Chapter 18.05


18.05.010    Title.

18.05.020    Application.

18.05.030    Purpose.

18.05.040    Authority.

18.05.050    Preferred land use map designation.

18.05.060    Adoption of Comprehensive Plan.

18.05.070    Comprehensive Plan filed and maintained in the office of the City Clerk.

18.05.080    Names of zones.

18.05.100    If only one building on a lot or building site, it constitutes a main building.

18.05.110    Zone of unlisted uses and clarification of ambiguity.

18.05.120    Uncertainty of boundaries.

18.05.130    Property not zoned.

18.05.140    Classification of rights-of-way.

18.05.150    Lot area requirement symbol.

18.05.160    Limitation of land use.

18.05.170    Individual lot on building site is unit of application.

18.05.010 Title.

This chapter shall be entitled “Comprehensive Plan and Map; Zoning Classifications, Uses Permitted, and Provisions Applicable to All Zones.” [Ord. 1591 § 15, 2014.]

18.05.020 Application.

This chapter shall apply to all zoning in the City and all zoning actions as specified in this Title. [Ord. 1591 § 16, 2014.]

18.05.030 Purpose.

This chapter adopts the Comprehensive Plan and land use maps, and sets forth the zoning classifications for the City and general provisions applicable to such classifications. [Ord. 1591 § 17, 2014.]

18.05.040 Authority.

This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority set forth in DMMC 18.01.040. [Ord. 1591 § 18, 2014.]

18.05.050 Preferred land use map designation.

The map filed in the City Clerk’s office and marked Exhibit “B” to Ordinance No. 1469 and adopted November 12, 2009, as amended by Exhibit “B” to Ordinance No. 1528, as amended by Exhibit “B” to Ordinance No. 1551, as amended by Exhibit “B” to Ordinance No. 1623, as amended by Exhibit “B” to Ordinance No. 1664, as amended by Exhibit “B” to Ordinance No. 1712, as amended by Exhibit “B” to Ordinance No. 1731 is amended as described in Exhibit “A” to Ordinance No. 1775 and constitutes the comprehensive land use map, also referred to as the preferred land use map, for the City. The map referenced herein supersedes all previously adopted preferred land use maps. [Ord. 1775 § 2, 2023; Ord. 1731 § 1, 2019: Ord. 1712 § 1, 2018: Ord. 1664 § 1, 2016: Ord. 1623 § 1, 2015: Ord. 1591 § 19, 2014.]

18.05.060 Adoption of Comprehensive Plan.

The document consisting of 12 chapters, entitled “Des Moines 2035,” and attached as Exhibit “A” to Ordinance No. 1469 as amended by Section 20 of Ordinance No. 1591 is adopted by reference and constitutes the Comprehensive Plan for the City. [Ord. 1623 § 2, 2015: Ord. 1591 § 20, 2014.]

18.05.070 Comprehensive Plan filed and maintained in the office of the City Clerk.

The City Clerk shall file, maintain, and make available for public inspection the City of Des Moines Comprehensive Plan adopted by the ordinance codified in this chapter. [Ord. 1591 § 21, 2014.]

18.05.080 Names of zones.

To accomplish the purpose of this Title, the following use zones are established and regulations are set forth therein defining the permissible uses, the height and bulk of buildings, the area of yards and other open spaces about buildings, and the density of population; such zones are known as follows:

(1) Residential Zones.

(a) Single-Family Residential Zones.

(i) RS-15,000 Residential: Single-Family 15,000;

(ii) RS-9,600 Residential: Single-Family 9,600;

(iii) RS-8,400 Residential: Single-Family 8,400;

(iv) RS-7,200 Residential: Single-Family 7,200;

(v) RS-4,000 Residential: Single-Family 4,000.

(b) R-SE Residential: Suburban Estate; R-SR Residential: Suburban Residential.

(c) Multifamily Residential Zones.

(i) RA-3,600 Residential: Attached Townhouse and Duplex 3,600;

(ii) RM-2,400 Residential: Multifamily 2,400;

(iii) RM-1,800 Residential: Multifamily 1,800;

(iv) RM-900 Residential: Multifamily 900;

(v) RM-900A Residential: Multifamily 900A;

(vi) RM-900B Restricted Service Zone;

(vii) PR-R Pacific Ridge Residential.

(2) Commercial Zones.

(a) N-C Neighborhood Commercial;

(b) I-C Institutional Campus;

(c) B-C Business Commercial;

(d) B-P Business Park;

(e) C-C Community Commercial;

(f) D-C Downtown Commercial;

(g) C-G General Commercial;

(h) H-C Highway Commercial;

(i) PR-C Pacific Ridge Commercial;

(j) T-C Transit Community; and

(k) W-C Woodmont Commercial. [Ord. 1618-A § 10, 2015; Ord. 1601 § 14, 2014; Ord. 1591 § 22, 2014.]

18.05.100 If only one building on a lot or building site, it constitutes a main building.

Any building which is the only building on a lot or building site is a main building unless otherwise authorized by variance. No accessory building or use is allowed on a lot or building site unless the primary use to which it is accessory exists on the same lot or building site. [Ord. 1591 § 23, 2014.]

18.05.110 Zone of unlisted uses and clarification of ambiguity.

(1) In creating zones, the City Council has considered the characteristics of uses which make them comparable, compatible, or similar. The City Council recognizes that it is not possible to enumerate and classify every use to which land may be devoted, either now or in the future, and that ambiguity may exist with reference to the appropriate and consistent zone of a use. Therefore:

(a) When any known and identifiable use is not listed as a permissible use in any zone; or

(b) When any use has now come into existence by reason of any technical development in the trades, sciences, and equipment; or

(c) When any use already listed in the zone which, because of any process, equipment, or materials used, possesses different performance standards than those which are usually associated with the uses in the zone as presently classified and which, therefore, makes it reasonable that such a use should be placed in the more restrictive zone.

(2) It shall be the responsibility and duty of the Planning, Building and Public Works Department to ascertain all pertinent facts relating to any such use and make what it deems to be the appropriate recommendation for zoning. Any proceedings under this section shall be processed as an amendment. [Ord. 1591 § 24, 2014.]

18.05.120 Uncertainty of boundaries.

Where uncertainty exists as to the boundaries of any zone shown upon the zoning map or any part or unit thereof, the following rules shall apply:

(1) Where such boundaries are indicated as approximately following street or alley lines or lot lines, such lines shall be construed to be such boundaries;

(2) In the case of unsubdivided property, and where a zone boundary divides such property, the location of such boundaries, unless the same are indicated by dimensions, shall be determined by use of the scale appearing on the zoning map;

(3) Where a public street or alley is officially vacated or abandoned, the area comprising such vacated street or alley shall acquire the zone of the property to which it reverts;

(4) Where a lot subdivided and recorded subsequent to the zoning of the area in which it is located becomes so placed that it is unequally bisected longitudinally by the boundary lines of different zones, the zone boundary shall be considered as following the lot lines of the lot in such manner as to place the lot wholly in that zone which applies to the major portion of the lot;

(5) Where property abuts a lake, river, or body of water, the zone shall extend to the inner harbor line and where no harbor line exists, to a line which the Corps of Engineers would define as the line of navigability;

(6) Where a lot is equally bisected longitudinally by a zone boundary line, the total lot shall acquire the most restrictive zone and the highest area requirement of the two zones involved;

(7) Where a lot is bisected by the boundary line between two zones and such boundary line parallels or approximately parallels the street on which such lot fronts, the total area of such bisected lot shall acquire the same zone requirement as the front portion of the lot. This provision shall not apply to through lots. [Ord. 1591 § 25, 2014.]

18.05.130 Property not zoned.

Any property which, for any reason other than the fact that it is a right-of-way of a street, alley, or railroad, is located within an adopted part of the zoning map but is not designated as being zoned shall be deemed to be zoned RS-15,000. [Ord. 1591 § 26, 2014.]

18.05.140 Classification of rights-of-way.

Areas of streets or alleys and railroad rights-of-way, other than such as are designated on the zoning map as being classified in one of the zones provided in this Title, shall be deemed to be unclassified and, in the case of streets, permitted to be used only for street purposes as defined by law, and in the case of railroad rights-of-way, permitted to be used solely for the purpose of accommodating tracks, signals, other operating devices, the movement of rolling stock, public utility lines, and facilities accessory to and used directly for the delivery, distribution, or rendering of services to bordering land uses. [Ord. 1591 § 27, 2014.]

18.05.150 Lot area requirement symbol.

In the Single-Family Residential Zone where a number follows the indicated zone on the zoning map such number shall indicate which of the minimum lot area, yards, and open spaces required in the zone applies to the properties involved. [Ord. 1591 § 28, 2014.]

18.05.160 Limitation of land use.

Except as provided in this Title, no building or structure shall be erected, reconstructed, or structurally altered, nor shall any building, structure, or land be used for any purpose except as specifically provided in this Title and allowed in the zone in which such building, land, or use is located. [Ord. 1591 § 29, 2014.]

18.05.170 Individual lot on building site is unit of application.

Unless otherwise specifically stated in this Title, an individual lot or building site as each is defined in this Title is intended to be the unit to which all of the provisions, requirements, permitted uses, yards, and open spaces apply. [Ord. 1591 § 30, 2014.]