Proposed code updates to protect neighborhoods and eliminate barriers for developers


DES MOINES, IOWA — Friday, May 17, 2019 —
A public hearing draft of the City of Des Moines’ new Zoning, Planning & Design Code has been released following a robust effort to process comments from residents, neighborhood leaders and developers. The City’s existing zoning code hasn’t been comprehensively updated since 1965, which has been cumbersome for developers and neighborhoods to navigate.

Interactive PlanDSM mapThe new Zoning, Planning & Design code is available for review at and features an easy-to-use interactive map that shows how the proposed changes could affect your properties.

To get to this updated draft, City staff took the time to carefully consider more than 350 comments received since the release of the initial zoning code draft in August 2017. The updated draft was designed to balance each concern raised to the best of our ability and provide a fair and equitable way of preparing Des Moines neighborhoods to thrive.

Over the next six months, there will be at least 10 public meetings before the proposed code is voted on by Des Moines City Council. Public comment is open to all, including residents and developers, and can be submitted through the PlanDSM website or by attending upcoming public meetings regarding the code. Community Development staff is also available to answer questions.

After the updated Zoning, Planning & Design code is approved by City Council, it will continue to evolve as the needs and priorities of the community change over time. This updated draft aims to simplify the process for developers to help them get their projects started quicker, while making sure the needs of each neighborhood are considered.

The leadership of the Zoning, Planning & Design code steering committee will help drive future updates. The committee consists of members of City Council, our City Manager, our boards and commissions, Des Moines Public Schools, the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Des Moines Streets Collective, DART, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Hubbell Realty Company, Home Inc. and ULI Iowa.

Visit to review the proposed changes and submit your feedback to City staff.

Jen Schulte
Director of Government Relations & Communications, City Manager's Office
(515) 318-9814

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 DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.