprietors may also include a dedication to the public of all lands within the plat that are designated for streets, alleys, parks, open areas, school property, or other public use, if the dedication is approved by the Council.
    3. 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.
    4. 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. Utility easements shall not be construed to be encumbrances for the purpose of this section.
    5. 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.
    6. Resolution and certificate for approval by the Council and signature of the Mayor and Clerk.
    7. A statement of restrictions of all types that run with the land and become covenants in the deeds of lots.
    8. A certificate by the City Engineer that all required improvements and installations have been completed according to the construction plans submitted with the preliminary plat, or that a performance bond guaranteeing completion has been approved by the City Attorney and filed with the Clerk, or that the Council has agreed that the City will provide the necessary improvements and installations and assess the costs against the subdivider or future property owners in the subdivisions.

The subdivider shall prepare a final plat in accordance with the provisions of Section 170.20 and shall file with the Clerk an application in triplicate for the final approval of the plat. The application shall:

  1. Forms and Fees. Be made on forms available from the Clerk together with a fee of ten dollars ($10.00) per lot.
  2. Number of Copies of Plat. Be accompanied by a minimum of ten (10) copies of the final plat.
  3. Offers of Dedication. Be accompanied by all formal irrevocable offers of dedication to the public of all streets, City uses, utilities and easements, in a form approved by the City Attorney.
  4. Time of Submission. Be presented to the Clerk at least four (4) weeks prior to the regular meeting of the Commission.

The Clerk shall immediately refer two (2) copies of the final plat to the City Engineer and seven (7) copies to the Commission. In the case of a subdivision outside the corporate limits of the City, the Clerk shall refer one copy of the final plat to the County Board of Supervisors.


The Commission shall, upon receiving the final plat, as soon as possible, but not more than thirty (30) days thereafter, consider the final plat, and if the same is recommended for approval, shall submit its recommendation of approval to the Council together with a certified copy of its resolution showing the action of the Commission. If the Commission recommends approval of the final plat, such approval and the date thereof shall be noted on the plat over the signature of both the Chairperson and Secretary of the Commission and the plat and five (5) copies shall be transmitted to the Council, and one copy shall be returned to the subdivider.


Upon receipt of the certification by the Commission, the Council shall, within sixty (60) days, either approve or disapprove the final plat.

  1. Disapproval of Plat. In the event that said plat is disapproved by the Council, such disapproval shall be expressed in writing and shall point out wherein said proposed plat is objectionable.
  2. Acceptance of Plat. In the event that said plat is found to be acceptable and in accordance with these regulations, the Council shall accept same.
  3. Final Approval and Recording of Plat. 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 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.

The following requirements shall govern the resubdividing of land.

  1. Procedure for Resubdividing. For any change in a map of an approved or recorded subdivision plat, if such change affects any street layout shown on such map, or area reserved for public use indicated on the map, or any lot line, or if it affects any map or plan legally established period to the adoption of any regulations controlling subdivisions, such parcel shall be approved by the same procedure, rules, and regulations as for a subdivision.
  2. Acreage Lots. Whenever a parcel of land is subdivided and the subdivision plat shows one or more lots containing more than one acre of land and there are indications that such lots will eventually be resubdivided into smaller building sites, the Commission and Council may require that such parcel of land allow for future opening of streets and the ultimate extension of adjacent streets. Easements providing for the future opening and extension of such streets may be made a requirement of the plat.

Before the final plat is approved by the Council, all applicants shall be required to complete, in accordance with the Council’s decision and to the satisfaction of the City Engineer, all the street, sanitary, and other improvements as required in these regulations, specified in the preliminary plat, and as approved by the Council, and to dedicate same to the City, free and clear of all liens and encumbrances on the property and public improvements thus dedicated.


The Council in its discretion may waive the requirements that the applicant complete and dedicate all public improvements prior to approving the final plat, and that, as an alternative, the applicant post a bond at the time of application for final plat approval in an amount estimated by the Council as sufficient to secure to the City the satisfactory construction, installation, and dedication of the incompleted portion of required improvements. In addition:

  1. Approved by City Attorney. Such performance bond shall comply with all statutory requirements and shall be satisfactory to the City Attorney as to form, sufficiency, and manner of execution as set forth in these regulations.
  2. Completion Period. The period within which required improvements must be completed shall be specified by the Council in the resolution approving the final plat shall be incorporated in the bond, and shall not exceed one year from date of final approval.
  3. Extension of Completion Period. The performance bond shall be approved by the Council as to the amount and surety and conditions satisfactory to the Council. The Commission may, upon proof of difficulty, recommend to the Council extension of the completion date set forth in such bond for a maximum period of one additional year. The Council may at any time during the period of such bond accept a substitution of principal or sureties on the bond.
  4. Temporary Improvements. The applicant shall build and pay for all costs of temporary improvements required by the Council and shall maintain same for the period specified by the Council. Prior to construction of any temporary facility or improvement, the developer shall file with the City a separate suitable bond for temporary facilities, which bond shall insure that the temporary facilities will be properly constructed, maintained and removed.
  5. Failure to Complete Improvement. For subdivisions for which no performance bond has been posted, if the improvements are not completed within the period specified by the Council in the resolution approving the plat, the approval shall be deemed to have expired. In those cases where a performance bond has been posted and required improvements have not been installed within the terms of such performance bond, the City may declare the bond to be in default and require that all the improvements be installed regardless of the extent of the building development at the time the bond is declared to be in default.

The Council shall provide for inspection of required improvements during construction and insure their satisfactory completion. The applicant shall pay to the City an inspection fee equal to the actual cost of inspection. These fees shall be due and payable upon demand of the City and no building permits or certificates of occupancy shall be issued until all fees are paid. The subdivider shall furnish the Council with a construction schedule prior to the commencement of any and all construction, and notify the City not less than twenty-four (24) hours in advance of readiness for required inspections.


The performance bond may not be released or reduced except as follows:

  1. Certificate of Satisfactory Completion. The Council will not accept dedication of required improvements, nor release nor reduce a performance bond, until the City Engineer has submitted a certificate stating that all required improvements have been satisfactorily completed and until the applicant’s engineer has certified to the City through submission of detailed “as built” plans of the subdivision indicating location, dimensions, materials, and other information required by the City, that all public improvements are in accordance with construction plans for the subdivision.
  2. Reduction of Performance Bond. A performance bond may be reduced upon actual dedication of public improvements and then only to the ratio that the public improvement dedicated bears to the total public improvements for the plat.

Improvements shall be maintained and a maintenance bond provided as follows:

  1. Maintenance of Improvements Before Acceptance. The applicant shall be required to maintain all improvements on the individual subdivided lots and provide for snow removal on streets and sidewalks, if required, until acceptance of said improvements by the Council. If there are any certificates of occupancy on a street not dedicated to the City, the City may on twelve (12) hours notice plow the street or effect emergency repairs and charge same to applicant.
  2. Maintenance Bond. The applicant shall be required to file a maintenance bond with the governing body, prior to dedication, in an amount considered adequate by the Council and in a form satisfactory to the City Attorney, in order to assure the satisfactory condition of the required improvements for a period of two (2) years after the date of their acceptance by the governing body and dedication of same to the local government.

Required improvements may be deferred or waived as follows:

  1. Waiver of Required Improvements. The Council may defer or waive at the time of final approval, subject to appropriate conditions, the provision of any or all such improvements as in its judgment are not requisite in the interests of the public health, safety, and general welfare, or which are inappropriate because of inadequacy or lack of connecting facilities.
  2. Deferral of Required Improvements. Whenever it is deemed necessary by the Council to defer the construction of any improvement required herein because of incompatible grades, future planning, inadequate or lack of connecting facilities, or for other reasons, the applicant shall pay his share of the costs of the future improvements to the City prior to the approval of the final plat, or the applicant may post a bond insuring completion of said improvements upon demand of the City.

No certificate of occupancy shall be issued until the extent of street improvement is adequate for vehicular access by the prospective occupant and by police and fire equipment.


The subdivider shall install and construct all improvements required by these regulations in accordance with the specifications and under the supervision of the Council and to its satisfaction.


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 the subdivision, the subdivider shall use standards consistent with the site conditions so as to assure an economical, pleasant and durable neighborhood.


In addition to the requirements established herein, all subdividers shall comply with the following laws, rules, and regulations.

  1. State Statutes. All applicable statutes of the State of Iowa.
  2. City Plans. Any comprehensive plan, public utilities plan, and capital improvements program of the City.
  3. State Agency Rules. The requirements and rules of State agencies such as the State Department of Natural Resources, State Department of Public Health, and the State Department of Transportation, where applicable.
  4. County Standards and Regulations. The standards and regulations of the County Board of Supervisors and County commissions, boards, and agencies where applicable.
  5. City Standards and Regulations. The standards and regulations adopted by the Council, boards, commissions, and agencies of the City.
  6. Plat Approval and Conformity. Plat approval may be withheld if a subdivision is not in conformance with the above guides, or policy and purposes of these regulations.

The proposed name of the subdivision shall not duplicate, or too closely approximate phonetically, the name of any other subdivision in the area covered by these regulations. The Council, after consultation with the Commission, shall have the final authority to designate the name of the subdivision which shall be determined at preliminary plat approval.


Monuments shall be in conformance with the following requirements:

  1. Establishment of Permanent Control Monuments. Prior to the offering of the plat of any subdivision for record, the surveyor shall confirm the prior establishment of permanent control monuments at each controlling corner on the boundaries of the parcel or tract of land being subdivided. If no permanent control monuments exist, the surveyor shall establish at least two (2) permanent control monuments for each block created, or if the area subdivided into lots is less than a block in size, at least two (2) permanent control monuments shall be established for the subdivision. Permanent control monuments shall be constructed of reasonably permanent material solidly embedded in the ground and capable of being detected by commonly used magnetic or electronic equipment. The surveyor shall affix a cap of reasonably inert material bearing an embossed or stencil cut marking of the Iowa registration number of the surveyor to the top of the monument.
  2. Other Monuments of Record. Other monuments established prior to the recording of the plat of the subdivision and described on the plat shall be considered monuments or record and shall be given the same weight as original permanent control monuments if the monuments remain undisturbed in their original positions. The additional monuments shall be constructed and embedded according to the provisions for permanent control monuments prescribed in subsection 1 of this section.
  3. Establishment and Recording of Other Monuments. Monuments other than the permanent control monuments required in subsection 1 of this section shall not be required to be established before the recording of the plat or the conveyancing of lands by reference to the plat if the registered land surveyor includes in the surveyor’s statement on the plat that the additional monuments required by these regulations shall be established before a specified future date.
  4. Additional Monuments Required. Additional monuments shall be constructed and embedded according to the provisions for permanent control monuments prescribed in subsection 1 of this section, and shall be set all of the following locations whether set prior to the recording of the plat, or subsequent to such recording:
    1. At every corner and angle point of every lot, block or parcel of land created.
    2. At every point of intersection of the outer boundary of the subdivision with an existing or created right-of-way line of any street, railroad, or other way.
    3. At every point of curve, tangency, reversed curve, or compounded curve on every right-of-way line established.
  5. Placement of Monument. When the placement of a monument required by this chapter at the prescribed location is impractical, it is permissible to establish a reference monument in close proximity to the prescribed location. If the reference monument is established prior to the recording of the plat and its location properly shown on the plat, the reference monument shall have the same status as other monuments of record. Where any point requiring monumentation has been previously monumented, the existence of the monument shall be confirmed by the surveyor. The existing monument shall be considered a monument of record when properly shown and described on the recorded plat.

Land which the City finds to be unsuitable for subdivision or development due to flooding, improper drainage, steep slopes, rock formations, adverse earth formations or topography, utility easements, or other features which will reasonably be harmful to the safety, health, and general welfare of the present or future inhabitants of the subdivision or its surrounding areas or both, shall not be subdivided or developed unless adequate methods are formulated by the subdivider and approved by the Council, upon recommendation of the Commission, to solve the problems created by the unsuitable land conditions. Such land shall be set aside for uses as shall not involve such a danger.

170.39 LOTS.

The lot size, width, depth, shape and orientation shall be appropriate for the location of the subdivision and for the type of development and use contemplated.

  1. Lot Size. Minimum lot dimensions and sizes shall conform to the requirements of the zoning regulations where applicable, but in no case shall a lot contain less than 7,000 square feet of area or be less than 70 feet wide measured at the building line.
    1. Residential lots where not served by public sewer shall be of sufficient size, as determined by the City and subject to any applicable State or County rules or regulations, to accommodate the type of private sewage disposal system proposed by the developer.
    2. Depth and width of properties reserved or laid out for commercial and industrial purposes shall be adequate to provide for the off-street service and parking facilities required by the type of use and development contemplated.
    3. Corner lots for residential use shall have an extra 25 feet of width to permit appropriate building setback from and orientation to both streets.
  2. Street Access. Each lot shall be provided with satisfactory access to a public street.
  3. Double Frontage and Reverse Frontage Lots. Double frontage and reverse frontage lots shall be avoided except where essential to provide separation of residential development from traffic arteries or to overcome specific disadvantages of topography and orientation. A planting screen easement of at least ten (10) feet, and across which there shall be no right of access, shall be provided along the line of lots abutting such a traffic artery or other disadvantageous use.
  4. Side Lot Lines. Side lot lines shall be substantially at right angles to straight street lines or radial to curved street lines.
  5. Lot Drainage. Lots shall be laid out so as to provide positive drainage away from all buildings, and individual lot drainage shall be coordinated with the general storm drainage pattern for the area. Drainage shall be designed so as to avoid concentration of storm drainage water from each lot to adjacent lots.
  6. Building Lines. Building lines conforming with zoning standards shall be shown on all lots within the platted area. Where the subdivided area is not under zoning control, the Council may require building lines in accordance with the needs of each subdivision.
170.40 BLOCKS.

Blocks shall conform to the following requirements:

  1. Provision for Lots. Blocks shall have sufficient width to provide for two (2) tiers of lots of appropriate depths. Exceptions shall be permitted in blocks adjacent to arterial streets, railroads, or waterways.
  2. Design Considerations. The lengths, widths and shapes of blocks shall be determined with due regard to:
    1. Provision for adequate building sites.
    2. Zoning requirements where applicable.
    3. Topography.
    4. Needs for convenient access, circulation, control, and safety of street traffic.
  3. Block Lengths. The lengths of blocks shall be appropriate to the type of development contemplated, but block lengths in residential developments shall not exceed two thousand (2,000) feet, nor be less than five hundred (500) feet. Wherever practicable, blocks along arterials and collector streets shall not be less than one thousand (1,000) feet in length.
  4. Easement Reservation. In blocks over eight hundred (800) feet in length, the Council may require the reservation of an easement to accommodate utilities, drainage facilities, or pedestrian traffic.
  5. Pedestrian Crosswalks. Pedestrian crosswalks, not less than ten (10) feet wide, may be required by the Council through the center of blocks more than eight hundred (800) feet in length. Pedestrian crosswalks shall not exceed twelve (12) percent in grade unless steps of an approved design are to be constructed.

Streets shall conform with the following general requirements:

  1. Frontage on Improved Roads. No subdivision shall be approved unless the area to be subdivided shall have frontage on and access from an existing street.
  2. Grading and Improvement Plan. Streets shall be graded and improved and conform to the City construction standards and specifications and shall be approved as to design and specifications by the City Engineer, in accordance with the construction plans required to be submitted.
  3. Topography and Arrangement. Streets shall be in conformance with the following requirements related to topography and arrangement:
    1. Streets shall be related appropriately to the topography. All streets shall be arranged so as to obtain as many as possible of the building sites at, or above, the grades of the streets. Grades of streets shall conform as closely as possible to the original topography. A combination of steep grades and curves shall be avoided. Specific standards are contained in the design standards of these regulations.
    2. All streets shall be properly integrated with the existing and proposed system of streets and dedicated right-of-way.
    3. All arterials shall be properly related to special traffic generators such as industries, business districts, schools, churches, and shopping centers; to population densities; and to the pattern of existing and proposed land uses.
    4. Municipal service streets shall be laid out to conform as much as possible to the topography to discourage use by through traffic, to permit efficient drainage and utility systems, and to require the minimum number of streets necessary to provide convenient and safe access to property.
    5. Proposed streets shall be extended to the boundary lines of the tract to be subdivided, unless prevented by topography or other physical conditions, or unless in the opinion of the Council such extension is not necessary or desirable for the coordination of the layout of the subdivision with the existing layout or the most advantageous future development of adjacent tracts.
    6. In business and industrial developments, the streets and other accessways shall be planned in connection with the grouping of buildings, location of rail facilities, and the provision of alleys, truck loading and maneuvering areas, and walks and parking areas so as to minimize conflict of movement between the various types of traffic, including pedestrian.
  4. Access to State or County Jurisdictional Roads. Whenever any part of a subdivision is designed with access to a road under State or County jurisdiction, permission for access to such roads shall be obtained from the appropriate jurisdiction and such access shall be designed according to the standards of the appropriate jurisdiction.
  5. Access to Arterial Streets. Where a subdivision borders on or contains an existing or proposed arterial street, the Council may require that lot access to such streets be limited by one of the following means:
    1. Lots shall be designed so as to back onto the primary arterial and front onto a parallel municipal service street; no access shall be provided from the arterial street, and screening shall be provided in a strip of land along the rear property line of such lots.
    2. A series of cul-de-sacs entered from and designed generally at right angles to such a parallel street, with the rear lines of their terminal lots backing onto the arterial street.
    3. A frontage or service road, separated from the primary arterial by a planting or grass strip and having access thereto at suitable points.
  6. Street Names. Streets that are in alignment with others already existing shall bear the name of the existing streets. The proposed names of new streets shall not duplicate or sound similar to existing street names. Street names shall be subject to the approval of the Council and Commission.
  7. Street Name Signs. Street name signs are to be placed at all intersections within or abutting the subdivision, the type and location of which to be approved by the Council. The City shall install all street name signs. The applicant shall deposit with the City at the time of final subdivision approval, the estimated cost of installation of each street sign required by the Council.
  8. Street Lights. Installation of street lights shall be required in accordance with design and specification standards approved by the Council.
  9. Construction of Streets and Dead-end Streets. Streets and dead-end streets shall be in conformance with the following requirements:
    1. Construction of Streets. The arrangement of streets shall provide for the continuation of principal streets between adjacent properties when such continuation is necessary for convenient movement of traffic, effective fire protection, and for efficient provision of utilities. If the adjacent property is undeveloped and the street must be a dead-end street temporarily, the right-of-way shall be extended to the property line. A temporary T or L shaped turnabout shall be provided on all temporary dead-end streets, with the notation on the subdivision plat that land outside the normal street right-of-way shall revert to abuttors whenever the street is continued. The Council may limit the length of temporary dead-end streets in accordance with the design standards of these regulations.
    2. Permanent Dead-end Streets. Where a road does not extend to the boundary of the subdivision and its continuation is not required by the Council for access to adjoining property, its terminus shall normally not be nearer to such boundary than one hundred fifty (150) feet. However, the Council may require the reservation of an appropriate easement to accommodate drainage facilities, pedestrian traffic, or utilities. A cul-de-sac turnaround shall be provided at the end of a permanent dead-end street in accordance with City construction standards and specifications. For greater convenience to traffic and more effective police and fire protection, permanent dead-end streets shall, in general, be limited in length in accordance with the design standards of these regulations.

The following design standards shall apply to the design of streets:

  1. General. In order to provide for streets of suitable location, width, and improvement to accommodate prospective traffic and afford satisfactory access to police, fire fighting, snow removal, sanitation, and street maintenance equipment, and to coordinate streets so as to compose a convenient system and avoid undue hardships to adjoining properties the following design standards for streets are hereby required:
    1. A tangent at least one hundred (100) feet long shall be introduced between reverse curves on municipal arterial and municipal collector streets, and seventy-five (75) feet on municipal service streets.
    2. When connecting street lines deflect from each other at any one point by more than ten (10) degrees, they shall be connected by a curve with a radius adequate to ensure a sight distance of not less than one hundred (100) feet for municipal service and municipal collector streets, and of such greater radii as the Council shall determine for special cases.
    3. Minimum Roadway and Right-of-Way Standards:
      (1) Municipal arterial streets shall have a right-of-way width of not less than 80 feet and a roadway width of not less than 44 feet.
      (2) Municipal collector streets shall have a right-of-way width of not less than 60 feet and a roadway width of not less than 36 feet.
      (3) Municipal service streets shall have a right-of-way of not less than 50 feet and a roadway width of not less than 26 feet.
      (4) Frontage streets shall have a right-of-way width of not less than 40 feet and a roadway width of not less than 26 feet.
      (5) A cul-de-sac shall only be allowed if it is determined to be a permanent dead-end street by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Council. Approved cul-de-sacs shall meet all the requirements for a municipal service street and, in addition, shall provide a turnaround with a right-of-way radius of 50 feet and a roadway radius of 40 feet. No cul-de-sac shall exceed 500 feet in length.
    4. Street grades, wherever feasible shall not exceed the following:
      (1) Municipal arterial streets – six (6) percent.
      (2) Municipal collector streets – eight (8) percent.
      (3) Municipal service streets – ten (10) percent.
      (4) Frontage streets – six (6) percent.
    5. All changes in street grade shall be connected by vertical curves of minimum length in feet equal to twenty (20) times the algebraic difference in percents of grade.
    6. No street grade shall be less than one half (½) of one percent.
  2. Street Surfacing and Improvements. After sewer, water and other utilities to be located underground within the right-of-way have been installed by the applicant, the applicant shall construct curbs and gutters and shall surface or cause to be surfaced roadways to the widths prescribed in these regulations. Said surface shall be of Portland concrete cement, or asphaltic concrete. Adequate provisions shall be made for culverts, drains, and bridges. All road pavement, shoulders, drainage improvements and structures, curbs, turnarounds, and sidewalks shall conform to all construction standards and specifications adopted by the City, and shall be incorporated into the construction plans required to be submitted by the developer for plat approval.
  3. Excess Right-of-way. Right-of-way widths in excess of the standards designated in these regulations shall be required whenever, due to topography, additional width is necessary to provide adequate earth slopes. Such slopes shall not be in excess of three (3) to one.
  4. Railroads and Limited Access Highways. Railroad rights-of-way and limited access highways where so located as to affect the subdivision of adjoining lands shall be treated as follows:
    1. In residential districts a buffer strip at least twenty-five (25) feet in depth in addition to the normal depth of the lot required in the district shall be provided adjacent to the railroad right-of-way or limited access highway. This strip shall be part of the platted lots and shall be designated on the plat: “This strip is reserved for screening. The placement of structures hereon is prohibited.”
    2. In districts zoned for business, commercial, or industrial uses the nearest street extending parallel or approximately parallel to the railroad shall, wherever practicable, be at a sufficient distance therefrom to ensure suitable depth for commercial or industrial sites.
    3. Streets parallel to the railroad when intersecting a street which crosses the railroad at grade shall, to the extent practicable, be at a distance of at least one hundred fifty (150) feet from the railroad right-of-way. Such distance shall be determined with due consideration of the minimum distance required for future separation of grades by means of appropriate approach gradients.
  5. Intersections. The following standards shall apply to the design of intersections:
    1. Streets shall be laid out so as to intersect as nearly as possible at right angles. A proposed intersection of two (2) new streets at an angle of less than seventy-five (75) degrees shall not be acceptable. An oblique street should be curved approaching an intersection and should be approximately at right angles for at least one hundred (100) feet therefrom. Not more than two (2) streets shall intersect at any one point unless specifically approved by the Council.
    2. Proposed new intersections along one side of an existing street shall, wherever practicable, coincide with any existing intersections on the opposite side of such street. Street jogs with centerline offsets of less than one hundred fifty (150) feet shall not be permitted, except where the intersected street has separated dual drives without median breaks at either intersection. Where streets intersect major streets, their alignment shall be continuous. Intersection of major streets shall be at least eight hundred (800) feet apart.
    3. Minimum curb radius at the intersection of two (2) municipal service streets shall be at least twenty (20) feet; and minimum curb radius at an intersection involving a municipal collector street shall be at least twenty-five (25) feet. Abrupt changes in alignment within a block shall have the corners cut off in accordance with standard engineering practice to permit safe vehicular movement.
    4. Intersections shall be designed with a flat grade wherever practical. In hilly or rolling areas, at the approach to an intersection, a leveling area shall be provided having not greater than a two (2) percent rate at a distance of sixty (60) feet, measured from the nearest right-of-way line of the intersecting street.
    5. Where any street intersection will involve earth banks or existing vegetation inside any lot corner that would create a traffic hazard by limiting visibility, the developer shall cut such ground and/or vegetation, including trees, in connection with the grading of the public right-of-way to the extent deemed necessary to provide an adequate sight distance.
    6. The cross-slopes on all streets, including intersections, shall be three (3) percent or less.
  6. Bridges. Bridges of primary benefit to the applicant, as determined by the Council, shall be constructed at the full expense of the applicant without reimbursement from the City. The sharing expense for the construction of bridges not of primary benefit to the applicant as determined by the Council, will be fixed by special agreement between the Council and the applicant. Said cost shall be charged to the applicant pro rata as the percentage of his land developed and so served.
  7. Alleys. The following design standards for alleys shall be required of all subdividers:
    1. Alleys shall be prohibited in residential districts.
    2. Alleys shall be provided in commercial and industrial districts, except that the Council may waive this requirement where other definite and assured provision is made for service access, such as off-street loading, unloading and parking consistent with and adequate for the uses proposed.
    3. Alleys shall have a right-of-way of not less than thirty (30) feet and a roadway width of not less than twenty (20) feet.
    4. Alley intersections and sharp changes in alignment shall be avoided, but where necessary, corners shall be cut off sufficiently to permit save vehicular movement.
    5. Dead-end alleys shall be avoided where possible, but if unavoidable, shall be provided with adequate turn-around facilities at the dead end, as determined by the Council.
  8. Street Dedications and Reservations. The following provisions shall apply to street dedications and reservations:
    1. Street systems in new subdivisions shall be laid out so as to eliminate or avoid new perimeter half streets. Where an existing half street is adjacent to a new subdivision, the other half of the street shall be improved and dedicated by the subdivider. The Council may authorize a new perimeter street where the subdivider improves and dedicates the entire required street right-of-way width within his own subdivision boundaries.
    2. Where a subdivision borders an existing narrow street or when City plans or zoning setback regulations indicate plans for realignment or widening a road that would require use of some of the land in the subdivision, the applicant shall be required to improve and dedicate at his expense such areas for widening or realignment of such roads. Such frontage roads and streets shall be improved and dedicated by the applicant at his own expense to the full width as required by these subdivision regulations. Land reserved for any street purposes may not be counted in satisfying yard or area requirements of the zoning regulations whether the land is to be dedicated to the City in fee simple or an easement is granted to the City.

The following requirements shall apply to the provision of storm sewers and drainage:

  1. General Requirements. The Commission shall not recommend for approval any plat of a subdivision which does not make adequate provision for storm or flood water run-off channels or basins. The storm water drainage system shall be separate and independent of any sanitary sewer system. Storm sewers, where required, shall be designed by methods as approved by the Council, and a copy of design computations shall be submitted along with plans. Inlets shall be provided so that surface water is not carried across or around any intersection, nor for a distance of more than six hundred (600) feet in the gutter. When calculations indicate that curb capacities are exceeded at a point, no further allowance shall be made for flow beyond that point, and basins shall be used to intercept flow at that point. Surface water drainage patterns shall be shown for each and every lot and block.
  2. Nature of Storm Water Facilities. The applicant may be required by the Council to carry away by pipe or open ditch any spring or surface water that may exist either previously to, or as a result of the subdivision. Such drainage facilities shall be located in the road right-of-way where feasible, or in perpetual unobstructed easements of appropriate width, and shall be constructed in accordance with the construction standards and specifications.
    1. Where a public storm sewer is accessible, the applicant shall install storm sewer facilities, or if no outlets are within a reasonable distance, adequate provision shall be made for the disposal of storm waters, subject to the specifications of the Council. However, in subdivisions containing lots less than fifteen thousand (15,000) square feet in area and in business and industrial districts, underground storm sewer systems shall be constructed throughout the subdivisions and be conducted to an approved out-fall.
    2. If a connection to a public storm sewer will be provided eventually, as determined by the Council, the subdivider shall make arrangements for future storm water disposal by a public storm sewer system at the time the plat receives final approval. Provision for such connection shall be incorporated by inclusion in the performance bond required for the subdivision plat.
    3. A culvert or other drainage facility shall in each case be large enough to accommodate potential runoff from its entire upstream drainage area, whether inside or outside the subdivision. The Council shall determine the necessary size of the facility, based on the provisions of the construction standards and specifications assuming conditions of maximum potential watershed development permitted by applicable zoning regulations.
    4. The Council shall also study the effect of each subdivision on existing downstream drainage facilities outside the area of the subdivision. City drainage studies together with such other studies as shall be appropriate shall serve as a guide to needed improvements. Where it is anticipated that the additional runoff incident to the development of the subdivision will overload an existing downstream drainage facility, the Council may withhold approval of the subdivision until provision has been made for the recovery of the cost for the improvement of said potential condition in such sum as the Council shall determine. No subdivision shall be approved unless adequate drainage will be provided to an adequate drainage watercourse or facility.
    5. The Council may, when it deems it necessary for the health, safety, or welfare of the present and future population of the area and necessary to the conservation of water, drainage, and sanitary facilities, prohibit the subdivision of any portion of the property which lies within the flood plain of any stream or drainage course.
  3. Subsurface Drainage Facilities. The applicant shall provide adequate subsurface drainage facilities as approved by the City for the disposal of subsurface drainage originating from building foundation drains, or other sources of subsurface drainage from each lot in the subdivision.
  4. Dedication of Drainage Easements. The following shall apply to the dedication of drainage easements.
    1. Where a subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, drainageway, channel, or stream, there shall be provided a storm water easement or drainage right-of-way conforming substantially to the lines of such watercourse, and of such width and construction or both as will be adequate for the purpose. Wherever possible, it is desirable that the drainage be maintained by an open channel with landscaped banks and adequate width for maximum potential volume of flow.
    2. Drainage easements:
      (1) Where topography or other conditions are such as to make impractical the inclusion of drainage facilities within street rights-of-way, perpetual unobstructed easements at least fifteen (15) feet in width for such drainage facilities shall be provided across property outside the street lines and with satisfactory access to the road. Easements shall be indicated on the plat. Drainage easements shall be carried from the street to a natural watercourse or to other drainage facilities.
      (2) When a proposed drainage system will carry water across private land outside the subdivision, appropriate drainage rights must be secured and indicated on the plat.
      (3) The applicant shall dedicate, either in fee or by drainage or conservation easement of land on both sides of existing watercourses, to a distance to be determined by the Council.
      (4) Low-lying lands along watercourses subject to flooding or overflowing during storm periods, whether or not included in areas for dedication, shall be preserved and retained in their natural state as drainage ways. Such land or lands subject to periodic flooding shall not be computed in determining the area requirement of any lot.

Water facilities shall be provided as follows:

  1. General Requirements. The following general requirements shall apply to the provision of water facilities:
    1. Where a public water main is accessible the subdivider shall install adequate water facilities, including fire hydrants, subject to City specifications. All water mains shall be at least six (6) inches in diameter.
    2. Water main extensions shall be approved by the City.
    3. To facilitate the above, the location of all fire hydrants and all water supply improvements shall be shown on the preliminary plat.
  2. Individual Wells and Central Water Systems. The following requirements shall apply to the provision of individual wells and central water systems.
    1. In the discretion of the Council, if a public water system is not available, individual wells may be used or a central water system provided in such a manner that an adequate supply of potable water will be available to every lot in the subdivision. Water samples shall be submitted to the appropriate County or State agency for testing, and individual wells and central water systems shall be approved by the appropriate County or State health authorities. Orders of approval shall be submitted to the Council.
    2. If the Council requires that a connection to a public water main be eventually provided as a condition to approval of an individual well or central water system, the applicant shall make arrangements for future water service at the time the plat receives final approval. Performance or cash bonds may be required to insure compliance.
  3. Fire Hydrants. Fire hydrants shall be required for all subdivisions except those coming under Section 170.44(2). Fire hydrants shall be located no more than one thousand (1,000) feet apart and within five hundred (500) feet of any structure and shall be approved by the City.

Sewerage facilities shall be provided as follows:

  1. General Requirements. The applicant shall install sanitary sewer facilities in a manner prescribed by the City construction standards and specifications. City standards shall be the standards of a registered engineer in the State of Iowa as designated by the City. All plans shall be designed in accordance with the rules, regulations, and standards of the City and the State Department of Natural Resources or State Department of Public Health. Plans shall be approved by the above agencies.
  2. Construction of Sanitary Sewerage Systems. Sanitary sewerage systems shall be constructed as follows:
    1. Where a public sanitary sewerage system is reasonably accessible the applicant shall connect with same and provide sewers accessible to each lot in the subdivision.
    2. Where public sanitary sewerage systems are not reasonably accessible but will become available within a reasonable time, not to exceed fifteen (15) years, the applicant may choose one of the following alternatives:
      (1) Install a central sewerage system, operated and maintained by the benefited property owners. Where plans for future public sanitary sewerage systems exist, the applicant shall install the sewer lines, laterals, and mains to be in permanent conformance with such plans and ready for connection to such public sewer mains.
      (2) Individual disposal systems, provided the applicant shall install sanitary sewer lines, laterals, and mains from the street curb to a point in the subdivision boundary where a future connection with the public sewer mains hall be made. sewer lines shall be lain from the house to the street line, and a connection shall be available in the home to connect from the individual disposal system to the sewer system when the public sewers become available. Such sewer systems shall be capped until ready for use and shall conform to all plans for installation of the public sewer system, where such exist, and shall be ready for connection to such public sewer main.
    3. Where sanitary sewer systems are not reasonably accessible and will not become available for period in excess of fifteen (15) years, the applicant shall install individual disposal systems or central sewerage systems.
  3. Individual Disposal System Requirements. If public sewer facilities are not available and individual disposal systems are proposed, minimum lot areas shall conform to the requirements of applicable zoning regulations and these regulations. Percolation tests and test holes shall be made as directed by the City and the results submitted to the local board of health.
  4. Water Supply Interconnections. There shall be no physical connection between a public or private potable water supply system and a sewer which will permit the passage of any sewage or polluted water into the potable supply. Sewers shall be kept removed from water supply wells or other water supply sources and structures.

The following requirements shall apply to the provision of sidewalks:

  1. Location of Sidewalks. Sidewalks shall be included within the dedicated nonpavement right-of-way of all streets.
  2. Construction of Sidewalks. Sidewalks shall be improved as required in Section 170.42(2) of this chapter.

The following shall apply to the provision of utilities:

  1. Location. The Council may require that all utility facilities, including, but not limited to gas, electric power, telephone, and CATV cables, be located underground throughout the subdivision. All utility facilities existing and proposed throughout the subdivision shall be shown on the preliminary plat. Underground service connections to the street property line of each platted lot shall be installed at the subdivider’s expense. At the discretion of the Council, the requirement for service connections to each lot may be waived in the case of adjoining lots to be retained in single ownership and intended to be developed for the same primary use.
  2. Easements. Easements shall be provided as follows:
    1. Easements centered on rear lot lines shall be provided for utilities. Such easements shall be at least ten (10) feet wide. Proper coordination shall be established between the subdivider and the applicable utility companies for the establishment of utility easements established in adjoining properties.
    2. Where topographical or other conditions are such as to make impractical the inclusion of utilities within the rear lot lines, perpetual unobstructed easements at least ten (10) feet in width shall be provided along side lot lines with satisfactory access to the street or rear lot lines. Easements shall be indicated on the plat.

Existing features which would add value to residential development or to the City as a whole, such as trees, watercourses and falls, beaches, historic spots, and similar irreplaceable assets, shall be preserved in the design of the subdivision. No trees shall be removed from any subdivision or any change of grade of the land effected until approval of the preliminary plat has been granted. All trees on the plat required to be retained shall be preserved, and all trees where required shall be protected against change of grade.


The following provisions shall apply to nonresidential subdivisions:

  1. General. If a proposed subdivision includes land that is used for commercial or industrial purposes, the layout of the subdivision with respect to such land shall make such provision as the Council may require. A nonresidential subdivision shall be subject to all the requirements of these regulations, as well as such additional standards required by the Council, and shall conform to the proposed land use and standards established in City plans and regulations.
  2. Standards. In addition to the principles and standards in these regulations, which are appropriate to the planning of all subdivisions, the applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the City that the street, parcel, and block pattern proposed is specifically adapted to the uses anticipated and takes into account other uses in the vicinity. The following principles and standards shall be observed:
    1. Proposed industrial parcels shall be suitable in area and dimensions to the types of industrial development anticipated.
    2. Street rights-of-way and pavement shall be adequate to accommodate the type and volume of traffic anticipated to be generated thereupon.
    3. Special requirements may be imposed by the City with respect to street, curb, gutter, and sidewalk design and construction.
    4. Special requirements may be imposed by the City with respect to the installation of public utilities, including water, sewer, and storm water drainage.
    5. Every effort shall be made to protect adjacent residential areas from potential nuisance from a proposed commercial or industrial subdivision, including the provision of extra depth in parcels backing up on existing or potential residential development and provisions for a permanently landscaped buffer strip when necessary.
    6. Streets carrying nonresidential traffic, especially truck traffic, shall not normally be extended to the boundaries of adjacent existing or potential residential areas.

If land to be subdivided contains sites that are designated in City plans or plans of other public bodies to be used for schools or parks, the developer shall reserve such site for such use. If sites which have been reserved are not acquired by the City or other public body within two (2) years of the date of the preliminary plat approval, then such sites may be subdivided by the developer. The appropriate public body may release the reserved site sooner by certifying to the Council that it does not intend to acquire such site within the two-year period.


Improvements in the two-mile unincorporated area under the jurisdiction of these regulations shall be the same as required herein, provided they are not less than that required by the applicable County subdivision regulations, and provided further that all construction plans shall be approved by the County, and completed public roads shall be accepted by the Board of Supervisors for public maintenance.


The following shall apply to the granting of variations or exceptions:

  1. 1. Hardships. Where the Council finds that extraordinary hardships or particular difficulties regarding the physical development of land may result from strict compliance with these regulations, it may make variations or exceptions to the regulations so that substantial justice may be done and the public interest secured, provided that such variation or exception shall not have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of these regulations; and further provided the Council shall not grant variations or exceptions to these regulations unless it shall make findings based upon the evidence presented to it in each specific case that:
    1. The granting of the variation will not be detrimental to the public safety, health, or welfare or injurious to other property or improvements in the neighborhood in which the property is located.
    2. The conditions upon which the request for a variation is based are unique to the property for which the variation is sought, and are not applicable, generally, to other property.
    3. Because of the particular physical surroundings, shape or topographical conditions of the specific property involved, a particular hardship to the owner would result, as distinguished from a mere inconvenience, if the strict letter of the regulations were carried out.
    4. The purpose of the variation is not based exclusively upon a desire to make more money out of the property.
  2. Conditions. In granting variations and exceptions the Council may require such conditions as will, in its judgment, secure substantially the objectives of the standards or requirements of these regulations.
  3. Procedure for a Variance. A petition for any such variance shall be submitted in writing by the developer at the time when the preliminary plat is filed. The petition shall state fully the grounds for the application and all of the facts relied upon by the petitioner.

Any provisions of these regulations may be changed and amended from time to time by the Council, provided, however, that such changes or amendments shall not become effective until after a public hearing has been held, public notice of which shall have been given as required by law. Such proposed amendments shall first be submitted to the Commission for study and recommendation before the hearing is held. The Commission shall forward its recommendations to the Council within thirty (30) days after which the Council shall give notice of and hold a public hearing on the proposed amendment.


No plat or subdivision within the City or within two (2) miles thereof shall be filed or recorded with the County, nor shall any plat or subdivision have any validity until it complies with the provision of these regulations, has been approved by the Council as herein set forth, and further:

  1. Issuance of Building Permits. No more than two (2) building permits for each separate tract existing at the time of the effective date of these regulations shall be issued unless the tract has been platted in accordance with these regulations; except that this provision shall not limit the number of building permits that may be issued for accessory buildings as defined by applicable land use regulations such as zoning and restricted residence regulations or additions or improvements to a main or accessory building already legally located upon said tract.
  2. Sale or Lease Without Plat. Any person who shall dispose of or offer for sale or lease any lots in the City or addition to the City, until the plat thereof has been acknowledged and recorded as provided in these regulations, shall forfeit and pay fifty dollars ($50.00) for each lot and part of lot sold or disposed of, leased, or offered for sale.