166.01  Short Title

166.10  Final Plat Requirements

166.02  Definitions

166.11  Design Standards - General

166.03  Jurisdiction

166.12  Blocks

166.04  Enforcement

166.13  Buffers

166.05  Variations and Exceptions

166.14  Easements

166.06  Subdivision Plat Fees

166.15  Lots

166.07  Changes and Amendments

166.16  Monuments

166.08  Procedure

166.17  Streets and Right-of-Ways

166.09  Preliminary Plat Requirements


166.01    SHORT TITLE.  These regulations shall be known as the “Subdivision Code of Princeton, Iowa.”

166.02    DEFINITIONS.  For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms and words are hereby defined.

1.                  “Architect” means a registered architect authorized to practice architecture as defined by the laws of the State of Iowa.

2.                  “Block” means an area of land within a subdivision that is entirely bounded by streets, highways, parks, railroad or similar fixed land division and/or the exterior boundaries of the subdivision.

3.                  “Building lines” are synonymous with setback lines and outline the buildable area of a lot which remains after the required yard areas have been provided for.  Building lines shall be shown on all lots intended for residential use of any character and on commercial and industrial lots when required by ordinance.  Such building lines shall not be less than required by the Zoning Ordinance.  Where the subdivided area is not under zoning control, the Commission shall require building lines in accordance with the needs of each addition.

4.                  “Collector streets” are those streets which carry traffic from minor streets to the major system of arterial streets and highways, including the principal entrance streets of a residential development and streets for circulation within such a development.

5.                  “Commission” means the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City.

6.                  “Cul-de-sac” means a short, minor street having one end open to motor traffic; the other end being permanently terminated by a vehicular turnaround.

7.                  “District” means a section or sections of land area depicted on the Official Zoning Map within which the regulations governing the use of buildings and premises or the height of buildings and area of sites are uniform.

8.                  “Easement” means a grant by the property owner for the use, for a specific purpose, of a strip of land by the general public, a corporation, or a certain person or persons, and within the limits of which the owner of the fee shall not erect any permanent structures but shall have the right to make any other use of the land subject to such easement which is not inconsistent with the rights of the grantee.  Public utilities shall have the right to trim or remove trees which interfere with the use of such easements.

9.                  “Engineer” or “City Engineer,” as it appears in this chapter, means the Chairperson of the Commission.

10.              Lot” means a portion of a subdivision or other parcel of land intended for the purpose, whether immediate for future, or transfer of ownership or for building development.

11.              “Major thoroughfare” means a street used primarily for fast, intense volume, mixed vehicular, through traffic.

12.              “Marginal access street” means a street that is parallel to and adjacent to a major thoroughfare or highway; and which provides access to abutting properties and protection from through traffic, while limiting access to the major thoroughfare.

13.              Minor street” means a street used primarily for access to the abutting properties.

14.              “Performance bond” means a surety bond or cash deposit made out to the City in an amount equal to the full cost of the improvements which are required by this chapter, said cost being estimated by the City Engineer, and said surety bond or cash deposit being legally sufficient to secure to the City that said improvements will be constructed in accordance with this chapter.

15.              “Plat” means a map, drawing or chart on which the subdivider’s plan of the subdivision is presented and which the subdivider submits for approval and intends to record in final form.

16.              “Roadway” means that portion of the street available for vehicular traffic, and where curbs are laid, the portion from back to back of curbs.

17.              “Street” means the entire width between the property lines bounded every way of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as a matter of right, for the purpose of vehicular traffic and others, and whether designated as a street, highway, thoroughfare, parkway, throughway, expressway, road, avenue, boulevard, lane, place, circle, or however otherwise designated.

18.              “Subdivider” means any person, individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, estate, trust, or any other group or combination acting as a unit, dividing or proposing to divide land so as to constitute a subdivision as defined herein and includes any agent of the subdivider.

19.              “Subdivision” means the division of land into two (2) or more lots or other divisions of land for the purpose, whether immediate or future, of transfer of ownership or building development, or, any change in existing street lines or public easements.  The term, when appropriate to the context, shall relate to the process of subdividing or to the land subdivided, or, the resubdivision of land heretofore divided or platted into lots or other divisions of land, or, if a new street is involved, any division of land.

20.              “Surveyor” means a registered surveyor authorized to practice surveying as defined by the Registration Act of the State of Iowa.

166.03    JURISDICTION.  Pursuant to the authority granted in Code of Iowa Section 354.9, it is hereby required that no subdivision of land within the City or land located outside of the corporate limits but within the following described area shall be recorded in Scott County or have any validity until it has been approved by the Princeton City Council:

Beginning at the southeasterly-most point of the corporate limit line extended east to the State boundary line; thence south along said State boundary line to its intersection with the centerline extended of Section 23 of Township 79 North, Range 5 East of the Fifth Principal Meridian; thence west along the centerlines of Sections 23, 22, and 21 of said Township to a point on the westerly line of Section 21 of said Township; thence north along the westerly line of said Section 21 to the southeast corner of Section 17 of said Township; thence west along the southerly line of said Section 17 to a point on said line which point is the intersection with the centerline of said Section; thence north along the centerline to the center of said Section 17; thence west along the centerline of said Section 17 to the westerly line of said Section; thence north along the westerly lines of Sections 17, 8, and 5 of said Township and Section 32 of Township 80 North, Range 5 East of the Fifth Principal, to the northwest corner of said Section 32 and the southwest corner of Section 29 of said Township; thence east along the southerly line of said Section to a point; thence north along the centerline of the Southwest Quarter of said Section to a point on the centerline of said Section; thence east along the centerline of said Section to the center of said Section; thence north along the centerline of said Section to the northerly line of said Section; thence east along the northerly line of said Section to the northeast corner of said Section and the southwest corner of Section 21 of said Township; thence north along the west line of said Section to a point; thence east along the centerline of said Section to the center of said Section; thence north along the centerline of said Section to a point on the north line of said Section; thence east along the northerly borderlines of Sections 21, 22, 23, and 24 extended of said Township to the State boundary line; thence south along the State boundary line to the point of beginning,

166.04    ENFORCEMENT.  The regulations contained herein shall be enforced in the following manner in addition to other remedies available:

1.                  Plat Shall Not Be Recorded.  No plat of any subdivision shall be enforced in the County Recorder’s office or have any validity until it has been approved in the manner prescribed herein.

2.                  No Public Improvements or Maintenance.  The Council shall not permit any public improvements over which it has control to be made from City funds or any City money to be expended for improvements or maintenance on any street in any area that has been subdivided after the effective date of these regulations unless such subdivision or street has been approved in accordance with the provisions contained herein and accepted by the Council as a public street.

166.05    VARIATIONS AND EXCEPTIONS.  Whenever the tract proposed to be subdivided is of such unusual topography, size or shape or is surrounded by such development or unusual conditions that the tract application of the requirements contained in these regulations would result in substantial hardships or injustices, the Council, upon recommendation of the Commission, may vary or modify such requirements so that the subdivider is allowed to develop property in a reasonable manner; but so, at the same time, the public welfare and interest of the City and surrounding area are protected and the general intent and spirit of these regulations are preserved.


1.         Preliminary Plat Fees.  Preliminary plat fees – minor plats (no proposed streets and less than four lots will be $75.00 plus $10.00 per lot; major plats (new streets proposed or four or more lots) will be $150.00 plus $10.00 per lot.

2.         Final Plat Fees.  Final plat fees – minor plats (no proposed streets and less than four lots will be $75.00 plus $10.00 per lot; major plats (new streets proposed or four or more lots) will be $150.00 plus $10.00 per lot.

3.         Other Fees.  In the event that the above cited fees are insufficient to reimburse the City of engineering charges incurred by the City in the examination and review of the preliminary and final plats, the developer shall be responsible for any additional fees incurred by the City for such engineering charges.

166.07    CHANGES AND AMENDMENTS.  Any provisions of these regulations may be changed and amended from time to time by the Council; provided, however, such changes and amendments shall not become effective until after study and report by the Commission and until after a public hearing has been held, public notice of which shall be given in a newspaper of general circulation not less than seven (7) or more than twenty (20) days prior to such hearing.

166.08    PROCEDURE.  In obtaining final approval of a proposed subdivision by the Commission and the Council, the subdivider shall submit a preliminary plat and a final plat in accordance with the following order and procedure:

1.                  Filing of Preliminary Plat.  The subdivider shall first prepare and file with the Clerk six (6) copies of a preliminary plat conforming in detail to the requirements set forth in this chapter.  Eight (8) copies of the preliminary plat shall be submitted for subdivisions outside the corporate limits of the City.

2.                  Copies Distributed.  The Clerk shall forthwith refer two (2) copies to the City Engineer and two (2) copies to the Commission.  In the case of a subdivision outside the corporate limits of the City, the Clerk shall refer two (2) copies of the preliminary plat to the County Board of Supervisors and keep the County Engineer advised of the status of the plat and actions taken thereon.

3.                  City Engineer to Review.  The City Engineer shall carefully examine said plat as to its compliance with the laws and ordinances of the City, the existing street system and good engineering practices, and shall as soon as possible, submit findings in duplicate to the Commission.

4.                  Commission Action.  After receiving the City Engineer’s report, the Commission shall study the preliminary plat and other material for conformity thereof to these regulations.  The Commission may confer with the subdivider on changes deemed advisable and the kind and extent of such improvements to be made by the subdivider.  The Commission shall approve or reject such plan within forty-five (45) days after the date of submission thereof to the Commission.  If the Commission does not act within forty-five (45) days, the preliminary plat shall be deemed to be approved, provided, however, that the subdivider may agree to any extension of the time for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days.  The approval of the preliminary plat by the Commission shall be null and void unless the final plat is presented to the Commission within sixty (60) days after date of approval.

5.                  Public Hearing.  Before approving a preliminary plat, the Commission may, in its discretion, hold a public hearing on the proposed plat, notice of which shall be given by publication in a local newspaper of general distribution, or by posting notices on the tract, or by sending notices to affected property owners by mail.  Such notice shall by given within seven (7) days prior to the public hearing.

6.                  Preparation of Final Plat.  Upon approval of the preliminary plat by the Commission, the subdivider may proceed with the preparation of the final plat together with any detailed construction drawings and specifications for the improvements required under this chapter.

7.                  Plans Submitted.  Before submitting the final plat to the Commission for approval, the subdivider shall furnish all plans and information as listed in this chapter necessary for the detailed engineering consideration of the improvements required under this chapter and obtain approval of the City Engineer which shall be endorsed thereon.

8.                  Filing of Final Plat.  The final plat shall be filed in duplicate together with a certificate from the City Engineer that the final plat is substantially in accord with the preliminary plat as approved by the Commission.

9.                  Commission Action.  The Commission shall then consider the final plat and if the same is approved, shall submit its recommendation of approval to the Council together with a certified copy of their resolution showing action of the Commission.

10.              Council Action.  The Council shall then consider the plat and if the same is acceptable and in accordance with this chapter, the Council shall accept the same.  If said plat is disapproved by the Council, such disapproval shall point out in writing wherein said proposed plat is objectionable.

11.              Recording of Approved Plat.  The passage of a resolution by the Council accepting the plat  shall constitute final approval of the platting of the area shown  on the final plat, but the subdivider or owner shall cause such plat to be recorded in the office of the County Recorder of Scott County, Iowa, as provided in Chapter 354, Code of Iowa, and amendatory acts thereto and shall file satisfactory evidence of such recording in office of the Clerk before the City shall recognize the plat as being in full force and effect.

166.09    PRELIMINARY PLAT REQUIREMENTS.  The preliminary plat of a subdivision is not intended to serve as a record plat and shall be submitted for review separately and prior to submission of the final plat.  Its purpose is to show on a map all facts needed to enable the Commission to determine whether the proposed layout of the land in question is satisfactory from the standpoint of the public interest.  The subdivider or representative of the subdivider may call at the office of the Commission in advance of the preliminary plat in order to discuss the proposed subdivision and in order to obtain information as to the requirements necessary for approval of the plat.

1.                  Number of Copies and Scale.  Six (6) copies of the preliminary plat shall be submitted as prescribed for review.  The scale of the map shall be one inch equals fifty feet (1" = 50') on small subdivisions and one inch equals one hundred feet (1" = 100') on large subdivisions unless otherwise approved by the Commission.

2.                  Contents of Preliminary Plat.  The preliminary plat shall contain the following:

A.                 Areas dedicated for public use, such as schools, parks, playgrounds and streets.

B.                 Boundaries of the proposed subdivision shall be labeled and indicated by a heavy line.

C.                 Building setback lines for frontage and side streets.

D.                 Buffer easement and method where required.

E.                  Contour lines at intervals of not more than five (5) feet MSL datum.

F.                  Corner radii.

G.                 Easements for public utility purposes.

H.                 Existing buildings, railroads, underground utilities, other rights-of-way and easements.

I.                    Location and name(s) of adjoining subdivisions.

J.                   Location, names and widths of all existing and proposed roads, alleys, streets and highway in and adjoining the area being subdivided.

K.                 Lot areas (approximate) of all non-rectangular lots and the area of smallest rectangular lot.

L.                  Lot numbers.

M.                Name and address of engineer and surveyor.

N.                 Name and address of recorded owner and/or developer.

O.                 Name of subdivision, date, compass point, scale and official description and acreage of the property being platted.

P.                  Proposed lot lines with approximate dimensions.

Q.                 Proposed utility service.

(1)        Source of water supply.

(2)        Provision for sewage disposal, drainage and flood control.

R.                 All plats shall be tied to a known section or fractional corners by distance and bearings or angles.

3.                  Accompanying Material.  The following shall be submitted with the filing of a Preliminary Plat:

A.                 Any plat that cannot reasonably be served by public sewer shall show results of soil percolation tests made by the engineer preparing the plat. Such tests shall be made in accordance with specifications approved by the City Engineer.

B.                 Restrictions proposed, if any, to be included in the owner’s dedication of the plat.

C.                 Written statement of the appropriate officials of the availability of gas and electricity to the proposed subdivision.

D.                 Written and signed statements explaining how and when the subdivider proposes to provide and install all required improvements required by this chapter.  Such statement shall acknowledge required inspections and approvals by City Engineer.

166.10    FINAL PLAT REQUIREMENTS.  Final plats shall meet the following requirements:

1.                  Number of Copies and Scale. When and if the preliminary plat is approved, the subdivider shall submit six (6) copies of the final plat for review by the Commission. The scale of the map shall be one inch equals one hundred feet (1" = 100') on large subdivisions, unless otherwise approved by the Commission.

2.                  Contents of Final Plat.  The final plat shall be drawn in India ink on reproducible linen or Mylar film on an eighteen (18) inch by twenty-four (24) inch or twenty-four (24) inch by thirty-six (36) inch sheet size with a border line allowing a three (3) inch binding margin along left hand narrow width and two (2) long sides.  The  following information shall be shown on the plat.

A.                 Block lines shall be designated by heavy solid lines.

B.                 Block corners shall be shown rounded by appropriate radius with arch length (A=), chord (ch=), central angle (▲=), radius (R=) and tangent (T=) shown.

C.                 Boundary lines shall be designated by a heavy line of long dash-two (2) dots, etc., and labeled “Plat Boundary.”

(1)        Boundary dimensions from angle point to angle point shall be shown for all sides of the closed traverse.

(2)        Bearings, based on an assumed meridian approximating North, of all boundary lines or internal angles of all angle points on the boundary shall be shown.

D.                 Building setback lines for frontage and side streets shall be designated by a fine short dashed line, labeled “Building Setback Line” and dimensioned.

E.                  Centerlines of all street right-of-ways shall be designated by a fine line of long dash-short dash or dot, etc., of curvature to point of tangency, intersection to intersection, or any combination thereof between intersections with the appropriate bearings, angles, curve data, right-of-way widths and distances clearly shown.  Curve data shall include arc length (A=), chord (ch=), central angle (▲=), radius (R=) and tangent (T=).  All points of curvature (P.C.), and points of tangency (P.T.) shall be located and labeled.

F.                  Certification by a registered engineer and/or land surveyor in accordance with the Iowa State Law.

G.                 Easements for public utilities and drainage facilities shall be designated by fine line of medium length dashes, and appropriately labeled with reserved width and type of “easement.”

H.                 Fractional lines and corners of the government township and section surveys shall be appropriately labeled and dimensioned as applicable to the plat.  All plats shall be tied to a known section or fractional corners by distances and bearings or angles.

I.                    Legal description of the platted area shall be included on the plat.

J.                   Lot lines shall be designated by medium fine to solid lines.

K.                 Lots shall be numbered consecutively, all sides dimensioned.  The bearings or corner-angles of all lot lines which are not parallel to the block lines shall be shown and lines intersecting a curved line shall be labeled as radial or not radial as applicable.  Dimensions of lot lines which are curved shall include appropriate curve data:  arc length (A), central angle (▲), and chord (ch); where the radius is not shown elsewhere it shall be shown.  The area of all non-rectangular lots shall be shown to the nearest one hundred (100) square feet.

L.                  Permanent reference monuments shall be labeled (P.R.M.) and located.

M.                Scale shall be indicated graphically as the scale in feet along with the compass point.

N.                 Street names, location, lot designation and right-of-way width for all streets within or abutting the plat shall be shown.

O.                 Surveyors notes shall include the following as appropriate or applicable to the particular plat.

(1)        All bearings are based on an assumed meridian for computation purposes.

(2)        Block corner radii are twenty-five (25) feet unless noted otherwise.

(3)        Dashed lines shown at the rear or sides of certain lots are “easements” reserved for the installation and maintenance of public utilities and drainage facilities.

(4)        Any other notes deemed necessary for the particular plat.

3.                  Accompanying Material. The following shall be submitted with a Final Plat.

A.                 A correct legal description of the subdivision land;

B.                 A statement by the proprietors and their spouses, if any, that the plat is prepared with their free consent and in accordance with their desire, signed and acknowledged before an officer authorized to take the acknowledgments of deeds.  The statement by the proprietors may also include a dedication to the public of all lands within the plat that are designated for streets, alleys, parks, open areas, school property, or other public use, if the dedication is approved by the Council;

C.                 A statement from the mortgage holders or lienholders, if any, that the plat is prepared with their free consent and in accordance with their desire, signed and acknowledged before an officer authorized to take the acknowledgment of deeds.  An affidavit and bond as provided for in Section 354.12 of the Code of Iowa may be recorded in lieu of the consent of the mortgage or lienholder.  When a mortgage or lienholder consents to the subdivision, a release of mortgage or lien shall be recorded for any areas conveyed to the City or dedicated to the public.

D.                 An opinion by an attorney-at-law who has examined the abstract of title of the land being platted.  The opinion shall state the names of the proprietors and holders of mortgages, liens or other encumbrances on the land being platted and shall note the encumbrances, along with any bonds securing the encumbrances.  Utility easements shall not be construed to be encumbrances for the purpose of this section.

E.                  A certificate of the County Treasurer that the land is free from certified taxes and certified special assessments or that the land is free from certified taxes and that the certified special assessments are secured by bond in compliance with Section 354.12 of the Code of Iowa.

F.                  A resolution and certificate for approval by the Council and for signatures of the Mayor and Clerk.

G.                 Specifications and engineering construction drawings including profiles, cross-sections and details of all public improvements.  Elevations shall be referred to mean sea level as exhibited in standard U.S. Geological Survey Maps.  Specifications and references shall meet those required by the City’s construction and specification standards, including a site grading plan for the entire subdivision.

H.                 A certificate by the City Engineer that all required improvements and installations have been completed according to the construction plans submitted to the City prior to construction or with the final plat if not constructed, or that a performance bond guaranteeing completion has been approved by the City Attorney and filed with the Clerk, or that the Council has agreed that the City will provide the necessary improvements and installations and assess the costs against the subdivider or future property owners in the subdivision.

I.                    Performance bond, if any.

J.                   Drainage plans for the positive removal of storm water.

166.11    DESIGN STANDARDS - GENERAL.  The standards and details of the design herein contained are intended only as minimum requirements so that the general arrangement and layout of a subdivision may be adjusted to a wide variety of circumstances; however, in the design and development of a plat, the subdivider should use standards consistent with the site conditions as to assure and economical, pleasant and durable neighborhood.

166.12    BLOCKS.  The following specific standards shall apply to the design of blocks:

1.                  Length.  No block shall be longer than one thousand three hundred and twenty (1,320) feet, except as approved by the Commission.

2.                  Intersections.  At street intersections, block corners shall be rounded with a radius of not less than fifteen (15) feet; where, at any one intersection, a curve radius has been previously established, such radius shall be used as standard.

166.13    BUFFERS.  Abutting zoning districts or existing conditions of conflicting use characteristics shall be buffered from one another as specified by the Zoning Ordinance or as dictated by existing conditions not specifically provided for (such as but not limited to existing nonconforming use of severely conflicting character) in the Zoning Ordinance.  Buffers shall be provided in subsection 2 of Section 166.15 of this chapter.  A buffer park of not less than sixty (60) feet in width shall be acceptable.

166.14    EASEMENTS.  Easements for utilities shall be provided along rear or side lot lines or long alleys, if needed.  Whenever any stream or important surface water course is located in an area that is being subdivided, the subdivider shall at the subdivider’s own expense make adequate provision for straightening or widening the channel so it will properly carry the surface water, and shall provide and dedicate to the City an easement along each side of the stream.  Such easements shall be for the purpose of widening, improving, maintenance or protecting the stream.  The width of such easements shall not be less than twenty (20) feet each, plus the stream design width, and the total width of the easement shall be adequate to provide for any necessary channel straightening or relocation.

166.15    LOTS.  The following specific standards shall apply to the design of lots:

1.                  Corner Lots.  Corner lots shall be not less than twenty (20) feet greater in width than the minimum required interior lot width so as to permit adequate building setbacks on both front and side streets.

2.                  Double Frontage Lots Prohibited.  Double frontage lots other than corner lots shall be prohibited except where such lots back onto a major street or highway or except in the case of large commercial or industrial lots.  Such double frontage lots shall be buffered from the rear street frontage by methods outlined in Section 166.13.  Ingress-egress shall be limited to the frontage street and is strictly prohibited on the rear street.

3.                  Access Street.  Each lot shall be provided by means of a public street with satisfactory access to an existing public street.

4.                  Frontage on Street.  Each lot shall be provided with not less than twenty (20) feet of access frontage to a public street.

5.                  Building Site.  No lot shall be less in size or shape required to proved and adequate building site in compliance to the Zoning Ordinance.

6.                  Lot Size.  For the purpose of complying with minimum health standards, the following minimum lot sizes shall be observed.

A.                 Lots which cannot be reasonably served by an existing public sanitary sewer system and public water mains, shall have a minimum width of one hundred (100) feet, measured at the building line, and an area of not less than twenty thousand (20,000) square feet or the minimum permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, whichever is the larger.

B.                 Lots which are not within a reasonable distance of a public sewer system but are connected to a public water supply main shall have a minimum width of eighty (80) feet and an area of ten thousand (10,000) square feet or the minimum permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, whichever is the larger.

7.                  Side Lines.  Side lot lines where possible shall be at right angles or radial to the street lines.

166.16    MONUMENTS.  Monuments shall be placed at block corners, point of curves, change in direction along lot lines and at each lot corner in accordance with City specifications.

166.17    STREETS AND RIGHT-OF-WAYS.  Street and right-of-way design standards are as follows:

1.                  Alleys.  Alleys may be required in business areas and industrial districts for adequate access to block interiors and for off-street loading and parking purposes.  Except where justified by unusual conditions, alleys will not be approved in residential districts.  Dead end alleys shall be provided with a means of turning around at the dead end thereof.

2.                  Circulation.  The street pattern shall provide ease of circulation within the subdivision as well as convenient access to adjoining streets, thoroughfares or unsubdivided land as may be required by the Commission.  In a case where a street will eventually be extended beyond the plat, but is temporarily dead ended, an interim turnaround may be required.

3.                  Comprehensive Plan.  All proposed plats and subdivisions shall conform to the comprehensive plan.

4.                  Continuation of Existing Streets.  Proposed streets shall provide for continuation or completion of any existing streets (constructed or recorded) in adjoining property at equal or greater width, but not less than fifty (50) feet in width, and in similar alignment, unless variations are recommended by the Commission.

5.                  Cul-de-sac.  Whenever a cul-de-sac is permitted, such street shall comply with the minimum requirements set forth on Sketch 2 attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter, as applicable.

6.                  Dedication.  A deed to the City shall be given for all streets before the same will be accepted for City maintenance.