Plan Commission

The Plan Commission reviews petitions for certain special use permits (e.g., running a business in a residential neighborhood out of your home) and all changes to the Galva Zoning Ordinance.

Who may apply for a special use permit

Any resident of the City of Galva may apply for a special use permit, which, if granted, will remain in effect until such time as the property in question passes out of the petitioners care or ownership.

If you are leasing or renting the subject property, you cannot, but the owner may, petition the Plan Commission for a special use permit.

Because a Special Use Permit effectively modifies the zoning of the affected property, you must follow the procedures listed below for a change of zoning (the exception being that only the owner of the affected property may apply for a special use permit).

Who may apply for a change of zoning

The City Council, the Plan Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, other governmental bodies and any private party may apply for an amendment to the text of the Zoning Ordinance and the Zoning Map. Such applications are commonly referred to as "petitions." Any petition for an amendment by a private party must be accompanied by a filing fee, and because making a change to a zoning district is expensive, the fee charged is commensurate with the expense.

Notice of public hearing

Changes to the Zoning Ordinance, and by extension the Zoning Map, requires a public hearing before the Plan Commission. Notice of the time and place of the hearing must occur at least 15 days, but no more than 30 days prior to the hearing. The Plan Commission will cause such notice by publicizing the hearing in the Galva News.

The notice, which must contain a brief statement describing the proposed amendment, may suffice for public notice; but the Plan Commission usually informs such property owners, groups or organizations it deems necessary to have knowledge of the hearing in a direct manner using the US Mail service, telephone calls or even personal visits.

Recommendation to city council

After the Public Hearing has been held, the Plan Commission has 45 days in which to notify the City Council of its recommendation regarding the change(s) to the Zoning Ordinance.

The City Council, without further public hearing, may adopt or deny the report of the Plan Commission for a proposed amendment, or may refer the petition back to the Plan Commission for further consideration.

In the event your petition does not receive a favorable recommendation

Any amendment which fails to receive the approval of a majority of the Plan Commission members cannot be passed by the City Council except with a favorable vote of three-fourths of all the elected members of the City Council.

In the event of a written protest against your petition

In the event of a written protest against the proposed amendment, signed and acknowledged by the owners of 20% of the frontage proposed to be altered, or by the owners of 20% of the frontage immediately adjoining or across the alley or rear line therefrom, or by the owners of 20% of the frontage directly opposite the frontage proposed to be altered as to such regulations or zoning district, when filed with the City Clerk, such amendment cannot be passed even with the recommendation of the Plan Commission except by the favorable vote of three-fourths of all of the members of the City Council.

Whenever inspections of the premises used for or in connection with the operation of a licensed business or occupation are provided for or required by ordinance or are reasonably necessary to secure compliance with any ordinance provision or to detect violations thereof, it shall be the duty of the licensee or the person in charge of the premises to be inspected, to admit thereto for the purpose of making such inspection any officer or employee of the City who is authorized or directed to make such inspection at any reasonable time that admission is requested.

No license shall be issues for the conduct of any business, and no permit for any thing or act, if the premises and building to be used for the purpose do not fully comply with the requirements of the ordinances of the City.

No such license or permit shall be issued for the conduct of any business or performance of any act which would involve a violation of the Zoning Ordinance.

Commodities or Materials

Whenever any analysis or any commodity or material is reasonably necessary to secure conformance with any ordinance provision or to detect violations thereof, it shall be the duty of any licensee of the Municipality whose business is governed by such provision to give to any authorized officer or employee of the Municipality requesting the same, sufficient samples or such material or commodity for such analysis upon request.

Certification of Compliance

No building or structure erected or structurally altered shall be occupied and used until a certificate of compliance (commonly referred to as a certificate of occupancy) has been issued by the Building Commissioner (commonly referred to as the Building Inspector).

The Certificate shall be issued only after the Inspector makes a finding that the building or structure has been erected or structurally altered in conformance with the ordinances of the municipality and other health and building laws and in accordance with a building permit.

Form of Certification

A certificate of compliance (or certificate of occupancy) is deemed issued when the conditions of all outstanding permits have been satisfied and reported by the City's inspectors as such to the Building Inspector, so long as the subject property is not found in violation of a city ordinance or code.