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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
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ZONING. In 1933 Dubuque was the last community in Iowa of any size not to have a zoning ordinance. In August of that year the zoning commission composed of Msgr. J.M. Wolfe, chairman; R.V. McKay, Louis Stoffregen, R. D. Waller and Dale Welch submitted the first Dubuque zoning ordinance after two years of work.

The ordinance divided the city into districts called single family residence, two-family residence, multiple family residence, local business, business, light industrial and heavy industrial. The single family district was located primarily where single families then existed. Besides single family dwellings, the ordinance permitted educational, religious and certain public buildings along with parks and professional offices. Other districts were also described.

Zoning did not apply to the use of the property as it already existed but only to future uses of the property. It was intended to segregate the use of land and property so business property was not permitted in with residential property. The ordinance was intended to stabilize the values of property. A board of adjustment was also provided.