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Revised Zoning Ordinance Ready for Plan & Zoning Consideration




Housing near downtown Des MoinesDES MOINES, IOWA — Thursday, August 1, 2019 —  The City of Des Moines Community Development Department will present to the Plan and Zoning Commission tonight revised recommendations for a new zoning ordinance. 

Revisions to the proposal include the removal of a requirement for basements and across-the-board reductions in minimum square footage of single-unit and two-unit houses in both new developments and existing neighborhoods. 

 The revisions are based on recommendations from the PlanDSM Steering Committee, a 15-member panel that includes City Council members, developers, affordable housing advocates, city leadership and regional entities such as the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Des Moines Area Metro Planning Organization, DART and Des Moines Public Schools.

As part of the long-range, comprehensive initiative of PlanDSM, the City has been working for more than three years on a new zoning, planning and design ordinance that will provide greater predictability, approval efficiency and a more focused urban design for developers and neighborhoods. The proposed ordinance prioritizes and encourages developments that tie together the existing character of the neighborhood, transportation, and employment.

The current zoning ordinance for Des Moines was written in 1965 and has been revised significantly over the years. In all, more than 300 amendments over the past 54 years.

Over the past three months, the City has conducted more than 25 stakeholder meetings since the public hearing draft of the zoning ordinance proposal was released in May. 

The Plan and Zoning Commission meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Service Center, 1551 East Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway.  To review the proposed revisions, download packet information here.  


Al Setka
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit , Facebook and Twitter for more information.