Planning and Zoning

The primary objectives of Planning and Zoning in the City of Waterloo are:

  • to promote the health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity, and general welfare;

  • to conserve and protect the value of property throughout the City and to encourage the most appropriate use of land; to lessen congestion in the streets;

  • to prevent the overcrowding of land;

  • to avoid undue concentration of population;

  • and to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements.

Furthermore, Planning and Zoning is also intended and designed to meet the specific purpose of Chapter 414, Code of Iowa, as amended. It is further the intent of Planning and Zoning to provide for the orderly use and development of land and related natural resources in Iowa for residential, commercial, industrial, and recreational purposes, preserve private property rights, protect significant natural and historic resources and fragile ecosystems of this county including forests, wetlands, rivers, streams, lakes and their shorelines, aquifers, prairies, and recreational areas, and to provide for the efficient use and conservation of energy resources.

To implement these objectives, the City of Waterloo has adopted the City of Waterloo Zoning Ordinance, a Subdivision Ordinance, and a Comprehensive Plan. As part of the Comprehensive Plan, the City of Waterloo has developed a Future Land Use map, which provides a general guide for the growth and development of the City.

The Waterloo Planning and Zoning Department can assist you in answering a variety of questions that deal with:

  • Why your land is zoned a particular way.

  • Confirm if your property is located in a floodplain.

  • Inform you of the status of city-owned property.

  • Advice as to what zoning status is needed to operate a business.

  • Let you know the zoning guidelines for running a home-based business.

  • Building rules and regulations for your property.

 For questions relating to planning, zoning, historic preservation, zoning variances, flood plain and property development or redevelopment, please contact our office.

For help identifying available buildings and sites in Waterloo, contact one of our 
Economic Development professionals for a confidential consultation.