403.5  Urban renewal plan.

1.  A municipality shall not approve an urban renewal project for an urban renewal area unless the governing body has, by resolution, determined the area to be a slum area, blighted area, economic development area or a combination of those areas, and designated the area as appropriate for an urban renewal project. The local governing body shall not approve an urban renewal plan until a general plan for the municipality has been prepared. For this purpose and other municipal purposes, authority is vested in every municipality to prepare, to adopt and to revise from time to time, a general plan for the physical development of the municipality as a whole, giving due regard to the environs and metropolitan surroundings. A municipality shall not acquire real property for an urban renewal project unless the local governing body has approved the urban renewal project in accordance with subsection 4.

2.  The municipality may itself prepare or cause to be prepared an urban renewal plan; or any person or agency, public or private, may submit such a plan to a municipality. Prior to its approval of an urban renewal plan, the local governing body shall submit such plan to the planning commission of the municipality, if any, for review and recommendations as to its conformity with the general plan for the development of the municipality as a whole. The planning commission shall submit its written recommendations with respect to the proposed urban renewal plan to the local governing body within thirty days after receipt of the plan for review. Upon receipt of the recommendations of the planning commission or, if no recommendations are received within the thirty days, then, without such recommendations, the local governing body may proceed with the hearing on the proposed urban renewal plan prescribed by subsection 3.

Prior to its approval of an urban renewal plan which provides for a division of revenue pursuant to section 403.19, the municipality shall mail the proposed plan by regular mail to the affected taxing entities. The municipality shall include with the proposed plan notification of a consultation to be held between the municipality and affected taxing entities prior to the public hearing on the urban renewal plan. Each affected taxing entity may appoint a representative to attend the consultation. The consultation may include a discussion of the estimated growth in valuation of taxable property included in the proposed urban renewal area, the fiscal impact of the division of revenue on the affected taxing entities, the estimated impact on the provision of services by each of the affected taxing entities in the proposed urban renewal area, and the duration of any bond issuance included in the plan. The designated representative of the affected taxing entity may make written recommendations for modification to the proposed division of revenue no later than seven days following the date of the consultation. The representative of the municipality shall, no later than seven days prior to the public hearing on the urban renewal plan, submit a written response to the affected taxing entity addressing the recommendations for modification to the proposed division of revenue.

3.  The local governing body shall hold a public hearing on an urban renewal plan after public notice thereof by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation in the area of operation of the municipality. The notice shall describe the time, date, place and purpose of the hearing, shall generally identify the urban renewal area covered by the plan, and shall outline the general scope of the urban renewal activities under consideration. A copy of the notice shall be sent by ordinary mail to each affected taxing entity.

4.  Following such hearing, the local governing body may approve an urban renewal plan if it finds that:

a.  A feasible method exists for the location of families who will be displaced from the urban renewal area into decent, safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations within their means and without undue hardship to such families.

b.  The urban renewal plan conforms to the general plan of the municipality as a whole; provided, that if the urban renewal area consists of an area of open land to be acquired by the municipality, such area shall not be so acquired except:

(1)  If it is to be developed for residential uses, the local governing body shall determine that a shortage of housing of sound standards and design with decency, safety and sanitation exists in the municipality; that the acquisition of the area for residential uses is an integral part of and essential to the program of the municipality; and that one or more of the following conditions exist:

(a)  That the need for housing accommodations has been or will be increased as a result of the clearance of slums in other areas, including other portions of the urban renewal area.

(b)  That conditions of blight in the municipality and the shortage of decent, safe and sanitary housing cause or contribute to an increase in and spread of disease and crime, so as to constitute a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare.

(c)  That the provision of public improvements related to housing and residential development will encourage housing and residential development which is necessary to encourage the retention or relocation of industrial and commercial enterprises in this state and its municipalities.

(d)  The acquisition of the area is necessary to provide for the construction of housing for low and moderate income families.

(2)  If it is to be developed for nonresidential uses, the local governing body shall determine that such nonresidential uses are necessary and appropriate to facilitate the proper growth and development of the community in accordance with sound planning standards and local community objectives. The acquisition may require the exercise of governmental action, as provided in this chapter, because of defective or unusual conditions of title, diversity of ownership, tax delinquency, improper subdivisions, outmoded street patterns, deterioration of site, economic disuse, unsuitable topography or faulty lot layouts, or because of the need for the correlation of the area with other areas of a municipality by streets and modern traffic requirements, or any combination of such factors or other conditions which retard development of the area.

A municipality shall not condemn agricultural land included within an economic development area unless the owner of the agricultural land consents to condemnation or unless the agricultural land is to be acquired for industry as that term is defined in section 260E.2. This paragraph shall not apply to land necessary or useful for the operation of a city utility as defined in section 362.2, for the operation of a city franchise conferred the authority to condemn private property under section 364.2, or a combined utility system as defined in section 384.80.

5.  An urban renewal plan may be modified at any time:  Provided, that if modified after the lease or sale by the municipality of real property in the urban renewal project area, such modification may be conditioned upon such approval of the owner, lessee or successor in interest as the municipality may deem advisable, and in any event such modification shall be subject to such rights at law or in equity as a lessee or purchaser, or a lessee's or purchaser's successor or successors in interest, may be entitled to assert. The municipality shall comply with the notification and consultation process provided in this section prior to the approval of any amendment or modification to an adopted urban renewal plan if such amendment or modification provides for refunding bonds or refinancing resulting in an increase in debt service or provides for the issuance of bonds or other indebtedness, to be funded primarily in the manner provided in section 403.19.

6.  Upon the approval by a municipality of an urban renewal plan or of any modification thereof, such plan or modification shall be deemed to be in full force and effect for the respective urban renewal area, and the municipality may then cause such plan or modification to be carried out in accordance with its terms.

7.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, where the local governing body certifies that an area is in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation as a result of a flood, fire, hurricane, earthquake, storm, or other catastrophe respecting which the governor of the state has certified the need for disaster assistance under Pub. L. No. 875, Eighty-first Congress, 64 Stat. L. 1109; 42 U.S.C. § 1855-1855g or other federal law, the local governing body may approve an urban renewal plan and an urban renewal project with respect to such area without regard to the provisions of subsection 4 and without regard to provisions of this section requiring notification and consultation, a general plan for the municipality, and a public hearing on the urban renewal plan or project.

Section History: Early form

  [C58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 403.5]

Section History: Recent form

  85 Acts, ch 66, §3; 94 Acts, ch 1182, §6; 96 Acts, ch 1204, § 14-16; 99 Acts, ch 171, §35, 41, 42

Internal References

  Referred to in § 403.14, 403.17


  1999 amendment to subsection 4 applies to urban renewal areas established before, on, or after July 1, 1999, and to amendments to such urban renewal areas; see 99 Acts, ch 171, §41

  1999 amendment to subsection 4 applies to state highway construction projects approved for commencement by the transportation commission on or after July 1, 1999, and to all other condemnation proceedings in which the application for condemnation is filed on or after July 1, 1999; see 99 Acts, ch 171, §42

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