APA Iowa Legislative Update

Please note that bills mentioned in these updates will be archived on this website maintained by the University of Iowa’s School of Urban and Regional Planning.   Please contact Dylan Mullenix, APA Iowa Legislative Chair, with any questions or comments regarding this update. 
 
Planning & Zoning
 
HF184 & SSB3068 concern Residential Occupancy Restriction. It sets forth restrictions on cities to regulate and restrict the occupancy of residential rental property. Cities would not be allowed to regulate the occupancy of rental property based upon the existence of familial or non-familial relationships between the occupants of the property.  HF 184 passed subcommittee on February 13th and is expected to be taken up by the House Judiciary Committee next week. 

HSB627 seeks to ease the ability for municipalities to grant variances and special exceptions from city zoning regulations. 

Transportation Funding
 
Numerous bills regarding transportation funding have been introduced in the 2014 session.  HSB514 seeks to increase the tax on fuel by 10 cents over three years.  This bill passed subcommittee in late January.  Additional bills call for transfers of funding from other sources into the Road Use Tax Fund, including funds from the Iowa Economic Emergency Fund (HF2147), funds from sales tax revenue (SF2149), and general funds (HF2201 & SF2042). 

Economic Development
 
HSB542 & SSB3129 would repeal the Enterprise Zone Program and replace it with an enhanced High Quality Jobs Program and Workforce Housing Tax Incentives Program. 

HSB540 & SSB3050 would expand tax credits to redevelop abandoned public buildings. 

The House Economic Growth Committee bill passed both HSB542 and HSB540 on February 13th. 

Environmental Protection/Water Resources
 
HF2001 adds local watershed management authorities to the list of entities eligible to apply for and receive local watershed improvement grants. 

HF2007 establishes the Nutrient Credit Earning and Trading Initiative.  The bill would appropriate funds to the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to establish a nutrient credit earning and trading initiative to assist in the reduction of nutrients in surface waters.