Current Projects

YSS Youth Recovery Campus


YSS seeks to create a welcoming, nurturing, therapeutic, and homelike atmosphere that’s disconnected from chaos and connected to the environment and nature to support YSS residential programming. The campus is proposed to be located on the site owned by YSS at 32358 580th Avenue, Cambridge, Iowa. A map and concept plan are included below. More information on the project can also be found on YSS' website here.

The narrative for the proposal can be found here. The site plan can be found here

The proposed campus requires a conditional use permit. The Planning and Zoning Commission hears conditional use permit requests and makes a recommendation to the Board of Adjustment, who makes a final decision on the request. Both the Commission and Board have a public hearing on the request as part of their meetings. A copy of staff's presentation from the informational meeting on the conditional use permit process can be found here

The CUP request will be addressed at a public meeting to be held on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, beginning at 4:00 PM, in the Public Meeting Room located on the 2nd floor of the Story County Administration Building (900 6th Street, Nevada, Iowa). The Story County Board of Adjustment will review the request on Wednesday October 20, 2021 beginning at 4 PM, in the Public Meeting Room located on the 2nd floor of the Story County Administration Building (900 6th Street, Nevada, Iowa). These meetings are also being offered via Zoom. To join the zoom meetings by computer, tablet, smartphone visit HTTPS://WWW.ZOOM.US/ and click on “Join a Meeting.” Use the Zoom Meeting ID 773 718 0067 and Password 1DR5Wg. To join the meeting by telephone: Dial (312) 626-6799. Use the Zoom Meeting ID 773 718 0067 and Passcode 540442.

Staff will be reviewing any application materials and public comments received prior to the meetings. If you were unable to attend the meeting but have questions or comments please contact Marcus Amman at mamman@storycountyiowa.gov or 515-382-7249. You may also submit a question or comment here

The Story County Planning and Development department hosted a public workshop on Wednesday, August 11th, for the proposed YSS Youth Recovery Campus. A link to the video of the meeting can be found here. 

Story County strives to ensure that its programs and activities do not discriminate on basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons requiring assistance, auxiliary aids or services, or accommodation because of a disability may contact the County’s ADA Coordinator at 515-382-7204.




Proposed Amendments to Standards for Home Businesses

As part of the comprehensive review and update of the Story County Land Development Regulations on the Story County Planning and Development Department’s 2021 Work Program, Planning and Development staff have completed a draft of proposed changes to Section 89.01, Home Businesses of the Story County Land Development Regulations. These changes include: 

  • Staff revised the language for those who may be employed by a home business to clarify that the owner or co-owner of the home business shall reside in the dwelling on the property where the home business is located. Also, the dwelling at which the home business is located should be the owner or co-owner’s primary place of residence.
  • Staff added a requirement that a home business shall be entirely based in the dwelling or accessory building on-site, with no off-site storefront, business operations, or other storage. 
  • Staff is proposing to allow a home business to have off-site employees who may occasionally visit the site as long as traffic limits are met. Off-site employees do not count towards the limit of one outside employee who does not reside at the dwelling on the parcel where the home business is located. For example, a contractor may have an office manager who works on-site (an on-site employee, limited to one who does not reside at the dwelling) and several other employees who pick up vehicles and equipment at the home business location before reporting to a job site (off-site employees).
  • Staff amended the number of trips permitted by a home business from six trips a day per person living in the household to 10 visits (20 trips) generated by clients, employees, or delivery services. 
  • Staff proposes clarifying that all General Site Planning Standards in Chapter 88 shall also be met. These include for screening of loading areas.

You can view all proposed amendments to Chapter 89 and the standards for home businesses here. An informational meeting on the changes was held on August 18. A recording of the meeting can be found here.

The Story County Planning and Zoning Commission will review and provide recommendation to the Story County Board of Supervisors on proposed amendments to the Story County Land Development Regulations at a public hearing in the Public Meeting Room located on the 2nd floor of the Story County Administration Building (900 6th Street, Nevada, Iowa) on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at 4 p.m. The public hearing will also be available via Zoom. To join the Zoom meeting by computer, tablet, or smartphone visit HTTPS://WWW.ZOOM.US/ and click on “Join a Meeting.” To join the meeting by telephone: Dial (312) 626-6799. For the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, use the Zoom Meeting ID 773 718 0067 and Password 1DR5Wg to join via the computer or Password 540442 to join via telephone.

The Story County Board of Supervisors will tentatively address the amendments at their Tuesday, September 21, 2021 meeting held at 10 a.m. in the Public Meeting Room located on the 2nd floor of the Story County Administration Building (900 6th Street, Nevada, Iowa). The public hearing will also be available via Zoom. To join the Zoom meeting by computer, tablet, or smartphone visit HTTPS://WWW.ZOOM.US/ and click on “Join a Meeting.” To join the meeting by telephone: Dial (312) 626-6799. For the Board of Supervisors meeting, use the Zoom Meeting ID 981 7092 0243 and Password 446094.

If the amendments are approved and your home business doesn’t meet these new standards but does meet our current standards, your home business would be considered as a legal nonconforming use and expansions may be limited. Changes such as expansions to existing home business will also be required to meet these new standards if approved by the Board of Supervisors. Any new home business permitted after the date the Ordinance is adopted must conform to the proposed amendments.

If you are unable to attend the meetings and have any comments, questions, or general feedback, please email the Planning and Development Department at pzweb@storycountyiowa.gov, call us at 515-382-7245, or send a written letter to Story County Planning and Development, Story County Administration Building, 900 6th St, Nevada, IA, 50201. You may also submit a question or comment here

Review of Agriculture Practices

On June 1, 2020, the Governor signed HF2477 and HF2512 into law. The laws had an immediate impact on planning and zoning in Iowa counties as each county’s authority to require review of agricultural exemptions and agritourism requests disappeared, including Story County.f

  • HF2477 eliminates counties’ ability to require conditional use permits, special use permits, special exceptions, or variances for agricultural experiences on a farm where the primary use is agricultural production. Agricultural experiences are secondary uses to agricultural production and are intended to promote or educate the public about agriculture, agricultural practices, agricultural activities, or agricultural products. This new law will require the striking of Story County’s agritourism ordinance and Conditional Use Permit process from the Story County Land Development Regulations. With permit and variance approvals for agricultural experiences gone, so also opportunities for neighbors and other members of the public to express their support or opposition for new or changing agricultural experience projects at a public hearing. 
  • HF2512 states that “a county shall not require an application, an approval, or a fee in order for an ordinance to be deemed inapplicable to land or buildings that are primarily adapted for agricultural purposes,” requiring Story County to change some of its processes. The Planning and Development Department is now supporting a voluntary application submittal process for property owners claiming their land and/or building projects are agriculturally exempt from County zoning requirements. The Department’s review will continue to include referral to Environmental Health when waste water is planned to be generated and a septic system permit is needed, review for impacts on the flood plain, referral to electric service providers regarding overhead electrical line separation standards, and review for potential impacts to easements. 

Please send comments or questions regarding these laws to pzweb@storycountyiowa.gov or call 515-382-7245 for more information.  

New Flowchart for Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control Requirements 

How do Story County's Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control requirements impact your project? Use the new flow chart of erosion control plan requirements to find out! The flow chart is also available at the bottom of this post. 

Story County amended its Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control requirements and Post-Construction Stormwater Management requirements in 2019. All construction projects that disturb under one acre must meet the Construction Site Erosion and Sediment Control requirements. A full set of both erosion control and stormwater management requirements can be found in Chapter 88.05 of the Story County Land Development Regulations.

Flow Chart Draft 5 (publisher)

Ames Urban Fringe Plan Renewal

The Ames Urban Fringe Plan Joint and Cooperative Agreement (28E) was set to expire in July of 2021. The cooperators each acted to extend the agreement until July of 2022. See Story County's, Ames' and Gilbert's resolutions. 

Story County has taken action to determine its priorities for the amendment and long-term renewal of the plan. More work will occur in early 2021. 


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