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June 16th, 2008

Minutes - Woodbury County Zoning Commission Meeting
June 16, 2008


The meeting convened on the 16th of June, 2008 at 7 PM in the basement of the Woodbury County Court House, downtown, Sioux City, Iowa. Present were the following Commission members – Chairman Grady Marx, Commissioners: Dwight Rorholm, David McWilliams, Arvin Nelson, and Christine Zellmer Zant: Staff members present were Director John Pylelo and Clerk Peggy Napier. Present from the public was Riley Simpson, the County’s consultant with Flat Earth Planning; Mike and Julie Pottorff, Wayne and Judy Gordon, Richard Augustine, Jack Burright, Kevin Sandine, Greg. L. Anderson, Ken Gard, and Jan Johnson.



The first agenda item was approval of June 2, 2008 Commission Minutes.

Commissioner Nelson made the motion to approve the June 2, 2008 minutes subject to the following changes;

• Change the “motion carried 4-0” to “motion carried 4-1” to reflect that Chairman Marx was not in favor of Mr. Ronald Lieber adding three (3) acres to his already spot-zoned LI (Limited Industrial) 8 acres. Lieber asked the additional 3 acres be zoned LI as well.

The motion with the change was seconded by Commissioner Rorholm; motion carried 4-0.




The next agenda item was the public hearing to receive comment concerning Woodbury County’s proposed zoning ordinances including proposed zoning district mapping designations.

Chairman Marx asked for a motion to open this portion of the meeting. Commissioner McWilliams open the first portion of the public hearing related to zoning ordinances; motion seconded by Commissioner Rorholm; motion carried 4-0.

Mr. Mike Pottorff approached the Commission and distributed a letter to each commissioner, Director John Pylelo and Clerk, Peggy Napier concerning issues related to a business his neighbor on lot 4 appeared to be operating out of his home. He asked his wife, Julie Pottorff, read the letter to the commission (letter attached as “Exhibit A”).

The letter explained although his property and those of his neighbors are residential and zoned R-10 (suburban residential) he and most of his neighbors still reside in an unincorporated area of the county and must abide by county ordinances. Pottorff lives in lot 1, the neighbor and wife accompanying him live in lot 2, and Mr. Sandine lives in lot 4 – behind lots 1 and 2. Mr. Pottorff sites his and his neighbors issues are with Sandine’s lawn care and snow removal business, Blade Runner, which he runs from his residence on lot 4. Pottorff’s and specific complaints were;

1. noise and dust from company vehicles going in and out of Sandine’s property year round over granite paving

2. the alleged storing and mixing of chemicals on the Sandine property

3. perceived increase in violations with approval of new ordinance Section 4.10

4. alleged vandalism to an accessory structure on his property

5. may not be visible from the road, but it is visible from Pottorff’s back yard.

(The commission agreed to change ordinance from “Home occupation and employee vehicles shall be stored either in a building or screened from public view” to “…screened from view from public, private or adjacent view.”)


Commissioner Zellmer Zant, Rorholm, and Chairman Marx suggested;

• the Pottorffs find out if Sandine’s business was governed by the Board of Agriculture who could determine if the chemicals Sandine keeps on his property were detrimental to the ground or surrounding neighbors.

• Points 2, 4 and 6 in the proposed Home Occupation Ordinance could work in Mr. Pottorff’s favor

• Remedies may be in current regulations. Must realize many current home occupations will be grandfathered in and can’t be expected to change.

• All legal channels available should be investigated for references to toxic substances.

• Home business are occurring now in county and Planning and Zoning Office doesn’t know about it until/unless there is a complaint

• If a home business does not meet the 6 points it won’t be grandfathered in in the first place.

• Item #6 dealing with complaints such as dust, noise, etc. can be very subjective.

• Home Owners Association could develop bylaws if there aren’t some in place already to create some level of civil agreement.

• The commission needs to develop some kind of standard with which to close businesses down. It must be understood if a business is closed down, they have a right to appeal first to the Board of Adjustment and then to court.



Mr. Dick Augustine approached the commission to say he also had issues with the proposed Home Occupation regulations. He has a neighbor who doesn’t appear to be operating within Iowa laws. Mr. Augustine intended to complain to the DNR (Department of Natural Resources).
Augustine felt this proposed ordinance had “No teeth.” He didn’t feel the commission or the Planning and Zoning Office were able to actually do anything about complaints.



Mr. Greg Anderson approached the podium regarding a possible rezoning issue. Director Pylelo gave a short history of Mr. Anderson’s Heating and Cooling business that he operated from his property in rural Woodbury County. Anderson had obtained a CU (conditional use) designation for his land that would expire after eleven (11) years. The question was whether he should rezone his land from AG to CG (General Commercial) and add PD (planned development) to it.

Chairman Marx commented there has never been a complaint from Anderson’s neighbors regarding his business. He urged the commission to add “PD” to his zoning.

Commissioner Zellmer Zant asked if the lack of complaints could be validated. Mr. Pylelo said there was a letter in a packet concerned with Anderson’s business, but no problems were found.

Commissioner Rorholm pointed out zoning it CG would constitute “spot zoning” which the commission had tried to stay away from.

Mr. Pylelo said in order to have a business and live there too he had to be “PD.”

Mr. Rorholm said if they compared Anderson’s situation with the others presented this evening one would find Anderson got the “CU” in the first place as a temporary fix because he intended to find a place in town.

Mr. Ken Gard lives next door to Mr. Anderson and commented Anderson and his business were considered an asset to the community and suggested the “CU” be extended.

Mr. Pylelo said the density in that area has changed, but Mr. Gard said the new building was shielded from view and there still were no complaints.

Mr. Pylelo suggested as a business man asking for spot zoning with a PD allows latitude to grow his business and he would have to follow the 6 rules under the Home Occupation ordinance.

Chairman Marx wanted to encourage spot zoning Anderson’s land immediately.

Ms. Zellmer Zant said the commission needed to make sure Mr. Anderson understood all of his options and ultimately it was up to him to decide how he wanted to zone his land in this situation.

Both Ms. Zellmer Zant and Mr. Rorholm thought it might be a good idea to eliminate the “Sunset Clause.”

Commissioner Nelson did not feel right about a new zoning following the land.

Mr. Pylelo said under the proposed Home Occupation ordinance Anderson would be able to pass the business along to his son under the same conditions.

The comment was made several times by some of the commissioners the other situation was an “inclusion” issue with three (3) additional acres. This is a “new spot zone” issue and therefore not at all the same.

Commissioner Rorholm recommended Anderson approach the Board of Adjustment and ask the rezoning fee be waived should he choose that route. The Board of Adjustment would have to take the request to the Board of Supervisors who are the only ones who can approve a fee waiver.

A decision was not made and Mr. Anderson left the meeting.


Director Pylelo asked the record show if “these 7 items are adopted we could have issues dealing with mostly #4.”


Chairman Marx asked for a recess. The Commission recessed at 8:20 PM and reconvened at 8:35 PM.


A motion was made by Commissioner Zellmer Zant to give the final copy of the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances and Mapping to the Board of Supervisors for the first of three (3) readings. Commissioner Rorholm seconded the motion; motion carried unanimously.



Commissioner Zellmer Zant made a motion to adjourn; Commissioner Rorholm seconded the motion; motion carried 4-0.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.