Zoning & Subdivision Code Update

The City of Johnston has been updating its Zoning and Subdivision Codes over the last 18 months to make sure its zoning and subdivision regulations are consistent with the goals, policies, and maps in Thrive 2040, the City’s recently adopted Comprehensive Plan. In addition, specific Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance inconsistencies and issues identified by the City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, and City Staff will be studied as part of this project.

Draft Zoning and Subdivision Codes

On December 1, 2022, the City released a draft of the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations for public comment. During the public comment period, the online draft was viewed more than 1,700 times and 97 online comments were submitted. Additionally, a number of written comments were provided (PDF) to city staff.  In reviewing these comments, a number of proposed changes have been made to the draft code which are currently being reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council.  

For a summary of the key changes to the Zoning and Subdivision Regulations visit, the Storybook. The current full version of the code is available here (PDF). A redline version of the draft code, showing changes made to the previously released version is available here (PDF).  A summary of the proposed changes can be found in this memo (PDF)

What is the project schedule?

The following meetings and input opportunities are currently scheduled:

City Council Public Hearing to consider adoption of the new Zoning and Subdivision Regulations, Stormwater Regulations and Adopt a new Zoning Map

Additional Public Hearings regarding any rezoning actions will be scheduled for a later date after the adoption of the new code.

Will my property be rezoned as part of this process?

As part of the update process, some properties in the community will need to be rezoned. As part of the update to the new Zoning Ordinance, an Official Zoning Map will be adopted which rezones properties that are currently zoned within the  R-1(90), R-1(A), R-1(150), CO, PC, IC, MUC and Merle Hay Road Overlay districts.  These districts are being eliminated from the new code and will be rezoned to one of the districts contained in the new code, these are depicted on the attached maps (PDF). Click here (PDF) to view the draft full zoning map including the proposed changes to the noted districts Additional rezonings will likely occur sometime after the new code is adopted. To learn more about what some properties may be rezoned visit this link.

What are the Zoning and Subdivision Codes?

The Zoning Code is the set of rules that identifies how individual properties within the City can be used. It also sets standards for how buildings may be developed or changed. The Zoning Code is structured by dividing the City into districts and then identifying what can occur in each district. The Zoning Map, available here, shows where the City’s zoning districts are located. The Zoning Code also has standards that apply to all districts, such as parking, landscaping, screening, signage, etc.

The City’s Subdivision Regulations shape how properties can be subdivided into smaller parcels for development or sale. The regulations include standards pertaining to lots, streets, infrastructure such as water and sewer, and public areas. 

The City’s current zoning and subdivision regulations are available here

What is Thrive 2040?

Thrive 2040 is the City’s recently adopted Comprehensive Plan. It is a document that is a tool for guiding the growth, redevelopment, and overall improvement of the City. While the most recognized part of the Comprehensive Plan is its land-use plan, Thrive 2040 also includes a vision statement, guiding principles, goals, policies, and implementation initiatives that direct actions related to natural resources, transportation, economic development, housing, parks, trails, and open space, and utilities. Thrive 2040 also incorporates the 10 Iowa Smart Growth Principles throughout the Plan. More information about Thrive 2040 can be found here

Why do the Zoning Subdivision Codes need to be updated?

These potential updates will address specific standards in some zoning districts, parking, landscaping/screening, stormwater and natural resources, and definitions sections of the Zoning Code. In addition, the City’s last update/rewrite of its Zoning Ordinance occurred in 1982. While amendments have been made, a collective update and modernization of the Zoning and Subdivision regulations have not occurred.

How can I be involved?

At any point in the process, please feel free to send questions or comments directly to email Thrive or (515) 727-7778.

Project Contacts

David Wilwerding, AICP
Community Development Director
Email David Wilwerding
(515) 727-7775

Rita Trapp, AICP
Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc.
Email Rita Trapp
(651) 402-8045