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PlanDSM Receives National and State Recognition

City of Des Moines is planning for 2040

Following a 19 month process involving extensive public outreach to all areas of the City, PlanDSM has been adopted and is now official policy for the City. With a vision of how the City will evolve into the future, PlanDSM will be a basis for land use decisions and new capital projects. See below for next steps to develop a new Zoning Ordinance.

PlanDSM Recognized for Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places

APA Comprehensive Plan Silver Award

PlanDSM: Creating Our Tomorrow was recognized by the American Planning Association (APA) for its values-based vision for the City of Des Moines and for integrating sustainability throughout the plan. The APA awarded PlanDSM the silver level, highest awarded this year. For more information, view the APA's announcement. The full plan is available below under the "Reports & Plans" section.

APA-Iowa 2016 Daniel Burnham Award For A Comprehensive Plan

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Awarded by the Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association to the City of Des Moines for PlanDSM: Creating Our Tomorrow, recognizing innovation and insight in creating a sustainable vision for Des Moines as it continues to grow into the future.


About the Plan

PlanDSM | Creating Our Tomorrow  is the City of Des Moines' Comprehensive Plan for how it will grow into the future. It consists of a vision statement of values the City considers important for the future; goals and policies for eight different Plan elements; a separate element addressing social equity; an implementation chapter describing how the Plan can be realized; and, a Future Land Use Map.

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News & Events

PlanDSM | Creating Our Tomorrow was adopted by the City Council on April 25, 2016. The Plan and Future Land Use Map are available under the Reports and Plans section of this website. With the adoption of PlanDSM, it is now time to rewrite the City’s development regulations to be consistent with the Plan. For this project, the City hired a consulting team made up of Duncan Associates, Codametrics, and The Lakota Group. Experienced in writing new codes and regulations, it is expected that this team will complete this process during the Fall of 2017.

The consultants initially spent time learning about the City and reviewing the existing development regulations and review processes. This step culminated with a series of “listening sessions” where those who are most familiar with the current regulations, met with staff and the consultants to provide comments on issues with the current Code and what they’d like to see in the new Code.

The consulting team has completed an Analysis and Project Direction Report which summarizes their initial recommendations regarding the scope and general direction for the new Zoning ordinance. This report provides a direction that will be pursued with the new ordinance rather than identifying specifics and can be viewed by clicking on the report listed above under Reports and Plans. A link to this document is provided under the Reports and Plans Section of this page.

Next, the consultant will prepare preliminary drafts of new ordinance sections. After initial review and comment by staff, revised drafts will be posted here for public review. Additionally, there will be public meetings and open houses (dates and times yet to be determined) so those interested can discuss the proposed changes with staff and consultants. Please check this site frequently for information updates and sign up for notification of major project milestones and events.

Zoning Project Timeline

Steering Committee

T. M. Franklin Cownie, Mayor
Joe Gatto, City Council
Dr. Tom Ahart, Des Moines Schools Superintendent
Todd Ashby, Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
Pam Carmichael, Home Inc.
George Davis, Park and Recreation Board  
Chad Mason, Transportation Safety Commission  
Larry James, Jr., ULI Iowa
Greg Jones, Plan and Zoning Commission 

Jeremy Lewis, Des Moines Bike Collective
Colleen MacRae, Urban Design Review Board  
Frank Owens, Neighborhood Revitalization Board  
Mel Pins, Zoning Board of Adjustment  
Elizabeth Presutti, General Manager DART
Scott Sanders, City Manager
Meg Schneider, Greater Des Moines Partnership
Rick Tollakson, Hubbell Realty Company

Contact Information

If you have questions, or cannot attend any of these meetings, please contact Bob Blanchard:

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