Fayette County
Planning and Development
Fayette County Home Page                                                             Environmental Health

Catherine Miller
Administrator

Debbie Dietzenbach
Administrative Assistant

Office Hours: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday through Friday

Due to on site inspections and
evaluations, the office may not always be
staffed during these hours.  You may
want to call ahead of your visit.    

Fayette County
Planning and Development
PO. Box 269
West Union, IA   52175

Phone:(563) 422-3767
Fax:  (563) 422-9201
Email:
cmiller@co.fayette.ia.us
ddietz@co.fayette.ia.us

The Planning and Development Office is
located on the first floor of the
courthouse, down the hall from the
Assessor's Office.
DESCRIPTION OF DEPARTMENT
The County, through the adoption of a comprehensive development plan and
enforcement of the county’s zoning, building code, subdivision and floodplain
development ordinances, is able to regulate land uses in the unincorporated
areas of the county.

Planning and Development is responsible for the current and future land uses
in all unincorporated areas of Fayette County.  


Planning & Zoning Commission
The Fayette County Planning and Zoning Commission is made up of nine
county residents appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve five year
terms, with the majority residing in the unincorporated areas of the county.  
Also known as the Zoning Commission, the Planning and Zoning Commission
was created in 1972 by the Board of Supervisors to act as their advisory group
on all planning and zoning matters including the adoption, implementation and
update of the development plan, zoning ordinance, and subdivision
ordinance.  This includes zoning and re-zoning land, subdivision planning and
site plan reviews in unincorporated Fayette County.

Click here to see the current members of this commission

Board of Adjustment
The Fayette County Zoning Board of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial board made
up of five citizens appointed by the County Board of Supervisors to serve five
year terms, with the majority residing in the unincorporated areas of the
county. The Board hears and makes the final decision on any questions
between an applicant and the zoning administrator as to the proper
interpretation of the zoning ordinance.  The Board may authorize variances
in the application of the ordinance where there are unusual circumstances
that would otherwise produce unnecessary hardship to a particular parcel of
land if literally enforced.  They also decide on applications for variances and
special use permits as specifically provided in the zoning ordinance.

Click here to see the current members of this board


Farm/Ag Exemption
The Fayette County Zoning Ordinance definition of farmer and farming
describes how an ag-exemption is determined.  First, an individual must
demonstrate that he or she is actively involved in a day to day farming
operation and derives income from a farming operation or is retired from
farming.  Second, the buildings and land must also be primarily adapted and
used for agricultural purposes.  A request must meet both requirements
before being considered ag-exempt.  The ag-exemption does not allow a
farmer to construct non-ag buildings or use his/her land for non-ag purposes
unless they comply with the zoning regulations.   It also requires compliance
for building(s) or land used for ag purposes if the owner does not meet the
definition of farmer.

In order to be considered ag-exempt a farmer must apply for and be granted
an ag-exemption certificate.  Farmers are not exempt from floodplain
development or subdivision regulations.  

Farm: A tract of land owned or rented by a farmer, primarily adapted for
agricultural purposes, forty (40) acres or greater in size and assessed as
agricultural property by the Fayette County Assessor.  Tracts of land owned or
rented by a farmer, less than forty (40) acres in size, assessed as agricultural
property by the Fayette County Assessor and claimed as ag-exempt from
Zoning regulations as being primarily adapted for agricultural purposes shall
be reviewed by the Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Administrator and/or
Board of Adjustment shall make a 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.

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