Development Applications

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Application Review Process: Upon submittal of the application packet, fees, and project plans, a case planner will be assigned. Staff will distribute the project information to various city departments and outside agencies for detailed review and comment. The reviewers have 7 days to return comments to the case planner. The Case Planner will compile all comments into one letter and send it to the project’s identified Project Representative. The project’s design team addresses the comments and resubmits the necessary drawings, information, and documents to the Case Planner. This information is provided back to those departments/entities that commented for review and determination if comments have been addressed. This comment, resubmittal, review, comment cycle continues until all review comments have been addressed or a point of ‘agree to disagree’ has been reached. The project is then scheduled for consideration by the appropriate approval body (City Council, Plan and Zoning, Board of Adjustment, or Administratively by Staff).

Note, projects are not placed on and approval body’s agenda based on a submittal date, but rather only once all comments are addressed and the project is ready to proceed for approvals.

City Council and the Plan and Zoning Commission: The City Council and Plan and Zoning Commission consider site plans, area development plans, comprehensive plan and zoning requests. The Plan and Zoning Commission makes a recommendation for approval or denial and identifies appropriate conditions that may be required of a proposal. City Council and the Plan and Zoning Commission meetings are held on Monday nights except in the case of a Monday holiday, in which case they are moved to Tuesday night. The City Council and Plan and Zoning Commission alternate Mondays, thus a project can be scheduled for a Monday Plan and Zoning Commission agenda and the following Monday City Council agenda resulting in all non-public hearing items to be considered for all necessary recommendations and approvals within a 7-day period. 

Board of Adjustment: The Board of Adjustment considers Permitted Conditional Uses, Variances, and Zoning Appeals. The Board of Adjustment meets every other Wednesday in the same week as City Council meetings.

Administrative Approvals: Staff has authority to approve Minor Modifications as long as the proposed modification does not result in a deviation from minimum city code requirements. Minor Modifications can be approved immediately upon resolution of all review comments. At the discretion of the Development Services Director, a potentially controversial minor modification may go before the Plan and Zoning Commission and City Council for approval.

Staff also has the authority to approve Town Center Overlay District and Jordan Creek Town Center Site Plans. These site plans go through the standard review and comment process; however, once all comments are addressed, staff provides a memo outlining the proposed project, along with site plans and architectural elevations to members of the Plan and Zoning Commission and City Council for their review. The Commission and Council have one week to respond to staff with any concerns. If no concerns are raised, notice of the pending approval by staff is placed in the main lobby of city hall. As soon as 48 hours later, staff can hold a meeting to approve the site plan. If two members of the Plan and Zoning Commission and/or City Council desire, the site plan can be called forward for consideration at regularly scheduled Commission and Council meetings.

Public Hearing Matters: Permitted Conditional Uses, Variances, Comprehensive Plan Amendments, Rezoning, and Amendments to City Code requests are all considered as part of a public hearing. Notice of the time and date of the public hearing will be published in a newspaper serving the West Des Moines community. Except for Amendments to City Code, notice of a public hearing is also mailed to all property owners within 370’ of the subject property at least 7 calendar days prior to, but no greater than 20 calendar days from the day of the meeting. Interested parties may speak during the hearing at the designated meeting or provide comments in writing to the project’s Case Planner prior to the meeting.

Miscellaneous Applications:

4200 Mills Civic Parkway
TEL: (515) 222-3620
FAX: (515) 273-0602

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