Little Known Bill That Passed This Legislative Session & Signed Into Law By Governor Will Change Make-Up Of County Bds. Of Adjustment & Planning & Zoning Commissions

Tue 6-9-2020

(Spirit Lake)-- A bill passed in this session of the Iowa Legislature that was signed by Governor Kim Reynolds June 1st and became effective immediately will change the make up of county Boards of Adjustment and Planning and Zoning Commissions throughout the state. Those bodies must now consist ENTIRELY of people who live in unincorporated areas. Previously a MAJORITY of those bodies had to live in unincorporated areas. For Dickinson county, Zoning Administrator David Kohlhaase told the Board of Supervisors this (Tues.) morning it means one seat is now vacant on the five-member Board of Adjustment and for the Planning and Commission three of the seven seats of that body are now vacant...Vacancies01 

"We had to call the members of both boards that are not living in the unincorporated areas and inform them that they have been released immediately of their duties and thank you very much. And so those positions have become vacant." 

Kohlhaase said both boards still have enough members to technically meet a quorum...Vacancies02 

"On the Board of Adjustment we have four members in the unincorporated areas and then on the Planning and Zoning Commission group we have four out of the seven."

Kohlhaase said finding replacements will likely be a challenge...Vacancies03 

"As you know there's counties throughout the state, and there's communities in our county, that can't fill their boards and commissions." 

Kohlhaase says they had no idea it was coming...Vacancies04 

"But like I said we have a legislative committee, we have a lobbyist, you know. It was just like wow, what happened?"

Kohlhaase said one option to lessen the burden of finding replacements to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission would be to reduce it from seven members currently to five. But Kohlhaase said the Chairman of the commission has recommended it remain a seven member board. It was also a consensus of the supervisors to keep it at that number.

The supervisors were assigned with the task of looking for possible replacements and to put together a list of possible candidates over the next 30 days or so for possible consideration.