TITLE 12
PLANNING, ZONING AND DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER 1
BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
ARTICLE A.  PLANNING COMMISSION
SECTION:
12-1A-1: Appointment; Terms; Vacancies; Compensation
12-1A-2: Quorum
12-1A-3: Organization; Meetings
12-1A-4: Personnel Hiring Authority
12-1A-5: Powers And Duties
12-1A-6: Comprehensive Plan; Purpose
12-1A-7: Zoning Board
12-1A-8: Subdivision Of Land
12-1A-9: Uniformity Of Zoning Regulations
12-1A-10: Purpose Of Zoning Plan
12-1A-11: Limitation Of Zoning Authority
12-1A-1: APPOINTMENT; TERMS; VACANCIES; COMPENSATION:
   A.   Creation; Appointment; Term: A city planning commission is hereby created. It shall consist of seven (7) appointive citizens. The seven (7) appointive members shall be appointed by the mayor with the consent of the council, and shall serve for terms of three (3) years, the terms to be from July 1 to June 30, or until their successors take office. Members shall be appointed solely with reference to their fitness and not party affiliation.
   B.   Vacancies: Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms.
   C.   Removal: The council may remove a member of the planning commission for the good of the service.
   D.   Compensation: The members shall serve without compensation. (Ord. 988, 1-11-2005)
12-1A-2: QUORUM:
   Four (4) members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business; any action taken by a majority of the members present at a meeting shall be binding upon the commission. (2000 Code § 12-102)
12-1A-3: ORGANIZATION; MEETINGS:
   The members of the city planning commission shall meet within two (2) weeks after their appointment and confirmation and organize by electing from their members a chairman, vice chairman, and secretary, and shall adopt from time to time such bylaws, rules and regulations and amendments thereto as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article. The regular meetings of the commission, after the organization meeting as set forth herein, shall be the first week of July, at which time the commission shall elect officers as set out herein, for the ensuing year. (2000 Code § 12-103; amd. Ord. 1075, 3-11-2008, eff. 4-10-2008)
12-1A-4: PERSONNEL HIRING AUTHORITY:
   A.   Hiring Authority: The commission shall have the power, subject to the approval of the council, to employ planners, engineers, attorneys, clerks and other help deemed necessary for the efficient operation of the commission.
   B.   Compensation: The salary and compensation of such employees shall be fixed by the city council, and shall be paid out of the city treasury as other officers and employees, and the necessary expenses incurred by the commission shall be paid out of the city treasury as other legal expenses of the city government. (2000 Code § 12-104)
12-1A-5: POWERS AND DUTIES:
   The commission shall prepare and recommend to the council for adoption a comprehensive plan for the physical development and betterment of the city. In conducting its work, the commission may consider and investigate any subject matter pertaining to the development, betterment and zoning of the city and make recommendations as it may deem advisable concerning the adoption thereof by the council. The commission may make or cause to be made surveys, studies, maps and plans for the conduct of its activities, and before final action is taken by the council on the location or design of any public buildings, statues or memorials, parks, or boulevards, streets, alleys, playgrounds, public grounds, bridges or any change in the location of any street or alley, the question shall be submitted to the commission for investigation and report. The commission shall have the power and duty to review plans, specifications and site plans to be furnished by the applicant prior to the issuance of building or property permits, which shall conform to city codes and ordinances and be in accordance with the planning requirements of the city. The review of single-family dwellings shall not be undertaken by the commission but shall remain the responsibility of the building inspector. In reviewing plans, specifications and site plans, the applicant for the review and the commission, in approving or denying the application, shall use a form substantially complying with exhibit "A" attached to ordinance 533, dated February 12, 1974, and incorporated herein by reference. (2000 Code § 12-105)
12-1A-6: COMPREHENSIVE PLAN; PURPOSE:
   In the preparation of the plan, the commission shall make careful and comprehensive surveys and studies of the present conditions and future growth of the city, and with due regard to its relation to neighboring territory. The plans shall be made with the general purpose of guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, adjusted development of the city and its environs which will be in accordance with present and future needs, to best promote health, safety and morals, order, convenience, prosperity and general welfare. (2000 Code § 12-106)
12-1A-7: ZONING BOARD:
   The city planning commission shall serve as a zoning board for the city. (2000 Code § 12-107)
12-1A-8: SUBDIVISION OF LAND:
   The commission may prepare and recommend to the council for adoption, rules and regulations governing subdivisions of land within the city limits. All plans, plats and replats of land laid out in two (2) or more lots, plats or parcels, or streets or alleys, or other ways intended to be dedicated for public use shall be first submitted to the commission for its recommendations. The commission shall check the proposed dedication or subdivision to ensure compliance with the comprehensive plan. The disapproval of any plan, plat or replat by the city shall be deemed the refusal of the dedication thereon. (2000 Code § 12-108)
12-1A-9: UNIFORMITY OF ZONING REGULATIONS:
   A.   Zoning Plan: The commission shall prepare and recommend to the council a zoning plan to regulate and restrict the height, number of stories, the size of buildings and other structures, the percentage of lots that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts and other open spaces, the density of population, the location and use of building structures and land for trade, industry, residences or other purposes.
   B.   Division Of City Into Districts: The commission may recommend the division of the city into districts of such number, size and area that may be deemed best suited to carry out the zoning plan. All such regulations shall be uniform for each class or kind of building throughout the district, but the regulations from one district may differ from those of other districts. (2000 Code § 12-109)
12-1A-10: PURPOSE OF ZONING PLAN:
   Zoning regulations shall be made in accordance with the comprehensive plan and designed to lessen congestion in the streets, to secure safety from fire, panic and other dangers, to promote health and the general welfare, to promote adequate light and air, to prevent the overcrowding of land, to avoid undue concentration of population, to facilitate the adequate provisions of transportation, water, sewage, schools, parks and the public requirements, such regulations to be made with a reasonable consideration among other things as to the character of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular uses and with a view to conserving the value of buildings, and encourage the most appropriate use of land throughout the city. (2000 Code § 12-110)
12-1A-11: LIMITATION OF ZONING AUTHORITY:
   The authority of the city planning commission to serve as a zoning board for the city in any actions taken by the commission under this chapter and title, shall all be subject to the provisions of chapters 2 and 3 of this title, and the actions of the commission as a zoning board are specifically subject to the appellate authority and jurisdiction of the board of adjustment as established in article B of this chapter. (2000 Code § 12-111)
ARTICLE B.  BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
SECTION:
12-1B-1: Appointment; Terms; Vacancies
12-1B-2: Meetings And Procedures
12-1B-3: Appeals
12-1B-4: Power To Hear And Decide Appeals
12-1B-5: Power To Grant Variances
12-1B-6: Power Relative To Exceptions
12-1B-7: Exercise Of Powers
12-1B-8: Appeal To District Court
12-1B-1: APPOINTMENT; TERMS; VACANCIES:
   A.   Creation; Appointment; Terms: There is hereby created a zoning board of adjustment consisting of five (5) citizens, each to be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the city council for a term of three (3) years. For the first appointment under the provisions of this article, however, one member shall be appointed for a term of one year; two (2) members shall be appointed for a term of two (2) years; and two (2) members shall be appointed for a term of three (3) years. All appointments thereafter shall be for a term of three (3) years. Not less than two (2) members shall be appointed from the membership of the planning commission.
   B.   Vacancies: Vacancies shall be filled by the appointing authority for the unexpired term of any member whose term becomes vacant.
   C.   Chairman: The board shall elect a chairman from its membership to serve for a term of one year. (Ord. 989, 1-11-2005)
12-1B-2: MEETINGS AND PROCEDURES:
   A.   Rules: The board shall adopt rules in accordance with the provisions of this article.
   B.   Meetings: Meetings of the board shall be held at the call of the chairman and at such other times as the board may determine.
   C.   Oaths; Witnesses: The chairman, or in his absence, the acting chairman, may administer oaths and require the attendance of witnesses by subpoena.
   D.   Minutes Of Proceedings: The board shall keep the minutes of its proceedings, showing the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall be immediately filed in the office of the city clerk and shall be a public record.
   E.   Authority To Reverse Order, Grant Variance: The concurring vote of four (4) members of the board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of any such administrative official, or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass under any such ordinance or code, or to effect any variation in such ordinance or code. (2000 Code § 12-122)
   F.   Open Meetings: The board shall be subject to open meetings laws of the state and all meetings, deliberations and voting shall be open to the public. (Ord. 1075, 3-11-2008, eff. 4-10-2008)
12-1B-3: APPEALS:
   A.   Right To Appeal; Filing Fee: Appeals to the board of adjustment may be taken by any person aggrieved or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the city affected by any decision of the administrative officer. Such appeal shall be taken within thirty (30) days after the decision by filing with the officer from whom the appeal is taken and with the city clerk notice of appeal specifying the grounds therefor, and by paying a filing fee in the sum of two hundred dollars ($200.00) at the time the notice is filed. The officer from whom the appeal is taken shall forthwith transmit to the board all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken. (2000 Code § 12-123; amd. Ord. 1075, 3-11-2008, eff. 4-10-2008)
   B.   Stay Of Proceedings: An appeal stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the board of adjustment, after the notice of appeal has been filed with him, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate a stay would in his opinion cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the board of adjustment or by a court of record on application and notice to the officer from whom the appeal is taken and on the cause shown.
   C.   Setting Time For Hearing; Notice: The board of adjustment shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the appeal or other matter referred to it, give public notice thereof as well as due notice to the parties in interest, and decide the same within a reasonable time. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person or by agent or by attorney. (2000 Code § 12-123)
12-1B-4: POWER TO HEAR AND DECIDE APPEALS:
   The board of adjustment shall have the power to hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is an error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by the administrative officer in the enforcement of the zoning regulations set forth in chapters 2 and 3 of this title. (2000 Code § 12-124)
12-1B-5: POWER TO GRANT VARIANCES:
   The board of adjustment shall have the power to authorize, upon appeal in specific cases, such variances from the terms of the zoning regulations in chapters 2 and 3 of this title as will not be contrary to the public interest where, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the zoning regulations will, in any individual case, result in unnecessary hardship, so that the spirit of the zoning regulations shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done. Such variances may be granted in such individual case of unnecessary hardship upon a finding by the board of adjustment that:
   A.   At the time of the original adoption of the regulations or if there are extraordinary and exceptional conditions pertaining to the particular piece of property in question because of its size, shape, or topography, or other extraordinary or exceptional situation or condition of a specific piece of property;
   B.   The strict application of the zoning regulations to this particular and exceptional piece of property would create an unnecessary hardship, not self-imposed by the owner or developer;
   C.   Such conditions are peculiar only to the particular piece of property involved and not generally prevalent in the area;
   D.   The strict application of the zoning regulations to this particular piece of property would create an unnecessary hardship due to a physical handicap of the owner or occupant and such variance shall be granted on a temporary basis, expiring upon the termination of the need therefor;
"Physical handicap" as used herein shall be established by filing, with the city, a "physical handicap variance application" upon a form provided by the city; or
   E.   Relief, if granted, would not cause substantial detriment to the public good or impair the purposes and intent of the zoning regulations; provided, however, that no variance may be granted for a use of land or building or structure that is prohibited by the zoning regulations set forth in chapters 2 and 3 of this title. (2000 Code § 12-125)
12-1B-6: POWER RELATIVE TO EXCEPTIONS:
   The board shall have the power to hear and decide special exceptions to the terms of this title upon which the board is required to pass under this title. Upon appeal, the board is empowered to permit the following exceptions:
   A.   District Boundary Line Extension: To permit the extension of a district where the boundary line of a district divides a lot in single ownership as shown of record;
   B.   Street Layout: To interpret the provisions of this title where the street layout actually on the ground varies from the street layout as shown on the map fixing the several districts, which map is on file in the office of the city clerk;
   C.   Off Street Parking: To grant exceptions to the off street parking requirements set forth in this title when it is determined that the size and shape of the lot to be built on is such that off street parking provisions could not be complied with, and that the proposed use will not create undue traffic congestion in the adjacent streets; and (2000 Code § 12-126)
   D.   Setback And Area: To grant exceptions to the setback and area requirements herein established; provided, however, that whenever exceptions are granted to setback or to area requirements, new setback and area requirements for the lot or lots covered by the exception shall be specifically set forth in a manner that will carry out the purpose and intent of these regulations. (2000 Code § 12-126; amd. Ord. 1075, 3-11-2008, eff. 4-10-2008)
12-1B-7: EXERCISE OF POWERS:
   In exercising its powers, the board may, in conformance with the provisions of this title, reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as ought to be made, and to that end shall have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken. In considering all appeals from rulings made under this title, the board shall, in making its findings on any specific case, determine the effect of the proposed change upon the supply of light and air to adjacent property, upon the congestion of the public streets, upon the public safety from fire and other hazards, upon the established property values within the surrounding area, and upon other factors relating to the public health, safety, comfort, morals, and general welfare of the people of the city. Every ruling made upon any appeal to the board shall be accompanied by a written finding of fact based upon the testimony received at the hearing afforded by the board, and shall specify the reason for granting or denying the appeal. (2000 Code § 12-127)
12-1B-8: APPEAL TO DISTRICT COURT:
   A.   Right To Appeal; Filing Of Notice: An appeal from any action, decision, ruling, judgment or order of the board of adjustment may be taken by any person or persons, jointly or severally aggrieved, or any taxpayer or any officer, department, board or bureau of the city to the district court by filing notice of appeal with the city clerk and with the board of adjustment within ten (10) days from the filing of the decision of the board, which notice shall specify the grounds of such appeal. Upon filing of the notice of appeal as herein provided, the board shall transmit to the court clerk the original or certified copy of all the papers constituting the record in the case, together with the order, decision or ruling of the board.
   B.   Stay Of Proceedings: An appeal to the district court from the board of adjustment stays all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the chairman of the board of adjustment from which the appeal is taken certifies to the court clerk, after the notice of appeal has been filed, that by reason of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would in his opinion cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed otherwise than by a restraining order which may be granted by the district court or superior court upon application or notice to the administrative officer in charge of the enforcement of the terms and provisions of this title, and upon notice to the chairman of the board of adjustment from which the appeal is taken, and upon due cause being shown, the court may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or modify the decision brought up for review. (2000 Code § 12-128)