A Q&A with Dave Wilwerding

Community Development Director for the City of Johnston

What project details and/or documents should an individual prepare when seeking approval for a project from the city?

This varies depending on the type of project; detailed checklists on each type of project are available on the city’s website at cityofjohnston.com/107/Community-Development. Additionally, the city has an online tool available to assist with site development, including a parking calculator, open space landscaping and buffer planting calculator, and sign calculator. There is also an online, easy-to-use version of the zoning map and ordinances. This is available at cityofjohnston.com/encode.

How early in the development of my project should I involve city officials?

It’s a good idea to schedule a pre-application meeting with city staff early on in project development. This allows an applicant/developer to get direction from the city on zoning requirements and other site considerations before a great deal of design work has been completed.

How will the city work in conjunction with other development parties to ensure a project meets codes and/or regulations?

All development proposals are reviewed by the Community Development Department and the Fire and Public Works Department. Additionally, the Parks Department and/or Police Department may review as necessary. The city also contracts with Foth Infrastructure and Environment, who completes a review of all engineering related items on the city’s behalf. To ensure all applicants have one point of contact, a project planner within the Community Development Department will be assigned to each project and will work with all of the previously noted individuals to coordinate comments and review.

Once a formal submission is made, a development review meeting will be scheduled with the applicant and design team, as well as all of the appropriate city staff. This meeting is to ensure all parties are coordinating and working together to meet city requirements.

What steps should an individual expect to take place during a city approval process?

All development proposals follow the same general process. Upon submitting a proposal, a development review meeting will be scheduled, revised plans will be requested to address city comments, and future Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council meetings will be scheduled. Public notices are then sent to all affected adjacent owners, and public comment will be accepted at the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council meetings. A short video that explains the public input process is available at cityofjohnston.com/716/Proposed-Development-Information.

City of Johnston

Johnston City Hall

6221 Merle Hay Road

Johnston, IA 50131