There was an 11-minute-long public hearing this morning at the statehouse about legislation aimed at so-called “Smart Planning” principles for cities and counties. Republican Representative Dawn Pettengill of Mount Auburn says it’s too expensive for Iowa’s small cities and counties to follow the guidelines when applying for government grants and loans and the bill would remove “Smart Planning” from state law.
“What concerns me is a city having to pay for the cost of considering these principles,” Pettengill said during an interview after the hearing.
Pettengill did not speak during the public hearing and the two supporters of the bill who had signed up to speak didn’t show up for the 7:30 a.m. hearing. Carlisle Mayor Ruth Randleman, an opponent of the bill, was there to testify.
“Here’s what these principles support when implemented and to which I can attest is effective in my community: improved cost-effectiveness in meeting infrastructure needs,” she said, “improved stewardship of natural resources, better support of the free market…and increased protection of property values.”
Polk County planning and development manager Bret VandeLune — president of the County Zoning Officials of Iowa — also spoke against the bill.
“The principles provide a framework to assist communities when they plan and big or small, growing or maintaining — all communities, agencies and public entities plan,” VandeLune said. “…There is no public benefit in removing the Iowa ‘Smart Planning’ principles from the Iowa Code, but there are many benefits in keeping them.”
AUDIO of this morning’s 11-minute public hearing.
A critic of “Smart Planning” who spoke at a statehouse meeting in early February argued the guidelines violate the rights of private property owners. The bill to eliminate “Smart Planning’ guidelines from state law has already passed a House Committee and awaits debate in the 100-member House.