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Article IX - Planning and Zoning

9.1 Planning and Zoning
(a) There is hereby established a Planning Commission. The Planning Commission shall make and adopt a comprehensive master plan for the physical development of the City, including amendments thereto and periodic updating thereof, subject to the approval of the City Council.

(b) The Planning Commission shall review and make recommendations to the City Council on land use matters, including but not limited to zoning, rezoning, platting, annexation, and subdivision of land; provided, however, that the City Council may also establish a zoning commission by ordinance to assume the responsibilities relative to the review and the making of recommendations on all such land use matters as may be determined by the City Council.

(c) No member of the City Council shall serve as either a member of the Planning Commission or, if established, a zoning commission.

(d) For the purpose of promoting the health, safety, and general welfare of the City, the City Council shall provide for zoning regulations and restrictions within the City by ordinance.

(e) There is hereby established a Board of Adjustment, which shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

(1) To hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by any administrative official charged with the enforcement of any zoning ordinance adopted pursuant to this section; and to reverse, affirm, modify, or amend any such order, requirement, decision, or determination; and

(2) To vary or modify the application of the regulations or provisions of any such ordinance relating to the construction or alteration of buildings or structures, where there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships. (Amended November 5, 1991.)


9.2 Zoning Changes and Legal Protests
Zoning regulations, restrictions, and boundaries may from time to time be amended, supplemented, changed, modified, or repealed. In case of a protest against changes in regulations or restrictions, or changes in the zoned district applicable to particular land, which protest is filed with the City Clerk at least twenty-four hours prior to the vote by the City Council on the change; and which is signed by the owners of twenty percent or more of the area subject to the proposed change or twenty percent or more of the area bounded by a line drawn at a distance of 100 feet from every point of the outer boundary of the area subject to the change, disregarding intervening public streets and alleys and excluding those areas of land outside of the corporate boundaries of the City, such changes shall not become effective except by a favorable vote of two-thirds of all members of the City Council.

9.3 Ward Advisory Committees
(a) The City Council may by ordinance establish a system of ward advisory committees. Such ordinance, if adopted, shall provide for one such committee in each ward of the City. The membership of a ward advisory committee shall consist of an elected committee member from each municipal precinct within a ward. The qualifications for committee members shall be the same as those for members of the City Council or as otherwise provided in the ordinance.

(b) The duties and responsibilities of the ward advisory committees shall be as follows:

(1) Participate in the ongoing planning processes of the City;

(2) Review all proposals for zoning or rezoning within or adjacent to the ward and submit comments and recommendations on such proposals to the City Administration and Planning Commission for consideration in reviewing such proposals for zoning and rezoning;

(3) Advise the City Council and Planning Commission regarding matters involving the economic health of the ward and the City;

(4) Review and make comments and recommendations on such other matters as requested by the City Council or Planning Commission; and

(5) From time to time report to the City Council on such matters as in the opinion of the ward advisory committees require the attention of the City Council or City Administration.