The Planning and Zoning Department administers and enforces the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, and Floodplain Ordinance for Plymouth County.
- Issue building permits and zoning permits.
- Perform zoning inspections by enforcing zoning ordinance.
- Handle requests for rezoning, variance, conditional use permits.
- Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment and Board of Supervisors are decision makers for aforementioned requests.
- Handle all major and minor subdivision requests.
- Handle requests for home industry or home occupations.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Sioux County shall require all dwellings, buildings and structures in the unincorporated area to obtain an appropriate zoning permit indicating valuation, size and location of such use. Furthermore, an appropriate zoning permit shall be required for the construction, reconstruction, alterations, remodeling, or expansion of buildings and uses customarily associated with the pursuit of agricultural enterprises in Sioux County including farm buildings, accessory farm buildings or structures, and similar buildings, structures and uses. The zoning permit will not be used to restrict or regulate agricultural uses, but to provide the county statistical data on the number, valuation, size and location of agricultural buildings constructed or remodeled, which may be used for county assessment purposes.
Sioux County Zoning Ordinance, Article II, section 2.2
Residential dwellings in the agricultural district shall only be permitted on the following types of property.
- Abandoned Farmsteads
- Existing Residential Acreages, defined as a small parcel not under cultivation, which is recorded as a separate parcel and has historical residential use in excess of five years, limited to replacement of the primary residential dwelling, density not to exceed one (1) dwelling on such property.
- Approval of a zoning permit under the requirements of this section is subject to a site visit and evaluation by the Zoning Administrator. Sioux County, Iowa Zoning Ordinance ARTICLE V: AG - Agriculture District 35 March 2018.
- In any instance within the agricultural district, single family non-farm residential dwellings shall not exceed a density of one (1) principal residential dwelling per every quarter (¼) section, as defined by the Geological Survey, with one exception: Abandoned Farmsteads, as determined by the Administrator, will not factor into the number of non-farms per quarter section. This requirement shall not apply to agricultural support housing associated with the principal agricultural residential dwelling unit on a farm parcel or lot.
- Unless otherwise allowed by this Ordinance, single family residential uses shall be limited to one (1) principal dwelling per lot, parcel or tract of land when the use is non-agricultural in nature. When the owner of the dwelling is the owner or renter of a farm or associated with agricultural production on the property where the house is located, a maximum of one (1) principal single family residential dwelling and one (1) support housing dwelling per agricultural property is allowed.
- Individual agriculturally zoned parcels that include a farm residence may be split for residential purposes once in the lifetime of both the original and resulting parcel provided all of the following criteria are met:
- The original parcel is a minimum of four (4), and a maximum of ten (10) net acres in size, and
- There is only one existing dwelling on the original parcel, and
- There is evidence to support a history of no farming (crop) activity for a minimum of five (5) years prior to the division of the parcel under consideration, and
- Each resulting parcel is a minimum of 2 acres net, and
- All other pertinent zoning regulations are met by both the original and resulting parcel, including minimum setback requirements, lot/parcel size, septic requirements, etc., and
- The properties are otherwise determined by the zoning director to be suitable for residential purposes.
- Both parcels are subject to the “Parcel Subdivision” regulations outlined in Section 16.11 of this Ordinance, and
- All residential dwelling units must be constructed in compliance with the “Minimum Requirements for Residential Structures” regulations outlined in Section 17.7 of this Ordinance. Manufactured or mobile homes must be converted to real property in conformance with section 135D.26 of the Code of Iowa.
Sioux County Zoning Ordinance, Article V, section 5.3
FARM: A tract of land owned or rented by a farmer, primarily adapted for agricultural purposes, thirty-five (35) acres or greater in size. Tracts of land owned or rented by a farmer less than thirty-five (35) acres in size and claimed as exempt from zoning regulations as being primarily adapted for agricultural purposes shall be reviewed by making application to the Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Administrator shall make the determination on whether the level of existing or proposed agricultural activity on the property can be considered “primarily adapted for agricultural purposes” and therefore exempt from zoning regulations based on meeting all three of the following criteria:
- More than fifty percent (50%) of the land includes agricultural production defined as cultivating the soil, producing crops or raising livestock shall be interpreted to be a farm. The term “significant” does not include gardening or keeping animals for personal use or hobby purposes.
- The parcel of land is or will be assessed and taxed as agricultural property by the Sioux County Assessor under the rules of the Iowa Department of Revenue.
- At least twenty-five percent (25%) of the gross household income is derived from the sale of products or commodities produced on the property and such income generation is considered an occupation of the person or persons owning or leasing such land.
FARMER: A person or persons actively engaged in farming and deriving taxable income from such activity or someone who is retired from farming when it relates to the land the farmer formerly farmed.
FARMSTEAD: A tract of land with farm dwelling and/or related outbuildings, yards, windbreaks, wells or other improvements which are held and operated in conjunction with agricultural crop and/or livestock production. An existing farmstead shall be defined as the combination of farm dwelling and any farm accessory buildings used or previously used and occupied by a person or family employed, fully or partially, in the agricultural pursuits of the farm on which it is located. To be defined as an abandoned farmstead, the following criteria must be met:
- The farm and associated dwelling and/or accessory buildings shall not have been converted to crop production. Sioux County, Iowa Zoning Ordinance ARTICLE III: Definitions/Use Classifications 10 March 2018
- Is within the bounds of an existing grove, windbreak or farmstead boundary established or constructed prior to the adoption of the Sioux County Zoning Ordinance. Boundary fences shall not be interpreted to include livestock feed yards, which can be converted to row crop production, but shall be interpreted to include the boundary of the normal farm yard and customary farm buildings.
- Minimum evidence of the farmsteads existence through previous tax records establishing existence of the farm dwelling and evidence of an identifiable feature associated with a previous farmstead (e.g. foundation, outbuildings, well head, well pump, etc.) recognizable to the Zoning Administrator.
Sioux County Zoning Ordinance, Article III Definitions.
Generally, no, however there may be exceptions. Contact the Planning & Zoning Office for clarifications.
Agricultural Home Occupations are uses which typically carry on a commercial type use on the premises of a farm or farmstead.
The Board of Adjustment may grant conditional use permits for the type of allowed use, the use of additional buildings and employment of individuals, provided the proposed conditional use will not create a nuisance for surrounding properties or residents. Permits for home occupations issued as an accessory to agricultural residential use shall be renewed every three (3) years and conducted in accordance with the following limitations:
- The use must be conducted as a secondary or accessory use to the property. The agricultural home occupation may be conducted within the principal dwelling, an accessory building or a designated business building, as long as the occupation is located on the same premises as the principal use.
- Up to three (3) unrelated persons living outside the residence and family members may be employed in the agricultural home occupation.
- Incidental equipment or materials associated with home occupation may be displayed or stored where visible from off the premises. However, the agricultural home occupation shall not use the principal use property as a sales lot or display area for home occupation products such as automobiles, recreational vehicles or farm machinery and equipment.
- May have no more than one (1) flush-mounted non-illuminated wall sign not exceeding twelve (12) square feet, and one (1) non-illuminated yard sign not exceeding twenty (20) square feet and ten (10) feet in height.
- The agricultural home occupation shall not produce external noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odor, heat, glare, fumes, electrical interference or waste run off outside of property of the principal use or elsewhere that would be a nuisance to neighboring properties. Sioux County, Iowa Zoning Ordinance ARTICLE XVII: Additional Use Regulations 100 March 2018
- The following uses shall not be allowed as agricultural home occupations: animal hospitals, clinics, hospitals, junk or salvage yards, restaurants, or massage parlors.
- Daycare operations, for home occupation, shall be permitted according to state regulations.
Sioux County Zoning Ordinance, Article XVII, section 17.4