Congratulations and thank you for all your years of service! We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!
Dan Christensen 2017 - 2023
Pictured: Dan Christensen and Jerry Walker, Chairperson.
Public Meeting Notice
RPA 14 / ATURA TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AFFILIATION
The Policy Board of the RPA 14 / ATURA Transportation Planning Affiliation (Adair Taylor, Union, Ringgold, and Adams Counties) will meet at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 09, 2023 at the Pizza Ranch (520 Livingston Ave, Creston, IA 50801).
Action items on the agenda include:
· RPA-14/ATURA Final FY2024 Transportation Planning Work Program (TPWP)
· STBG Application – Ringgold County
The public is invited to attend and provide comments. Contact Jessica Hagen at SICOG firstname.lastname@example.org or 641-782-8491 for additional information. Click the button below to be taken to the ATURA page on the SICOG website!
UPDATE: ROAD CLOSURE ON U.S. 169 NEAR LORIMOR BEGINS ON THURSDAY, JUNE 1
If you’re planning to drive on U.S. 169 from U.S. 34 in Lorimor, there’s an upcoming road closure that could slow down your trip.
Beginning on Thursday, June 1, until Friday, Aug. 25, weather permitting, construction crews will work on removing the current bridge on U.S. 169 and replace it with a pipe and concrete paving. While the roadway is closed to traffic, motorists will follow a marked detour route using U.S. 34, and Union County roads P-53 and H-17.
Help keep everyone on the road safer. Drive with caution, obey the posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. As in all work zones, you should stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles, and wear seat belts.
The latest traveler information is available anytime through our 511 system. Visit 511ia.org; call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide); stay connected with 511 on Facebook or Twitter (find links at https://iowadot.gov/511/511-social-media-sites); or download the free app to your mobile device.
It’s easy to subscribe to Your 511 and sign up to receive email/text alerts. Visit https://new.511ia.org/#login to sign up. For instructions and help with this feature, visit https://www.511ia.org/help/section/how-to-create-and-manage-a-511-account.html.
Contact: For general information about this project contact Brian Smith, Iowa DOT Creston construction office, at (641) 782-4310 or email@example.com
As always, SICOG provides an un-exhaustive list of grants to generate ideas about possible projects and provide funding guidance. Grant funding sources are increasingly interested in creative solutions to problems and many are willing to support not just construction but also operations. If your community has a problem that outside funding might address, then please contact your SICOG office. We would be glad to help and can attend a local meeting at no cost to discuss the project or idea. There are many other sources, so if you have project, please contact us.
Iowa Downtown Forums
Designing the Downtown Experience
IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center is offering four interactive downtown forums on June 26 through the 29. These forums are for Iowa communities that are interested in learning more about streetscapes improvements, creating good pedestrian experiences, wayfinding signage, and how to fund them.
Monday, June 26- Waldorf University, Salveson Hall, 106 S 6th St, Forest City
Tuesday, June 27- United Methodist Church, 304 1st St SW, Mount Vernon
Wednesday, June 28- Warren Cultural Center, 154 Public Square, Greenfield
Thursday, June 29- The Foundary, 524 Lake Avenue, Storm Lake
For more information regarding these forums, the forum agenda, and registration, click the button below!
Iowa Supreme Court Comments on Some Zoning Issues
The following paragraphs about zoning are found on the ISU Planning Bluz site. This comes from an article written by Professor Gary Taylor. It pertains to a zoning change for the Field of Dreams site in northeastern Iowa. We put it in this article because it gives some of the insight into what the Iowa Supreme Court rules on about several zoning issues in this case, which could be applicable to local situations in our region.
“Impartiality of the city council. The Court noted that, while it was true that several council members viewed the rezoning and the project as an opportunity for the city, each council member attended all meetings, read reports, listened to citizens speak for and against the project, asked questions, and investigated issues and concerns. Nothing in the record demonstrated that any council member had any conflict of interest. Several members participated in an economic development bus trip to Des Moines to discuss the project with legislators and state officials, but the Court found that mere participation in such activities for the potential benefit of the city does not establish partiality or bias. “Rather, this is more akin to the council members upholding their public duty by performing their due diligence in determining what state aid might be available to help with the project before any formal action was taken. The council made its decision based on what it believed was best for the community after a full and open discussion of the issues over many months.”
Decision was arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable. A decision is arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable when it is not authorized by statute, or is unsupported by the facts. For the reasons cited above, the Court declined to find in favor of the petitioners on these grounds.
Inconsistent with comprehensive plan. Under Iowa Code 414.3, zoning regulations “shall be made in accordance with a comprehensive plan.” The Court referred to its prior decision in Iowa Coal Mining Co. v. Monroe County for the principle that “compliance with the comprehensive plan requirement merely means that the zoning authorities have given ‘full consideration the problem presented, including the needs of the public, changing conditions, and the similarity of other land in the same area.'” The Court referred to the boilerplate language found in every plan that says rezonings should be made with consideration of the unique character of the area, the suitability of the land for the proposed use, the conservation of buildings or value, and the encouragement of the most appropriate use of the land. It noted that the Field of Dreams site is a unique parcel of land, and that the council considered the distinctiveness of the land and whether the proposed rezoning would be the best use of the site for the benefit of the community as a whole. The city’s community builder plan also specifically addresses the importance of preserving the site in order to maintain and increase tourism.
Illegal spot zoning. To determine whether illegal spot zoning has occurred, a court must consider (1) whether the new zoning is germane to an object within the police power; (2) whether there is a reasonable basis for making a distinction between the spot zoned land and the surrounding property; and (3) whether the rezoning is consistent with the comprehensive plan. Noting again the uniqueness of the Field of Dreams site, the Court refused to find this to be a case of illegal spot zoning even though the result is an island of commercial development surrounded by agriculturally zoned properties.
200-foot buffer zone. Under Iowa Code 414.5, if 20% or more of the landowners immediately adjacent to the property proposed to be rezoned protest the change, then the city council must approve the rezoning by a four-fifths vote. The rezoning applicants left out of the rezoning request a 200-foot buffer zone along the three sides of the perimeter of the property (leaving it as A-1 Agricultural). The petitioners challenged the use of this 200-foot buffer as a way to prevent nearby property owners from objecting to the project and thereby triggering the requirement of a unanimous vote. While the Court acknowledged that “at first blush the buffer zone can appear to be unfair,” the Court concluded that the buffer in fact provides a benefit to adjacent landowners by addressing their expressed concerns about hunting and farming operations directly adjacent to the ballfields. The Court also noted that other courts have validated the use of buffer zones to avoid supermajority requirements. Regardless, even if the 200-foot buffer was improper, the rezoning was adopted by 4-1 vote of the city council.
Incorrect legal description. While the notice of the original ordinance (Ordinance 770) contained errors in the legal description, the council corrected the legal description in the ordinance that ultimately rezoned the property (Ordinance 777). No new notices were published, however, for Ordinance 777. The Court does not require complete accuracy when providing notice. Neither Iowa Code nor the city ordinances require the publication of a complete legal description. The purpose of the notice requirement is to give the public reasonable notice of the pending action. The public was well aware of the ongoing proceedings, and no one was confused or misled by the inaccuracy of the legal description.
Equal Protection. Petitioners argued that all neighboring landowners were similarly situated, yet the 3-sided 200-foot buffer prevented those neighbors along the buffer from exercising the same right to object as the neighbors along the side of the property without the buffer. The Court found that the council’s decision met the rational basis test required by the Equal Protection clause in this case. The buffers, as described above, served a legitimate purpose of protecting the neighboring properties on the three sides.
Due Process. Petitioners and the public in general were given adequate notice. Further, they were heard in multiple public hearings. All community members wishing to speak were allowed to do so.”
SICOG Partnerships 2023
*Creston City Water Works
*Clarke County Development Corporation
*City of Osceola
*John Wayne Birthplace Society, LTD of Winterset
*First National Bank of Creston & Afton
*Iowa State Savings Bank of Creston & Lenox
*Lenox Municipal Utilities
*Corning Municipal Utilities
*Garden & Associates, LTD of Creston & Oskaloosa
*PCSB of Clarinda, Corning, Creston, Lenox and Mount Ayr
*American State Bank of Lamoni, Osceola & Winterset
*JEO Consulting Group of Ankeny
*North Stone Apartments & Corkrean Construction of Winterset
*Snyder & Associates, Inc of Ankeny & Atlantic
*Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative of Corning, Mount Ayr & Stanton
*Tyler Insurance Services of Creston & Mount Ayr
*Veenstra & Kimm, INC of West Des Moines
*Adams Community Economic Development Corporation
*Afton Development Corporation
*Akin Building Center of Corning & Creston
*City State Bank of Mount Ayr
*Clarke County Hospital
*Clarke Electrical Cooperative of Osceola
*Community Development Corp of Greenfield
*Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Orient, St. Charles & Winterset
*First National Bank of Osceola
*FNB of Fontanelle & Greenfield
*Grundman Insurance Agency of Corning
*Lenox Chamber of Commerce
*Lenox Development Corporation
*R Realty of Creston
*Rainbow International of Winterset
*Ringgold County Development Corporation
*Saylor Realty, LLC of Osceola
*Southwestern Community College
*State Bank of Brooks of Corning
*Subway of Corning
*TS Bank of Treynor in Corning
*Union County Development Association
*Union State Bank of Greenfield
*Union State Bank of Winterset
Interested in becoming a partner?! Call us today at (641) 782-8491 or go to the Partnership page on the SICOG website and fill out the form at the bottom of the page!
SICOG Closed Monday, May 29 in Observance of Memorial Day
SICOG Executive Board Meeting- Tuesday, June 6
SICOG Closed Tuesday, July 4 in Observance of Independence Day
SICOG Executive Board
Jerry Walker, Chairperson, Adair County
Diane Fitch, Vice Chairperson, Madison County
Karen Zabel, Secretary, Taylor County
Scott Akin, Treasurer, Adams County
Randy Dunbar, Clarke County
Dan Christensen, Decatur County
Colby Holmes, Ringgold County
Rick Friday, Union County
Doug Davidson, Private Sector
Tom Leners, Private Sector
Raelynne Risser, Private Sector
Jodie Geist, Private Sector
Wayne Pantini, Member-At-Large
Beth Waddle, Executive Director
Judy Brimm, Finance Director
Jeremy Rounds, Regional Planner
Jessica Hagen, Transportation Planner
Terry Niestadt, Regional Planner
Kendra Comstock, Planning Tech