The Board of Adjustment is comprised of seven members appointed by the City Council, each serving a five-year term. The Board functions as a quasi-judicial body, providing relief from interpretations of the City's zoning ordinance. The Board may review applications pertaining to a variance or a special exception permit.
The Board of Adjustment is empowered to consider requests for variance from the terms/requirements of the City Zoning Ordinance. An application for a variance is needed to seek relief from dimensional requirements such as lot size, setbacks, size of a building, and fence regulations. The criteria for approval of variances are very strict. Many variance requests are not approved. A variance cannot be granted to allow a use that is not permitted by the Zoning Ordinance.
A special exception permit is intended for any development within the floodway portions of the general floodplain district. Any use that involves placement of structures, fill or other obstructions, excavation or alterations of a watercourse may be allowed only upon issuance of a special exception permit by the Board of Adjustment with final approval by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The application must be filed in the Zoning Office three weeks before the meeting date. There is a non-refundable fee of $350 to apply for a variance or a special exception permit.