Madison County, Iowa Comprehensive Plan

Page 1

Chapter 1

The Comprehensive Plan

Madison County is home to over 16,500 residents in south central Iowa. There are eight incorporatedcommunities:

• City of Winterset (county seat)

• CityofBevington

• CityofEarlham

• CityofEastPeru

• CityofMacksburg

• CityofPatterson

• CityofSt.Charles

• CityofTruro

MadisonCountyissurroundedby the counties of Warren, Polk, Dallas,Guthrie, Adair,Union,and Clarke. The county is partially bounded on the north by Interstate 80 and bisected by US Highway 169 and State Highway 92.

Brief County History

The name MADISON came from President James Madison who served from 1809-1817. Madison County was established on January 13, 1846, and has been self-governed since 1849.The first

Figure 1.1: Madison County, Iowa

Chapter 1: The Comprehensive Plan

Figure 1.2: Madison County and Municipalities
Source: Iowa DOT
East Peru
St. Charles

European-American settler in the county was Hiram Hurst who movedfromMissouriin1846.

Madison County is home to numerous Civil War veteran graves and the Madison County Genealogical Society is working to place as many proper grave markers on the unmarked graves inthecounty.

Madison County and Winterset is thebirthplaceofMarionMorrison

aka John Wayne. Winterset is home to the John Wayne Birthplace and Museum. The museum is open year-round to visitors.

One of Madison County’s most famous assets is the covered bridges scattered throughout the county. The county is referred to as the “Covered BridgeCapitalofIowa”andhas the largest group of covered bridges in one area west of the

Source: Library of Congress

Chapter 1: The Comprehensive Plan

Mississippi River. In all there are still six covered bridges in the county.

The bridges and their constructiondateareasfollows:

• Cedar Covered Bridge was built in 1883 by Harvey P. Jones and George K. Foster. The original bridge was nearly destroyed by arson and was rebuilt and reopenedin2019.

• Cutler-Donahue Bridge was built in1870by Eli Cox.Itwas movedtoitspresentlocation in Winterset park in 1970 and wasrenovatedin1997.

Figure 1.3: Sanborn Map of Madison County Courthouse, 1893

Madison County Vision and the Plan

The Madison County Comprehensive Plan provides a picture for the county’s future with key components and amenities defining the overall vision for the future. The vision statements and goals describing the desired future conditions provide guidance for land use decisionsandotheractions,both public and private collectively will determine the future of MadisonCounty.

The core premise embedded in the Madison County Plan 2024 is designed to maintain and enhance the health, safety and welfare of the county during times of change, to promote our ideals and values as changes occur,andtomeet theneedsof today without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The plan acknowledgestheimportanceof the connections between economic, conservation, history, and social components of the county. The plan is a combination of practicality and vision,andprovidesguidelinesfor sustaining the rich fabric of MadisonCounty.

Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is Madison County’s primary policy guide concerning the location, character, and type of growth and development anticipated over the next 20 years with an

Planned growth will make Madison County more effective in serving residents, more efficient in using resources, and able to meet the standard of living and quality of life every individual desires.

anticipated update every five years. The Comprehensive Plan isintendedto:

1. Promoteorderlygrowthand developmentinthecounty;

2. Provide policy guidelines to enable citizens and elected officials to make better informed decisions about thefutureofthecounty;

3. Provide a guideline for the location of future development and uses within the planning jurisdictionoftheCounty;

• Provide a vision and direction for the future planning period of the county

• Act as an information and management tool for County leaders to use in their decisionmaking process when considering future developments

The Comprehensive Plan is not a static document; it should evolve as changes in the land use, population, or local economy occur during the plan period (2024to2044).

The Planning Process

The Comprehensive Plan process begins with the development of general goals and policies, based upon current and future issues faced by the County and its residents. These are intended to be practical guidelines for addressing existing conditions andguidingfuturegrowth.

The comprehensive planning process includes a data collection phase occurs, with dataprovidingasnapshot ofthe past and present conditions within the county. Analysis of data provides a basis for

developing forecasts of future land use demands, as well as future needs regarding housing andfacilities.

The Comprehensive Plan is a blueprint designed to identify, assess, and develop actions and policies in the areas of population, land use, transportation, housing, economic development, community facilities, communications,andutilities.The Comprehensive Plan contains recommendations when implemented will be of value to the County and its residents. Tools, programs, and methods necessary to carry out the recommendations will be identifiedthroughtheprocess.

Implementation of the development policies contained within the Comprehensive Plan is dependentupontheadoptionof the plan by the governing body and the leadership exercised by the present and future elected and appointed officials of MadisonCounty.

Plan Preparation

Thisplanwaspreparedunderthe direction of Madison County Comprehensive Planning Committee, with the assistance andparticipationof theMadison County Board of Supervisors, County staff, and citizens of MadisonCounty.

Thetimeperiodforachievingthe goals, programs, and developments identified in the Madison County Comprehensive Plan is 20 years. However, the County should review the plan annually and update the document every five years (2029). Completing updates every five years will allow the

county to incorporate ideas and developments not known at the time of the present comprehensive planning process.

Plan Components

Madison County’s Comprehensive Plan consists of both graphic and textual material and is designed to accommodate anticipated long-rangefuturegrowth.

The Comprehensive Plan is comprised of the following chapters:

1. Introduction

2. CommunityEngagement

3. Population

4. Housing

5. EconomicDevelopment

6. CountyFacilities

7. ParksandRecreation

8. PublicSafety

9. Communications, Utilities, andEnergy

10. Natural Resources and the Environment

11. HazardMitigation

12. LandUse

13. Transportation

14. Implementation

Analyzing past and existing demographic, housing, economic and social trends permit the projection of likely conditions in the future. Projections and forecasts are useful tools in planning for the future. Therefore, it is important for Madison County to closely monitor population, housing and economic conditions impactingthecounty. Through periodic monitoring, the county can adapt and adjust to changes at the local level. Having the ability to adapt to socio-economic change allows the county to maintain an effective

Chapter 1: The Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is a vision presented in text, graphics and tables representing the desires of the county and its residents for the future.

Comprehensive Plan for the future, to enhance the quality of life, and to raise the standard of livingforallresidents.

The Comprehensive Plan records where Madison County has been,whereitisnow,andwhere it likely will be in the future. Having this record in the Comprehensive Plan will serve to inform county officials as much aspossible.

The Comprehensive Plan is an information and management tool for county leaders to use in their decision-making process. The Comprehensive Plan is not a staticdocument;itshouldevolve as changes in the land-use, population or local economy occur during the planning period. This information is the basis for Madison County’s evolution as it achieves its physical, social, and economic goals.

County Jurisdiction

The Madison County Board of Supervisors, which is a board of elected officials, performs the governmental functions for the County. Each incorporated community in Madison County also has elected officials and officers overseeing how their community is governed. The planning and zoning jurisdiction ofMadisonCountyincludesallof the unincorporated portions of the county, excluding the established jurisdiction of each incorporatedcity.


Chapter 2

Community Input Introduction

Community input and vision is critical to a successful planning effort. Not only do community members provide essential information, but also provide the plan with vision. The community will also be the ones to implement the action items whichbringtheplantolife.

This chapter describes the community input and visioning efforts of the planning process. Thisincludes:

• Three public meetings were held

• Committeemeetings

• Youthinterviews

• Focusgroupandinterviews

Subcommittee Meetings

Madison County developed a workinggrouptodefinethelongterm desires and vision of the county into the next planning period. The working group was

establishedpriortotheplanning consultant being brought on boardtodevelopthisplan. The working group was divided into four subcommittees consistingof:

• AgricultureSubcommittee

• Environmental Subcommittee

• Growth and Development Subcommittee

• Historic Preservation Subcommittee

Each of these subcommittees developed their own set of values and vision for Madison County based upon their perspective. The work completed by the subcommittees was invaluable to guiding the policies and vision of this comprehensive plan. The following pages will summarize the work and vision of these subcommittees in their ownnarrative.

Agriculture Subcommittee

The Agricultural subcommittee went into specific issues and concepts for addressing agricultural preservation including acreage developments, protecting prime farmland through the CSR process. Details of the Subcommittee report can be found in Appendix 1: Detail CommunityEngagement.

Environmental Subcommittee

TheEnvironmentalSubcommittee developed an extensive narrative on the local environmental and conserving the local environment including the flora and fauna of the county. Similar to the Agriculture Subcommittee,their detail report can be found in Appendix 1: DetailCommunityEngagement.

Growth and Development Subcommittee

The Growth and Development subcommittee went into more detail regarding specific uses and impacts on the county as a whole. Again, their detailed report can be found in Appendix1:DetailedCommunity Engagement.

Historic Preservation Subcommittee

The Historic Preservation subcommittee also went into great detail regarding their perspective on preserving key aspects of Madison County as well as their past efforts. Their report is a mixture of the subcommittees long narrative and their executive summary. Again, their detailed report can be found in Appendix 1: Detail CommunityEngagement.

Committee Work and the Comprehensive Plan

The work of the four subcommittees is used throughout the comprehensive plan in order to develop key policiesfor:

• Protectionofagriculture

• Protection of specific environmental conditions and natural resources of the county

• Guiding future development within Madison County including residential subdivisions, residential densities,aswellasresidential locations

• Determining the best use of the land within Madison County regarding all other uses including renewable energy

• Protect the historic assets

located throughout MadisonCounty

• Protect property rights while looking out for the overall interestsofthecounty

Youth Interviews

An important component to planning for the future is outreach to the future residents and leaders of the county. The youth have great insight into what is going on around them anddifferenttrendsinthearea. The team set down with four different youth groups during the process. These groups were based upon school districts and home-schooled youth around Madison County. The following groupswereinvolved:

• WintersetSchools

• EarlhamSchools

• I-35Schools

• Homeschooled These were chosen because they were the only groups to reply to interview requests. The breakdown from these discussions can be found in Appendix 2: Detailed Community Engagement are fromthosediscussions.

Focus Groups / Special Interviews

The consulting team met with several individuals and groups during the project. The different interviews were conducted with:

• PublicHealthAdministrator

• Madison County Conservation Director and staff

• CountySheriff

• Agricultural organizations Farm Bureau, Cattlemen, andPorkProducers

• TheEldersGroup

• Madison County Chamber ofCommerceCEO

• Madison County Economic Development, Executive Director(retired)

The input received from each of these groups will be summarized in the following sections; while detailed information can be found in Appendix 1: Detailed CommunityEngagement.

Public Health

Madison County Public Health is striving to provide quality assistancetothecountyresidents and they deal with and have numerousissuesnowandintothe future. Their primary function, currently, is providing affordable immunizations to public. Other focuses center on disease investigations and education. The department’s greatest need at this time is staffing, money, andtheneedtomoreeducation on obesity and diabetes. Discussing the impacts of the growing population in northeast MadisonCounty,thedepartment feels it will have a negative impact on their ability to serve thoseresidentsunlessincreasesin staffingisfunded.

Madison County Conservation

Madison County Conservation works with numerous topics and aspects within the county. They have a strong understanding of the needs regarding conservationandpreservationof the amenities within Madison County.

Madison County Conservation hasfourmainprioritiesasfollows: 1. Short term: Building brand new conservation center. Environmental education program is expanding thus needfornewspace

2. Long term, trying to connect 17 different areas they manage

3. Longterm,workingwithother like minded agencies and strengtheningagencies

4. Long term, protecting or restoringundisturbedprairie

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement in Madison County appears to be struggling with several issues seen across IowaandtheMidwest.TheSheriff provided excellent insight to the department’s needs now and in the future. A summary of the comments can be found in Appendix1:DetailedCommunity Engagement.


The agricultural group consisted of a board member from Madison County Farm Bureau, the county Cattlemen, and local swine producers. Their thoughts and comments can be found in Appendix1:DetailedCommunity Engagement.

Elders Group

The Elders Group is an group of senior citizens, most have been lifelong residents of Madison County. The members have insightintothepast,present,and future of the county. A summary of the meeting can be found in Appendix1:DetailedCommunity Engagement.

Winterset Chamber of Commerce

The CEO of the Chamber of Commerce sat down to discuss their role in Madison County as well as their thoughts on future matters.Again,asummaryofthe discussion can be found in Appendix1.

Madison County Economic Development

Tom Leners sat down to discuss economic development in Madison County. He was in the process of retiring from his position at the time. His insights and thoughts are located in Appendix1.

Goals and Policies

Planningforthefuturelanduses of the county is an ongoing process of goal setting and problem solving aimed at encouraging and creating a county with a better quality of life.Planningfocusesuponways of solving existing problems within the county, and providing a management tool enabling Madison County citizens to achieve their vision forthefuture.

Visioning is a process of evaluating present conditions, identifying problem areas, and bringing about consensus on how to overcome existing problemsandmanagechange. By determining Madison County’s vision, the county can decide where it wants to be in the future and then develop a “road map” guiding decisions of the county. The residents of Madison County must also act or implement the necessary steps involved in achieving this “vision”.

Changeiscontinuous,therefore Madison County must decide specificcriteriathatwillbeused to judge and manage change. Instead of reacting to developmentpressuresafterthe fact,thecountyalongwiththeir strategic vision, can better reinforce the desired changes, and discourage negative

impactsthat may undermine the vision. A shared vision allows Madison County to focus its diverse energies and minimize conflicts in the present, and in thefuture.

A key component of a Comprehensive Plan is the goals and policies. The issues and concerns of the citizens are developed into a vision. The vision statement can then be furtherdelineatedandtranslated into action statements and/or policies, used to guide, direct, and base decisions for future growth, development, and change within Madison County. Madison County’s goals and policies attempt to address various issues regarding the questionsof“how”toplanforthe future.

Goalsaredesires,necessitiesand issues to be attained in the future. A goal should be established in a manner that allows it to be accomplished. Goals are the end-state of a desiredoutcome.Goalsalsoplay a factor in the establishment of policies within a county. In order to attain certain goals and/or policies within County government, they may need to be modified or changed from timetotime.

Policies are measurable, definable steps leading to the eventual completionofthegoal. They are specific statements of principle or actions that imply a direction that needs to be undertaken.

These policies will synthesize the information from the goals, as well as the responses from the participants of the various input processes. Policies play an

important role in the Comprehensive Plan because they direct the different actions that will need to be taken to meetthegoals.

It is important for counties to establish their goals and policies in a manner allowing for both long-term and short-term accomplishments. The short-term goals and policies serve several functions:

• Allow for immediate feedback and success, which fuels the desire to achieveadditionalgoalsand betterpolicies;

• Allow for the distribution of resources over time thus assuring a balanced use of publicinvestment,and

• Establish certain policies that need to be followed before the long-term goals can be accomplished.

Chapter 3 Population


Population drives all aspects of a county including: housing, employment, and fiscal stability. Madison County needs to understand where the county has been, where it is currently, and where it appears to be going.

Population trends are critical to understand regarding future impacts to the area.

Historic population trends typically aid in identifying where the populations may grow in the future as well as determining potential impacts on demands for goods, services,public safety, education, and other needs within the county. In addition they provide a basis for future land use and development decisions. However, population projectionsareonlyestimations.

Trends Analysis

The US Census Bureau’s official decennialpopulationcountsfor 1980 through 2020 for Madison Countyanditsmunicipalitiesare showninFigures3.1and3.1aon the following page. These data provide a look at where the county has been and is the basisfortheprojectionsoffuture population levels later in the chapter.


• Madison County had a 31.4%increaseinpopulation from1980to2020

• Theunincorporatedareasof Madison County increased inpopulationby35.0%.

• Winterset (county seat) increased by 33.1% in population for the same period.

• Winterset and the unincorporated areas of Madison County had an increase of 884 people compared to the overall County increase of 869 people.

Figure 3.2 indicates the population breakdown in 2020 within Madison County by community and unincorporated


The United States Census Bureau’s AmericanCommunitySurvey(ACS)isthe primary data source for this chapter. While the US Census Bureau’s decennial census, which has taken place every 10 years since 1790, is well-known, difficulties with Census collection in 2020 delayed the release of more detailed information which had quality issues in itself. Analysis hereinhasmostly reliedon ACS data which are estimates based on the US Census Bureau’s five-year running surveyofallAmericans,asbestavailable data. The data sets are identified on eachtableorfigure.


3.1: Population Trends 1980-2020 for Madison County, Unincorporated Areas, and Winterset

Madison County increased nearly 100 persons per year for this time period.

31.4% increase from 1980 to 2020 Winterset and the unincorporated areas saw a larger increase in population combined compared to the County as a whole Chapter 3: Population

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1980 - 2020.

3.1a Population Trends 1980-2020 - Smaller Communities

Madison County

Unincorporated Areas Winterset

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 1980-2020


Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2020

Source: U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey 2017-2021.

area. The following are the key indicators:

• Nearly 50% of the overall population was located within the unincorporated areasofMadisonCounty

• Nearly 1/3 of the population waslocatedinWinterset

• 78% of the County’s revenue comes from the unincorporatedareas.

The population pyramid in Figure 3.3 shows the 2021 age breakdown (male/female) by generational groups. At present the largest generational groups are:

• The latter years of the Baby Boomers

• GenX,and

• Millennials

TheSilentGeneration (1928-1945) BabyBoomers (1946-1964)

(1965-1980) Millennials (1981-1996) GenZ (1997-2012) GenAlpha (2013-2025)

Figure 3.2: Population 2020 as a percentage of Total Population
Figure 3.3: Population Pyramid, 2021

Figure 3.4: Median Age 2010-2021

Source: US Census 2010; American Community Survey 2007-2011 through 2017-2021


The dependency ratio examines the portion of a community’s population in the workforce, who can support age groups typically and historically dependentontheincomesofothers.

<1:1 Independent resident is able to support more than 1 Dependent resident

=1:1 Independent resident able to support1Dependentresident

>1:1 Independent resident able to support less than 1 Dependent resident

Tocalculatethedependencyratio, takethesumoftheshare18yearsand youngerplustheshare65yearsand older,dividedbytheshareof remainingpopulation.

Median Age

Figure3.4showsthemedianage of the population in Madison County and the state of Iowa from 2010 to 2021. Madison Countyhasseenitsmedianage slowly increase from 39.3 years to40.5years.

As the population of Madison County continues to grow, it is likely the median age may decline once again, based uponthefactnearbyDallasand Polk Counties had a median agein2021of35.5to35.9years.

Sources: American Community Survey 2007-2011 & 2017-2021

Dependency Ratio

Figures 3.5 and 3.6 show the dependency ration for Madison County in 2010 and 2020 (see side bar for explanation). During the two decades, the dependency ratio for Madison County held relatively stable at 0.73 and 0.74 respectively.This is a great indicator of a strong populationbaseatpresent.

Madison County’s dependency ratio shows there is a larger age group of people working than are retired or in elementary or secondaryeducation.Thisratiois critical as an indicator of the county’s population to remain sustainableintothefuture.


During the past decade, Madison County has seen a shift in the race and ethnicity of residents. Race and ethnicity are self-identification terms in which residents choose how they identifythemselves.

In 2011, the following were the largest ethnic groups Madison Countyresidentsidentifiedas:

• 98.0%white alone

• 1.3%twoormoreraces

• 1.1%Hispanic(anyrace)

By 2021, the ethnicity had changedslightly,seebelow:

• 96.6% identified as white alone

• 2.4% identified as Hispanic origin(anyrace)

• 1.5%identifiedastwoormore races,and

• 1.0% identified as Asian, Native Hawaiian, and other PacificIslander

There has been some concern regarding the margins of error

Figures 3.5 and 3.6: Dependency Ratio 2011 and 2021

Table 3.1: Race and Ethnicity 2011-2021

Source: American Community Survey 2007-2011 & 2017-2021. *ACS Estimate

(MOE) in the American CommunitySurvey(ACS)Census process. In 2011, the Census publishedaMOEof+/-56or0.4% for White Alone, and in 2021 a MOE of +/-89 or 0.5%. As the estimated net change was 578 additional residents in this category,thechangeshouldbe considered statistically significant.


Among Madison County residents 18 years and over, 7.1%areveterans,comparedto 7.2% of Iowans overall. Nearly 26% of veterans are age 75 years and over. The largest group served during the Vietnamera(46.5%).

Table 3.2: Age and Sex Characteristics 2011-2021

Source: American Community Survey 2007-2011 & 2017-2021. *ACS Estimate


Population change includes both natural increase or decline (the difference between births and deaths) and migration (the difference between people moving in and out of a community). For example, many communities experience natural increase (more births than deaths) yet face a declining population due to outmigration.

Age Structure Analysis

Age structure is an important component of population analysis. By examining age structure, one can determine a key dynamic affecting population change. Each age groupaffectsthepopulationina number of different ways. For example, the existence of large youngeragegroups(20-44years) meansthereistypicallyagreater abilitytosustainfuturepopulation growth compared to large older age groups, since thisage group tends to have children as well as participatingintheworkforce.

Table3.2presentstheagegroup structure for Madison County in 2011 and 2021. Age structure provides an understanding of where some of the population shifts are occurring. Reviewing populationinthismannerpermits amoredetailedanalysisofwhich specific groups are moving in and out of the county. Negative changesinagroupindicateoutmigration or a combination of out-migrationanddeaths.

Madison County saw growth from2011to2021inthefollowing agegroups:

• 30-34group

• 35-39group

• 40-44group

• 45-54groups

Figure 3.7: Migration Analysis 2000-2019

Source: Iowa Bureau of Health Statistics 2023

The 0-4 and 5-9 groups always indicate an increase, since these individuals were born between the two census survey periods. The growing age groups are typical of the age with young families, as well as the middle age groupings. The young families may be returning to their hometown or are attracted by an opportunity to raise their familiesinarural communitydue to its close proximity to the Des Moines area. The remaining age groups declined from 2011 to 2021, through natural decreases (deaths) and net negative migration.

The largest decrease was in the 85 and over age group, which typically experiences decrease through migration to specialized care facilities in other communities and amenity migration, as well as natural decrease. The next largest decrease, however, was a 45.1% reductioninthe20-24agegroup, which indicates young people leaving the county for higher education and entry-level job

opportunities. This reinforces the importance of being open to those young families looking for the small town lifestyle offered byMadisonCounty.

Migration Analysis

Migration analysis considers the dynamics of population shifts in the two key components of population change: migration and natural change (the difference between births and deaths).

Figure 3.7 indicates overall population change countywide, including natural change and migration. From 2000 to 2020, Madison County’s overall increase in population was both in migration and births, which saw 1,212 people moved into Madison County. During the 20-year period births exceeded deaths during he period. During the time period, therewere784more birthsthan deaths.


Population projections are future estimates based upon past and present circumstances. There are different methods commonly used to project future population, with advantages and disadvantages for smaller and larger communities. Several factors (demographics, economics, social, etc.) also affect the relationship between projections and ultimate population levels,positivelyornegatively.

Population Projections

There are many ways to analyze and project future populations. The most common is the trend line projection which includes all of the dynamics impacting population change during a specific period of time. Other methods are cohort analysis whichanalyzesonthechangein population based upon future birthanddeathrates,thisisnota reliable method in areas such as Madison County due to the strongmigrationpatterns.

Trend Line Analysis

TrendLineAnalysisisaprocessof projecting future populations based upon the rate of change duringaspecifiedperiodoftime. For this analysis, several different Madison County population trend lines were reviewed, including 2010 to 2020, 2000 to 2020, 1990 to 2020, and 1970 to 2020. Results for Madison County areshowninthesidebar.

Madison County Trend Line Analysis

Year 10-Year Trend

2020 16,548 persons

2030 17,465 persons

2040 18,433 persons

2050 19,455 persons

Year 20-Year Trend

2020 16,548 persons

2030 21,846 persons

2040 30,439 persons

2050 42,412 persons

Year 30-Year Trend

2020 16,548 persons

2030 18,178 persons

2040 19,969 persons

2050 21,937 persons

Year 40-Year Trend

2020 16,548 persons

2030 16,786 persons

2040 17,970 persons

2050 19,239 persons

Year 50 Year Trend

2020 16,548 persons

2030 16,846 persons

2040 18,099 persons

2050 19,446 persons

For the purposes of this plan, three population projections were selected to illustrate possible growth scenarios (Figure3.8).

LOW: The40-yeartrendwas selected for the Low Series and may be considered a worst-case scenario. This is unlikely to occur yet serves as a baseline for planning purposes.IftheCountyis prepared for population at this level, they will be prepared for more moderate population change.

3.8: Population and Projections

Chapter 3: Population

Source: US Census Bureau 1940 to 2020

MEDIUM: The 10-year trend was selected as the Medium Series. This is an optimistic scenario serving as a goal to continue the recent trend moderating the historical contraction of population and working towards growth by making Madison County a more attractive place tolive.

HIGH: The 30-year trend was selected for the High Series

Note: The 20-year trend does indicate a much greater growth scenario. It is not one of the projected growth patterns but the population of Madison County should be monitored against this projection in order to determine if urbanized growth from West Des Moines is creating greater than anticipated pressure.



Chapter 4 Housing


The housing profile presents data about past and present housing conditions, while identifying potential needs including provisions for safe, decent, sanitary, and affordable housing for every family and individual residing withinthecounty.

Projecting future housing needs requires several factors to be considered including population change, household income, employment rates, land use patterns, and residents' attitudes. The following tables and figures provide information to aid in determining future housing needs and develop policies designed to accomplish the housing goalsforMadisonCounty.

Household Character

The US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) reported an increase in households in Madison County, betweenthesurveysof2007-2011 and 2017-2021 (Table 4.1). It should be noted the ACS is a rolling survey used to estimate totalsandissubjecttomarginsof error which may be more pronounced for smaller areas. Even so, it is the most reliable

public data available, especially for small towns and ruralcounties.


Figure 4.1 examines household populationsin2011and2021.

Households in Madison County sawthefollowingchanges:

• Increased by 7.6% or 453 households. The margin of error for number of households in 2011 was +/-171,in2021+/-157.

• Average household size decreased by 0.04 years or –1.5%

• Married couple households increased by 108 households or2.9%

• Householders living alone and over 65 years of age increased 70 households or 13.5%.

Persons in households increased by 912 people or 5.9% from 2011 to 2021; while the overall population increased by 5.3.

Table 4.1: Madison County Households 2011-2021

Source: American Community Survey 2007-2011 & 2017-2021.

Chapter 4: Housing

People living in group quarters decreasedby89peopleor35.9% (Figure4.1)

Figure 4.2 indicates the average household size in 2021 for Madison County and the seven surrounding counties. Madison County had 2.55 persons per household; while Dallas County had the largest average at 3.15 persons per household. The regional average is 2.54 person perhousehold.

Figure 4.3 indicates persons per householdtype (owner– orrental -occupied) for 2020. Key findings inthisFigureare:

• The majority of the households are owneroccupied

• The largest owner-occupied occupancies are the 1person and 2-person households

• The largest renter-occupied group is the 1-person households


The Census Bureau classifies all people not living in housing units (house, apartment, mobile home, rented rooms) as living in group quarters. There are two typesofgroupquarters:


• correctionalfacilities

• nursinghomes

• ormentalhospitals


• collegedormitories

• militarybarracks

• grouphomes

• missions

• orshelters

Source: American Community Survey 2007-2011 & 2017-2021.

American Community Survey 2017-2021.

Source: American Community Survey 2017-2021.

Figure 4.1: Household Population 2011-2021
Figure 4.3: Persons By Household Type 2021
Figure 4.2: Average Household Size 2021

Figure 4.4: Householder Age By Household Type 2021

Source: American Community Survey 2017-2021.

Figure4.4presentsthenumberof households by age of householder.

• Owner-occupied units range from 630 units to 976 units for age groups 35 to 74 years accounting for 78.3% of all owner-occupiedunits

• Renter-occupiedunitsarenot a large market within Madison County except for households less than 34 years andover65years

Housing Stock

An analysis of the housing stock can reveal a great deal about trends in population and economic conditions. Examining the housing stock is also important to understand the overall quality of housing in MadisonCounty.

Table4.2identifiesthenumberof housing units counted by the decennial census within Madison County, in 2010 and 2020, including the communities and unincorporated areas of the county.TheTablereports:

• Madison County, as a whole, had an increase of 359 units in the 10-year period, a 5.5% growthrate

• The communities of Bevington, East Peru, and Macksburg lost housing units duringthedecade

• Patterson had a large percentage gain (24%) on a smallbaseofhousingunits.

• Winterset added the most housing units (184) and had the next highest rate of growth(8%)afterPatterson

• The unincorporated areas saw solid growth in housing, adding160unitsfrom2010to 2020

Age of Housing Units

Table 4.2: Madison County Housing Units 2010-2020

Source: US Census Bureau 2010-2020


Madison County’s housing stock shows a balance between older and newer housing stock. Figure 4.5shows:

• 1,802 homes, or 27.7% of the county’s 6,505 total housing units, were constructed prior to1940

• Since 1980, 3,251 units or 49.9% have been constructed

• New construction since 2010 hasslowed

• The overall age of the housing units in Madison County is better than most rural counties of similar characteristics

Occupied vs. Vacant Units

The ACS estimated number of occupied and vacant housing units in Madison County was relatively stable from 2011 to 2021. Figure 4.6 indicates the different occupied and vacant unitnumbersfor2011and2021:

• Total housing units grew by 348unitsor5.3%

• Occupied units grew by 453 unitsor7.6%

• Owner-occupied units grew by226unitsor4.6%

• Renter-occupied units shrunk by43unitsor –3.5%

• Vacant units shrunk by 105 unitsor –17.1%

• Overall,currenthousingstock is dominated by owneroccupied units and appears to be growing while rental unitsaredeclining

Figure 4.5: Age of Existing Housing Stock

Source: American Community Survey 2017-2021.

Source: American Community Survey 2007-2011 & 2017-2021.

Figure 4.6: Occupied vs. Vacant Housing Units 2011-2021

Median Value of OwnerOccupied Units

Figure 4.8 shows the median value of owner-occupied units in 2011 and 2021 for both Madison County and the state of Iowa. The following represent the data inthegraph:

• In both 2011 and 2021, the median value of owneroccupied units was higher than the Iowa statewide average

• The median value of owneroccupied units in Madison County increased by 26.6%, while the state increased by 32.5%

• The CPI for the time period was 20.1% which meansboth entities saw larger gains than inflation

• Homeowners in 2011 had a home more valuable in 2021 intermsofrealdollars

Figure 4.9 examines the median gross rent, including utilities, paid by renters in Madison County and Iowa. The following representthedatainthegraph:

• In both 2011 and 2021, the median gross rent paid was higher than the Iowa statewideaverage

• The median gross rent of renter-occupied units in Madison County increased by 32.3%, while the state increasedby33.0%.

• The median gross rent for both Madison County and Iowa was greater the rate of inflation

• Rentersin2021werepayinga 1/3 more for the same

4.7: Vacancy Rates by Type of Unit 2011-2021

Source: American Community Survey 2007-2011 & 2017-2021.

4.8: Median Value Owner-Occupied Units 2011-2021

Source: American Community Survey 2007-2011 & 2017-2021.

4.9: Median Gross Rent 2011-2021

Source: American Community Survey 2007-2011 & 2017-2021.


Future Housing Needs

Ideally, future housing development in Madison County should be limited to the cities andtheperimeterofthosecities. However, not everything happens in an ideal manner. There are residents of the county whoenjoyrural livingandthiswill continue into the future. The Land Use Chapter needs to address policies and actions allowing rural residential but in whatmannerandwhereitisbest suited.

Chapter 5

Economics/Economic Development


Economic development is a process of investment to expand prosperity in a community. New enterprises and the retention and expansion of existing businesses creates jobs and provides new sources of income. A diversified economic base enables a community to respond to changing economic conditions, improve local incomes, increase job opportunities, and improve thequalityoflifeofacommunity.

Onekeyaspecttotheeconomicviability of Madison County is to continue to enhance the agricultural side through increased value-added industries using the local crops produced for exportation throughout the United States and the world.

Agricultural Profile

Agriculture is the foundation of Iowa’s economy. According to the Farm Bureau, Iowa agriculture is responsible for a direct economic output of $88.3 billion and more than 315,000 jobs annually in the state.

In the 2022, according to the USDA “Iowa Ag News - 2022 Corn County Estimates”, there were 69,300 acres of corn planted in Madison County, of which 68,400 acres were harvested. There were 67,900 acres of soybeans planted in 2022, with 67,400 acres harvested. As of January 2023, farms reported 26,500 head of cattleandcalvestotheUSDA.

The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land - whether rural or urban - count if $1,000 or more

ofsuchproductswereraisedand sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year. USDA conducts the Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, which looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income andexpenditures.

The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for everycountyinthenation. While the data may have anomalies, it is the best available information on agriculture at the county level.

Tables 5.1 to 5.4 examine the agricultural profile of Madison County based upon the Census ofAgriculture.Table5.1examines the number of farms and their high-level characteristics for these farms. The data are for 2002through2022.

Chapter 5: Economics/Economic Development

Table 5.1: Farms and Land in Farms 2002 - 2022

Source: U.S. Census Bureau; USDA Census of Agriculture, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017, 2022 Note: this data is self reported, and may reflect operations in more than one county.

5.2: Number of Farms by Size 2002 - 2022

Source: USDA Census of Agriculture, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017, 2022 Note: this data is self reported, and may reflect operations in more than one county.


Table5.1examinestheCensusof Agriculture regarding farm and land in farms. As the Census of Agriculture is taken every five years data is presented for 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017, and 2022, the keyfindingsare:

• Between 2002 and 2022, Madison County saw an increaseof143farmsor14.4%

• Land in farms during this period also increased and sawagainof2.5%

• The average size of farms actually declined even though the national average istrendingupward

• Harvested cropland increasedby19.7%

• The total estimated market value of land and buildings increased by 307.2% to over $1,600,000

• The average value by acre regarding the estimated market value of land and buildings increased by 338.2%

• The CPI for this same period was approximately 62.68%; therefore, the average valuesexceededtherateof inflation.

Table 5.2 breaks down the number of farms by size for the same period. The category with the largest increase was farms between one and nine acres; they increased by 87 farms or

384.2%. The number of farms between 50 and 999 acres all had a decline in the number of operations. While farms of 1,000 acresormoreincreasedby4.8%.

Ag Products

The Census of Agriculture reports the number of farms with different types of livestock and crops, the number of animals, acres in production, and average per farm, among other topics.

Table 5.3 shows the number of farms and livestock by type for the county between 2002 and 2022. Highlights from the Table are:

• The number of farms with livestock declined in all categoriesexceptMilkCows

• Madison County saw a decrease in the number of actual animals in all categories; except, Milk Cows and Hogs and Pigs. Chickens are unknown due todatadisclosure

• Cattle and calves saw a decrease of 22.7% in total animals dropping from approximately 40,500 to 31,300


Table 5.3: Farms and Livestock by Type 2002 - 2022

Source: USDA Census of Agriculture, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017, and 2022

Note: this data is self reported, and may reflect operations in more than one county. (D) Data Disclosure - Information Withheld

• Beef cows decreased by 21.0% or approximately 4,000 animals

• Milk cows had a slight increase of 30.8% or four animals

• Hogs and pigs increased by 80.7% or approximately 25,000animals

• Sheep decreased; however, these animal have never been a major factor compared to cattle and hogs

Table 5.4 reports on crops. The tablehasthefollowingkeyfacts:

• Corn and soybeans have beenthetwomostfrequently raised crops in Madison County

• Corn has seen an increase in total acres planted (21,000 acres) while the average corn acres per farm has increasedby80.3%

• Soybeans had an increase of nearly13,000additionalacres planted between 2002 and 2022, an increase of 19.7%. The average per acre has increasedby56.6%

• Corn for silage and Oats have had a decrease during the time period of 52.0% or nearly1,000acres

• Hay for forage has also been a stable crop but had a 25.8% (7,500 acres) decrease in the acres planted during the20yearperiod.

Agriculturehashistoricallybeena major part of the Madison County and Iowa economy. Future land use policies may have a major impact on the animal and crop agriculture industry.

Farm Subsidy Program

Based upon data published by EWG, an organization based in Source: EWG

Table 5.4: Number of Farms and Crops by Type 2002 - 2022

Income Statistics

Income statistics indicate the earning power of residents. The following data show personal and household income levels for Madison County in comparison to the state. These data were reviewed to determine whether households experienced increases in income at a rate comparabletothestateofIowa and the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Figure 5.2 shows the number of Madison County households in different income ranges in 2000, 2010, and 2020, according to US Census. The following is the summaryofthegraphic:

• In 2000 and 2010, the most common income range was $50,000to$74,999

• In 2020, the most common range was $100,000 to $149,999

• The median household income for Madison County was $41,845 in 2000, which was more than the state’s medianincomeof$40,991

Source: USDA Census of Agriculture, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017 Note: this data is self reported, and may reflect operations in more than one county.

Washington DC, individuals, organizations, and corporations in Madison County between 1995 and 2021 received $261,300,000.00 (Figure 5.1) from the farm program. The dollars were within four categories: Commodity Programs, Crop Insurance Subsidies, Disaster Programs, and Conservation Programs.Ofthefourcategories, Commodity Programs had the largest figure of $115,000,000.00 in Madison County alone. Producers in the state of Iowa received a total of $24,500,000,000.00 for the same

period. Madison County total 0.47%ofIowa’stotal.

The Commodity Program are those dollars set aside to provide financial assistance to farmers growing specific crops. The other three categories are selfexplanatory.

The top 10 recipients of the commodityprograminMadison County received a total of $13,367,276.00 or 11.62% of the totalfundsduringthatperiod.

• By 2010, the median household income increased to$53,183,whichwasalsostill higher than the state’s medianhouseholdincomeof $49,016

• Finally, in 2020, the median household income had risen to $71,811, compared to the stat’s median household incomeof$68,816

• Madison County’s median household income in 2020 grewbyapproximately71.6% from2000-2020

• Iowa’s state’s median household income grew by 67.9%,thusMadisonCounty’s medianincomecontinuedto growatafasterratethanthe state

5.2: Household Income 1980 to 2020

Source: US Census 2000, 2010, and 2020

5.3: Taxable Income by Source 1980 to 2020

Source: BEA Regional Economic Accounts, 1980 - 2020


• However, the CPI for this period increased by 50.7%, which indicates household income growth in Madison County exceeded inflation. Therefore, households were at least earning more in real dollarsin2020thanin2000

Income by Source

There are different sources of personal income, with the two primary categories being farm and non-farm income. These specific data are collected by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), a sister agency to the Census Bureau. These statistics are compared to the CPI, in order to determine if increases

Farm Income

Farm income- Consists of wages and salaries, employer contributions for employee pension and insurance funds, and proprietors' income in the farm industry (NAICS subsectors 111-Crop Production and 112-Animal Production). Farm personal income comprises the net personal income of sole proprietors, partners, and hired laborers arising directly from the current production of agricultural commodities, both livestock and crops. It excludes corporate farm income.andpurchasingservices.

Nonfarm Income

• Includes all U.S. nonfarm sole proprietorships that are required to file Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Schedule C (Profits or Loss from Business)ofIRSForm1040(Individual Income Tax Return) or that would be required if they met the filing requirements.

• Includes all U.S. nonfarm partnerships that are or would be required to file IRS Form 1065 (U.S. PartnershipReturnofIncome).

• Includes all other U.S. unincorporated private businesses— tax-exempt cooperatives providing utility services and farm marketing andpurchasingservices.

Source: BEA Regional Economic Accounts, 1980 - 2020

arekeepingpacewithinflation. Between1980and2020,theCPI increasedby231.6%.

Figure 5.3 indicates Income by Sourcefrom1980to2020.Based upon the graphic, the following canbedetermined:

• Total Personal Income in MadisonCountyin1980was $111,897,000 and Farm Income accounted for only $2,081,000(1.9%)ofthetotal

• Total Personal Income increased to $890,404,000 by 2020 an increase of 695.7%(nearlytripletheCPI)

• Farm Income increased to $6,208,000 in 2020 or an increase of 198.3%, slightly belowtheCPI

• Total Personal Income in MadisonCountyisdrivenby Non-FarmIncomewithinthe county

Per Capita Income

Per Capita Income is determined by dividing total personal income, earned by all of the residents in an area, by the number of residents in an

area. The per capita income in Madison County increased from $8,890 in 1980 to $53,555 in 2020, anincreaseof502.4%(Figure5.4). This was significantly higher the CPI increase. Madison County’s per capita income exceeded Iowa’spercapitaincomelevelof $35,715in2020.

Table 5.5: Unemployment Rates 2011-2021


Figure 5.4: Per Capita Income

Labor Force

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Madison County’s labor force increased from 8,310 in 2011 to 8,486 in 2021, a 2.1% increase in availablelabor.

Madison County’s unemployment rate also dropped, from 6.1% to 4.5% over the same timeframe (Table 5.5). In comparison, the unemployment rate forthe State of Iowa decreased from 5.9% to 3.8%.Alloftheadjacentcounties had a lower unemployment rate in2021.

Commuter Trends

Madison County is part of a regional job market, with local residents commuting outside the county to work, while others commute into the county to work. The ACS estimates in 2020, 82.1% of Madison County employed residents left the countytoworkeachday.

However, Figure 5.5 also indicates:

• 1,336 people commuted into Madison County for employment

• 1,090 people living in Madison County remained in thecountyforemployment

Figure 5.6 indicates the time spent traveling to work by residentsofMadisonCounty.The Figureshowsthefollowing:

• The largest commuter group traveled 5 to 9 minutes (13.4%)foremployment

• The second largest group was those traveling 30 to 34 minutes for employment, 11.99% of resident employment

Chapter 5: Economics/Economic Development

Source: US Census On the Map 2020.

• Those working from home accountedfor13.56%

• 26.12% commuted 35 minutes of more for employment

Source: American Community Survey 2016-2020.

Figure 5.6: Travel Time to Work 2020
Figure 5.5: Madison County Commuter Population 2020

Industry Employment

Employment by industry data assists in understanding the key generators of income. This section provides data on the types of jobs in Madison County and the type of employment andoccupationsofresidents.

As shown in Table 5.6, the total number of jobs in Madison County grew from 6,644 in 2012 to7,857in2022,accordingtothe latest statisticsavailablefromthe US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). This represented growth of 15.4% over the ten year period, with farm employment decreasing slightly and non-farm employment growing significantly. Statewide, total employment in Iowa only grew by6.0%inthesamedecade.

RetailTradegrewfrom715jobsin 2012 to 882 jobs in 2022, a 19% gaintoremainthelargestprivate sector employer in Madison County. Utilities grew the fastest onaverysmallbase,followedby

Basic employment

Basic employment is business activity providing services primarily outside the area through the sale of goods and services, the revenues of which are directed to the local area in the form of wages and payments to local suppliers.

Non-Basic employment is business activity providing services primarily within the local area through the sale of goods and services, and the revenues of such sales recirculate within the community in the form of wages and expenditures by local citizens.

55% growth in Real Estate 37% growth in Finance and Insurance, and 35% growth in Educational Services employment.

Madison County has much more employment in Mining, quarrying,andoilandgasthan theaverageacrosstheStateof Iowa. This high and growing “Location Quotient” indicates localjobsstrengthinthissector.

Local employment dropped by -35% in Health Care and -10% in Manufacturing, which are two of the largest jobs creators in Iowa statewide. Any decline in manufacturing ripples through the local economy, since manufactured goods are typically sold outside the area (likely outside the state) bringing new income into Madison County, which is then recirculatedinretailandservices.

(D) Not Disclosed, n/a– Not Available

Table 5.6: Employment in Madison County 2012-2022

Source: American Community Survey 2016-2020.

Economic Base

A county’s economic base is made up of those businesses producing goods and services sold primarily outside the area. The revenues of base industries are returned to the local area in the form of wages to employees and payments to local suppliers. While, non-basic employment relies on business activity providing goods and services primarily within the local area, and the revenues of such sales recirculate within the community in the form of wages and expendituresbylocalcitizens.

One method to estimate the number of basic jobs in an area, is to compare local and regional or statewide employment. For purposesofthisanalysis,Madison County will be compared to the state of Iowa. This allows the analysis to establish where Madison County is producing goods and service for export compared to the state as a whole.


Industry is the type of activity at a person’s place of work. Occupationisthekindofworka persondoestoearnaliving.The following data examine five occupational areas established by the U.S. Census Bureau to evaluate trends in employment and the area economy. The five occupational categories usedintheanalysisare:

1. Managerial business, science, and arts occupations

2. Serviceoccupations

3. Sales and office occupations

4. Natural resources, construction, and maintenanceoccupations

5. Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

Table 5.7 compares Madison County to the state of Iowa and surrounding counties. The Table shows:

• Madison County has two occupational areas with Basic employment Management, business science, and arts; and Natural resources, construction, and maintenance,whichincludes agriculture

• Warren County has the greatest number of Basic occupational sectors of the areawiththree

Base Multiplier

The Base Multiplier is a number representing how many nonbasic jobs are supported by each basic job. A high base multiplier means the loss of one basic job will have a potential large impact on the local economy. When basic jobs bring new revenue into a local economy, new money becomes wages for other local works and pays for other local retail and serviceneeds.

Table 5.7: Basic/Non-Basic Employment By Occupation - 2020

Chapter 5: Economics/Economic Development

Theonlywayaneconomygrows is by making something or providing a service sold outside the area,bringing in new money for local residents and property owners.

The right column in Table 5.7 shows Madison County has a base multiplier of 9.5, based on occupational job categories. Each “basic” job supports 9.5 otherjobsinMadisonCounty.

There is no magical multiplier a county should aim to achieve. Every county is different and the dynamics involved are different. It is critical for the county to expressafuturevisionforbusiness and industry and work towards that end. As previously mentioned, it is also critical to diligently work on local business retention and expansion to support those employers already located in the county. Some places become too focused on attractingthe next bigthing and forget about the opportunities existing employers can offer through expansion of their operations.

Federal Transfer Payments

Another income source deserving examination are federal transfer payments, which are a component of non-farm income. Federal transfer payments as a proportion of personal income have risen considerably since 1970. In 1980, federal transfer payments comprised 13.6% of total personal income (Figure 5.7). In 1990, this figure increased to 14.5%;however,by 2020,transfer payments represented 20.8% of total personal income. Per Capitafederaltransferpayments roseto$11,192by2020.

As seen in Figure 5.7, the majority of federal transfer payments are in the form of Medical Benefits and RetirementBenefits,indicatinga major impact of the aging population. This may indicate the need for economic developmenteffortstofocuson amenities for retiree retention and attraction, as well as balancing the demographic profile with youth retention and in-migration.

Table 5.8 enumerates different categories of federal transfer paymentsfrom1980to2020.

• The largest major category increase in federal transfer payments was Other transfer receipts of individuals from governmentsat5,199.1%

• The second largest increase was in unemployment insurance compensation at 2,126.5%

• Medical had an overall increase of 1,718.6% with Military medical insurance benefits having the greatest increaseat5,437.5%

• The CPI for 1980 to 2020 was 231.6%

• The bold text highlight the highest year of expenditures ineachcategory

Figure 5.8 compares the per capita income for Madison County from 1980 to 2020 with the Federal Transfer Payments Per Capita. Both are growing during the time period. However, Figure 5.9 shows the Federal Transfer payment as a percentage of the Per Capita Income. Since 1980 the Per Capita Federal Transfer Payment has increased from 13.6% in 1980 to 20.8% in 2020, an increase of 52.9%fortheperiod.

Source: BEA Regional Economic Accounts, 2020

Figure 5.7: Federal Transfer Payments by Percentage 2020

Chapter 5: Economics/Economic Development

Keys to the Federal Transfer Payment analysis involves the level in which government payments are impacting the citizens pockets. When 1 in 5 dollars (per capita income) is a government payment, future depletion of government programs may have a negative impactonthelocaleconomy.

Local Governmental Revenues and Taxes

Madison County and communities within operate underacoupleofdifferenttaxes, Property Taxes and the Local OptionSalesTax.

The Local Option Sales Tax can be assessed by cities within their corporate areas and counties may assess it within the

Federal Transfer Payments

Government transfer payments span a wide range of uses and organizations. The funds for these payments also come from many different sources. However, the most common form of transfer payment is retirement and disability insurance benefits. These payments are made to those who qualify for OASDI benefits, railroad retirement and disability benefits, workers compensation programs and others.

Medical benefits are the second most common form of transfer payments. These types of benefits are government payments made through intermediaries to beneficiaries of medical care. Specifically, medical benefits come from

Figure 5.8: Personal Income and Federal Transfer Payments 1980-2020

Source: BEA Regional Economic Accounts, 1980 - 2020

unincorporatedareas.TheState of Iowa places a six percent sales tax on all taxable items and allows cities and counties to add up to an additional 1%.

According to the Iowa

either public assistance medical care or military medical insurance benefits. Public assistance is received by lowincome individuals and payments come through the federally assisted, state-run Medicaid program and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Military insurance is provided to military personnel through the TriCare Management Program.

Unemployment insurance is perhaps the third most common type of government transfer payments. This insurance includes state unemployment, federal unemployment and other organizations of unemployment compensation. Veterans' benefits are also a fairly common form of transfer payment. Transfer payments that surround these

Department of Revenue, all of the cities in Madison County; plus, Madison County (unincorporated area) levy a 1% sales tax. Thus the total sales tax paid within Madison County on

types of benefits are made up of veterans' pension and disability benefits, veterans' life insurance benefits and other types of veterans assistance.

Finally, education and training assistance is considered a type of government transfer payment. This government assistance consists of higher education student assistance, interest payments on student loans and state educational assistance. The combination of these benefits help individuals at all levels of education afford school. They also help people from all types of backgrounds. From Individuals who may only need a loan to people who need more assistance, all people can be helped with these transfer payments.

Source: BEA Regional Economic Accounts, 1980 - 2020 Chapter 5:

it more difficult to farm due to increasedlandvaluesandsales.

all taxable items is 7%. Only Bevington had a sunset date of June30,2024.

PropertytaxesinMadisonCounty arebaseduponavalueassessed by the County Appraiser on all real property in the county. The assessed value is then multiplied by a mil levy set by the County Board within the guidelines established by the State of Iowa. According to the website the median property tax paid by a property ownerinMadisonCountyin2024 was$1,917.00.

Table 5.9 shows the median property tax for Madison County and the other surrounding counties. The county with the highest median is Dallas County withamedianvalueof$2,509.00; while the lowest was found in Adair County with a median value of $1,028.00. Both Warren and Polk Counties had median amountsover$2,000.00.

Based upon information supplied by Madison County, almost 75% of the tax revenues to Madison

Countygovernmentcomefrom properties in the unincorporated areas and not the cities themselves. As development pressure continues to move toward Madison County from the Des Moines Metroplex, these median values will continue to increase as farmland is purchased at higher rates. Ultimately, the growth of the cities to the east will only make

Madison County is in a position whereitneedstodecidepolicies which will lead to responsible growth from the east and north (Dallas County) in order to minimize assessed property values from increasing to levels the agricultural producers cannot sustain. The discussions duringtheplanningprocesshave indicated a great desire to maintain Madison County’s agriculturalrootsandheritagevs. becoming an urbanized part of theDesMoinesMetroplex.


Figure 5.9: Federal Transfer Payments as a Proportion of Per Capita Income 1980-2020
Table 5.9: Median Property Tax by County - 2024


Chapter 6

County Facilities

they are to remain strong and vital. The analysis of existing facilities and future services are containedintheCountyFacilities Chapter. Alternatively, in some instances, there are a number of services not provided by the localorstategovernmentalbody and are provided by nongovernmental private or nonprofit organizations for the community as a whole. These organizations are important providers of services and are an integralpartofthecommunity.

houses the offices of the County Supervisors, Auditor, Human Resources, County Attorney, Community Services, IT, Facilities Maintenance, Court Offices and the courtrooms for Iowa Judicial District5.

County Courthouse Annex

The Madison County Courthouse Annex is located at 201 West Court Avenue in Winterset. The building houses the offices of the Assessor, County Board of Supervisor conference room, Emergency Management,

Roads located at 1105 East Court Avenue in Winterset. This facility also includes the office of the Weed Commissioner. See the Transportation Chapter for moredetails.

• Emergency Medical Services located at 209 Wambold DriveinWinterset

• Madison County Sheriff’s OfficeandCorrectionFacility located at 1012 N. John WayneDrive

6: County Facilities

Madison County Fairgrounds

The Madison County Fairgrounds arelocatedat 1146West Summit in Winterset. The county fair is heldannually,typicallyinJuly. The fairgrounds contain the typical facilities for an Iowa countyfairgrounds:

• Beefbarns

• Swinebarns

• Smallanimalbarns

• Multiplefoodbooths

• Aneventarena,and

• more


Figure 6.1: Map of Madison County Fairgrounds

Chapter 7 Educational Facilities

Education, even though the county government has little or nothing to do with the schools, it is important to discuss the different school opportunities available to the residents of Madison County. Madison County has parts of eight different public school districts servingthecounty,seeFigure7.1 for the district boundaries. The following paragraphs will provide basic information on each of the districts.

Public School Districts

Winterset Community School District

Winterset Community School District is located completely withinMadisonCountyandisthe largest in terms of land area covered. The district is based in Winterset and has the following facilities:

at404South2ndAvenue.The school serves Pre-K to 3rd gradestudents.

• Winterset Middle School located at 706 West School Street. The school houses grades4ththrough6th.

• Winterset Junior High School located at 720 Husky Drive. The school serves students in grades7thand8th.

• Winterset High School located at 720 Husky Drive. The school contains the 9th gradethrough12thgrade.

Interstate 35 Community School District

Interstate 35 Community School Districtislocatedinpartsofthree counties. The district office is based in Truro, Iowa. All of the schools are located at 405 E. North Street in Truro. The district hasthefollowingfacilities:

• Interstate35Daycare

• Interstate35Preschool

• Interstate35MiddleSchool

• Interstate35HighSchool

Earlham Community School District

Earlham Community School District is located in parts of two counties, mostly in Madison County extending into Dallas County. Earlham is the location forallofthedistrict’sfacilities.The districthasthefollowingfacilities:

• EarlhamPre-K

• EarlhamElementary

• EarlhamMiddleSchool

• EarlhamHighSchool

Van Meter Community School District

Van Meter Community School District is based in Dallas County but the district extends south into the northern portion of Madison County.VanMeteristhelocation forallofthedistrict’sfacilities.The districthasthefollowingfacilities:

• Van Meter Elementary (Pre-K to5thgrade)

• Van Meter Middle School (6ththrough8thgrades)

• Van Meter High School (9th through12thgrade)

Martensdale-St. Mary's Community School District (MSM)

MSMCommunitySchoolDistrictis based in Warren County but the district extends west into a small portion of Madison County eastern edge.Martensdale is the location for all of the district’s facilities. The district has the followingfacilities:

• MSM Elementary(Pre-Kto6th grade)

• MSM Jr/Sr High School (7th through12thgrade)

Adel Desoto Minburn Community School District (ADM)

ADMCommunitySchoolDistrictis based in Dallas County but the district extends south into the northern portion of Madison County. The district has the followingfacilities:

• Adel Elementary (Pre-K to 1st grade)

• Meadow View Elementary (2ndto4thgrades)

• DeSotoIntermediate(5thand 6thgrades)

• ADM Middle School in Adel (7ththrough8thgrades)

• ADM High School in Adel (9th through12thgrade)

Orient Macksburg Community School District (OM)

OM Community School District is based in Orient, Iowa, in Adair County but the district extends into the southwest corner of MadisonCounty.

East Union Community School District

East Union Community School District is based in Afton, Iowa, in Union County. The district covers the least amount of area within MadisonCounty.

Private/Charter Schools

The following are the private/ Charter schools serving the MadisonCountyarea.

Winterset Christian AcademyWinterset

Winterset Christian Academy specializes in an academically and biblically focused education for students 4-years of age through8th-grade.

Source: https://

Other Private and Charter Schools Outside Madison County

The following list contains additional private and charter schools serving the Madison County area but within the Des MoinesMetroplex:

• Horizon Science Academy DesMoines

• StrongRoadsChristianSchool

• Mt. Olive Lutheran SchoolDesMoines

• Des Moines Christian SchoolDesMoines

• Christ the King School - Des Moines

• Victory Christian AcademyIndianola

• GrandViewChristianSchoolDesMoines

• Sacred Heart School - West DesMoines

• St. Francis of Assisi SchoolWestDesMoines

Figure 7.1: Map of Iowa School Districts

• Bergman Academy - Des Moines

• Norwalk Christian AcademyNorwalk

• Gospel Assembly Christian Academy-DesMoines

• Beit Sefer Shalom - Jewish Federation Community School-Waukee


Educational facilities are not a county function. As the users of this plan evaluate the opportunities offered in the Madison County area educational facilities are critical to determining the placement of a commercial or industrial business due to the needs of those that may be relocating to theareafromelsewhere.

Madison County, Iowa Comprehensive Plan 2024 Draft


Chapter 8 Parks, Recreation, and Attractions

The Parks, Recreation, and Attractions chapter includes a brief description of the facilities located throughout Madison County, including some major attractions located within the communities. Madison County has a extensive county parks system operated by the Madison County Park and Conservation Department.

State Parks

Pammel State Park

Pammel Park was originally one of the first State Parks in Iowa (dedicated in 1928). It has been managed by the Madison CountyConservationBoardsince 1989. The park is noted for its natural woodland beauty highlighted by its signature limestone ridge known as the “backbone”. It is home to numerous botanical treasurers that include a lush diversity of woodland vegetation from wildflowers and native plants to the best quality Walnut stands in central Iowa. Some of the oldest


Figure 8.1: Madison County Park System Map

recorded Oak trees anywhere in the State grow from the craggy surfaces of the “backbone”. All thisnaturalbeautyisgracedwith the meandering flow of Middle River. This 350 acre park, with carefully planned development, is quickly becoming the destination park of the Madison Countyparksystem.

Facilities and Features

• Devil’sBackbone Shelter

• PammelLodge

• PicnicGrounds

• ModernBathrooms

• PlayEquipment

• Trails

• MiddleRiverFord

• HarmonTunnel

• ModernCampgrounds

• YurtCabins

• DumpStation

• NatureCenter

Source: https:/ pammel-park

Heritage Hills

Heritage Hills is an expansive property of remnant prairie, oak savanna and woodland located less than one mile from the Clanton Creek Natural Resource Area in Madison County. Once funded, Heritage Hills will help provide over 2,000 acres of land forpublicrecreationandhunting within 45 minutes of the Des MoinesMetro.

Heritage Hills is home to many rare and endangered species, including the Red-Shouldered Hawk and 22 other bird and mammal species of greatest conservation need.INHF and the Iowa DNR are working to restore the upland areas to prairie and rehabilitatetheremnantprairie.


Badger Creek State Recreation Area

Badger Creek State Recreation Area is a popular outdoor destination for hunters and anglersjustafewmilessouthwest of the Des Moines metro area. More than 700 acres can be accessed for hunting, bird watching and other nature activities.


• Boatingonthe276-acrelake.

• Access the lake from two boat ramps; one on the east and one on the west side of thelake.

• There are no motor restrictions, but all boats must operate at a "no wake" speed.

• Hunt on more than 700 acres ofpublichuntingland.

• Badger Creek is a popular area for waterfowl and small gamehunting.

• Fishing in Badger Creek Lake along the shore and from severalfishingjetties.Thelake is stocked with bass, crappie, bluegillandcatfish.

• Bird watching for a variety of species throughout the year, including migratory birds and otherwildlife.


Kirke Woods Wildlife Area

Kirke Woods Wildlife Area, north of Bevington in northeast Madison County, is a new 240acre mix of oak and hickory timber, and maple and cottonwood bottomlands, a reconstructed prairie and a 30acre wetland that is open to the public.

The initial 240 acres of Kirke Woods was acquired in November 2022. It was part of a nearly 700-acre section of rugged and hilly land acquired by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundationin2019.

A second tract was purchased by the Natural Resource Commission. The remaining parcel is enrolled in the Iowa Habitat and Access Program

(IHAP) and is currently the only way to access the property off WindWoodTrail.

Land enrolled in IHAP is open to the public from Sept. 1 to May 1 each year, and only for hunting andtrappingpurposes.

An old, overgrown lane, riddled with downedtrees,begins at the entrance gate and extends to the west end of the property. It also serves as a readymade fire break.

A reconstructed prairie covers more than 100 acres and has prairie bush clover, leadplant, rattlesnakemaster,coreopsisand more.

Hilly and thick with vegetation, thissoon-to-befavoritegotospot fordeerandturkeyhunters,hikers and bird watchers will not be a secretmuchlonger.


County Parks

Madison County operates 13 facilities throughout the county. Theseinclude:

• CedarCoveredBridgePark

• Clanton Creek Natural ResourceArea

• CrissCove

• FellowshipForest

• GoeldnerWoods

• GuyeWoods

• HansonPrairiePreserve

• JensenMarsh

• McBrideTimberPreserve

• MiddleRiverPark

• SchildbergAccess,and

• WintersetOutdoorClassroom

Cedar Covered Bridge Park

Cedar Bridge Park, managed primarily as day-use historic site and picnic area, is home to one of the six remaining covered

bridges in Madison County, with Cedar Bridge being the only covered bridge that you can still drive your vehicle through. Cedar Bridge Park is adorned with two quaint Victorian era gazebos, brick walkways and a courtyards bordered by a wildflower garden that are often usedforweddings.

Cedar Bridge, built in 1883, was destroyed by fire in the fall of 2002. Through a ground swell of publicsupport,funds wereraised to rebuild Cedar Bridge. The exact replica of Cedar Bridge was built and dedicated on Saturday, October 9th, 2004. In April of 2017, Cedar Bridge was again destroyed by arson, and wasrebuiltagainin2019.

In May of 1993, Cedar Bridge Park hosted Oprah Winfrey when she aired her daily television talk show from the park as a means to promote a book that she dearly liked at the time which was entitled, “The Bridges of Madison County.” Although only 27 acres in size, Cedar Bridge Park receives heavy daily tourist traffic with the peak season cominginthefallduringCovered

Bridge Festival weekend (2nd full weekendinOctober).

Facilities and Features

• Cedar Covered Bridge (built in 1883, rededicated in 2004 andagainin2019)

• A Gazebo shelter is located on the north side of Cedar Creek

• A Gazebo shelter is located on the south side of Cedar Creek

• Landscape beds of colorful perennial and annual plantings are located at the entrancestothepark.

• Pit-vault style bathrooms located in the south parking lot

Source: https:/ cedar-covered-bridge-park

Clanton Creek Natural Resource Area

This 1,115 acre wildlife area is made up of three adjoining management units from west to east and identified by the following (Deer Creek Unit, 120 acres; Turkey Ridge Unit, 275 acres; Clanton Unit, 320 acres; Sawyer Unit 400), and is the largest park that the

Conservation Board owns. This area is managed as a wilderness area open to fishing, public hunting and hiking. This is one of Madison County’s largest remaining remnants of land locked wilderness. There are no interior roads throughout the entire area which spans 2 1/4 miles east and west and a mile north and south. The landlocked feature enables this area to be one of Madison County’s most pristine wildlife areas and prime public-hunting areas. Access to the interior of the park is pedestrian only. The primary habitat is upland oak/hickory forestwithterrainthatvariesfrom gently rolling to steep ravines. Other unique habitats present are oak-savanna prairie, ridge top tall-grass prairies, and numeroussmallwetlands.

Facilities and Features

• 6 Acre Pond located in the DeerCreekUnit

• 10+MilesofHikingTrails

• 4 Parking Areas (SW corner Deer Creek Unit, E & N sides oftheClantonUnitandSside ofSawyerUnit)

• UplandOak/HickoryForest

• Oak-SavannaPrairie

• TallGrassPrairie

• Wetland areas adjacent to small creeks & abandoned ponds

Source: https:/ clanton-creek-natural-resource-area

Criss Cove

Criss Cove County Park is a 45 acre recreation area that provides fishing, camping and hiking. Criss Cove is typical of Southern Iowa grassland habitat with many native Red Cedars scattered throughout the area. Criss Cove provides users with a high quality 9 acre pond fishery that allows easy access for both shoreline fishing as well as an

access for non-motorized boat/ canoe fishing. Access to the pond is open year round. Modern and primitive camp sites are provided through the spring, summer and fall each year. Public Hunting is NOT allowed. Due to Criss Cove’s location at the intersection of U.S Highway 169 and County Road G-61, Criss Cove is easily accessed and provides a family friendly atmosphere.

Facilities and Features

• 9AcrePond

• Fishing Jetty’s (4) – one is handicappedaccessible

• Groomed shoreline fishing locations

• Boat Landing & Docks for small boats & canoes (electricmotorsonly)

• Modern & Primitive Camp Grounds

• Pit-VaultBathrooms

• HikingTrail

Source: https:/ -cove

Fellowship Forest

Fellowship Forest was originally established as a Methodist

Church youth camp. The area was donated to the Conservation Board’s foundation in 1988. This 60 acre park is managed as both a day-use picnic area as well a public hunting and fishing area. FellowshipForestconsistsprimarily of upland hardwood forest, with some bottom land timber. A beautiful clear running meandered creek flows the entire length of the park, cascading over numerous limestone outcroppings, creating 3to5foottallwaterfalls.

Facilities and Features

• 55AcreUplandTimber

• 5AcrePicnicArea

• Modern Picnic Shelter: Seatingcapacityof60,group grill, electrical outlets and lights

• Pit:Vaultrestroom.

• ½ Acre Pond with handicapped accessible fishingdeck

• Handicapped accessible trail from parking lot to fishing dock

• HikingTrails

• Primitive Camp Sites (Local


Source: https:/ fellowship –forest

Goeldner Woods

Goeldner Woods is managed as a multi-use recreation area with a small picnic area near the parkinglot,andanextensivetrail systemthatexploresallcornersof the park. This 44 acre park is primarily upland hardwood forest, with some bottom land timber on the north end of the park adjacent to the North BranchofNorthRiver.Oneofthe mostuniqueaspectsofGoeldner Woods is the annual spring woodland wildflower display. Due to cool north facing woodland slopes and rich virgin soils, this area explodes into pastel color tones as the forest floor literally is blanketed with millions of wildflower blooms. Over 60 species of woodland flowershavebeenidentified.

Facilities and Features

• 40AcreTimber

• PicnicArea

• Pit-VaultBathroom

• HikingTrails

Source: https:/ goeldner-woods

Guye Woods

Guye Woods County Park visitors are greeted by a 100 foot long cable suspension bridge over NorthRiverthatprovidestheonly access to this densely timbered 93 acre wilderness. Once park visitors cross the bridge they encounter a lush river bottom timber that quickly gives way to steeply elevating slopes that grow some of the finest upland hardwood timber anywhere in the County. This 93 acre timber tract was a treasured retreat of the Guye family who donated the property to the Conservation Board in 1985. Guye Woods is

Chapter 8: Parks, Recreation, and Attractions

bordered on the north by North River. A high hill located in the southern reaches of the park is designated as the highest elevationinMadisonCounty.This area is managed as a “wilderness” area as a means to protect the quality of flora and fauna found in this unique location. Public hunting is allowed.

Facilities and Features

• 100 foot long cable suspension bridge over North River

• Memorial Stone recognizing the Guye family as one of Madison County’s original settlers

Source: https:/ guye-woods

Hanson Prairie Preserve

This 30 acre tall-grass prairie is a “labor-of-love” product of Dick and Lou Hanson who began converting a creek bottom farm field to a warm season tall-grass prairie environment in the mid 1980’s. The Hansons, who still reside adjacent to the preserve, donated their prairie to the Madison County Foundation for Environmental Education (MCFEE). In the summer of 2000, the Madison County Conservation Board entered into a management agreement with MCFEE and oversees and manages the area as a prairie preserve and will continue to incorporate a diversity of wildflowerspecies.

The prairie is divided into two segments as Cedar Creek meanders through the middle of the prairie preserve. The public is encouraged to come and explore the “tall-grass prairie” ecosystem that once covered over 90 percent of the State of Iowa.Huntingisnotallowed.

Facilities and Features

• Approximately30acresoftall -grassprairie

• CedarCreek

• WalkingTrails

• Parking area on northwest cornerofproperty

Source: https:/ hanson-prairie-preserve

Jensen Marsh

This 190 acre wildlife area is managed as a natural resource/ public hunting area. Due to the diversity of habitats present, Jensen Marsh provides the user withtheopportunityofviewinga wide variety of both game and non-gamewildlifethroughoutthe year,includingwaterfowl,upland birds and mammals, wetland and aquatic species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. A wide variety of native wetland and upland species of forbs, grasses and legumes are also found in these diversehabitats.

Habitat types include wetlands, tall-grass prairie and upland timber. Many of these features can be easily accessed and appreciated from the abandoned railroad right-of-way that runs the entire length (1 1/4 mile) of the park property. Parking areas are available on both ends of the rail trail. Access to throughout the park is pedestrian only. Non-motorized boats/canoes are allowed in the wetlandareas.

Facilities and Features

• 80+AcresofWetland/Marsh

• Tall-GrassPrairie

• UplandTimber

• Abandoned railroad bed hikingtrail

• 2ParkingAreas

Source: https:/ jensen-marsh

McBride Timber Preserve

McBride Timber was donated to Madison County in 1985. In compliance with the wishes of the McBride family, the Conservation Board manages this 40 acre timber as a wildlife refuge. Although this area has not been developed for public access (no parking areas available at this time) the public is welcome to explore the park. The refuge is signed on the perimeters as a refuge area. PublichuntingisNOTallowed.

Facilities and Features

• 40acreUplandTimber

Source: https:/ mcbride-timber-preserve

Middle River Park

MiddleRiverPark,locatedonthe south edge of Winterset, is managedasarecreational area that provides users with picnic and shelter facilities, river access to Middle River and a hardsurfacedtrailsystem.MiddleRiver Park is 80 acres of primarily woodlands made up of giant Cottonwood, Hackberry, Silver Maple and Walnut trees that grace the lower picnic grounds and two-level shelter facility, graduallygivingwayintheupper elevations to beautiful stands of native Black Maples and eventually Oak/Hickory forests. Middle River Park adjoins the larger Winterset City Park, with the parks connected by a trail converted from an abandoned road.

Facilities and Features

• Two-levelPicnicShelter

• ModernBathrooms

• PicnicGrounds

• PlayEquipment

• Canoe Access to Middle River

• Hard-Surfaced handicapped accessibletrail

Source: https:/ middle-river-park

Schildberg Access

Schildberg Access provides a convenient developed access off State Highway 92 for canoers andkayakerstoMiddleRiver.

Facilities and Features

• Canie/Kayakaccess

• Parkllot

Source: https:/ schildberg-access

Winterset Outdoor Classroom

This new five acre Outdoor Classroom is currently under construction and will provide the students and teachers of the Winterset Community Schools, as well as general citizens of Madison County an instructional tool, set in a natural environment situated between the Winterset HighSchoolandMiddleSchoolin a natural drainage area borderedbylargeOaktrees.

Facilities and Features

• Tall-GrassPrairie

• PollinatorPrairie

• Oak-Savanna

• Twowetland/moistsoilUnits

• Plantings of native shrubs, pinesandhardwoods

• ObservationPlatform

• ButterflyGardens

• NaturePlay-Scape

• Amphitheater

• Raised Beds for Prairie Plant Propagation

• Accessible Walkway & Turf Pathways

• GeologyWall

Source: https:/ schildberg-access

Maffitt Reservoir

Dale Maffitt Reservoir is a 200acre lake located southwest of Des Moines in a 1,500 acre park. Thelake,primarilylocatedinPolk County, also has corners reaching into Warren, Dallas and MadisonCounties.

Besides a recreational area, the parkland also operates as a water quality control area. The Reservoir was purchased in the 1940’s by the Des Moines Water Works. In 2000 the Water Works built a water treatment plant at theReservoir.

Kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, ice fishing, and fishing. Everything but fishing activities requires an annual permit. The Reservoir and Park alsocontain4.5milesoftrails.

Duringanormal yeartheprimary poolhasadepthrangingfrom25 feetto55feet.

Historic Sites and Places

MadisonCountyhastheMadison County Historic Preservation Commission established for the protection and preservation of historical buildings, structures, and sites within the county. The Commission is a Certified Local Government under the National HistoricPreservationAct.

The CLG’s Program’s Purpose andObjectives(asnotedontheir website)areasfollows:

• Promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the public through recognition, enhancement, and perpetuation of sites and districts of historical and culturalsignificance’

Chapter 8: Parks, Recreation, and Attractions


• Safeguard the County’s historic, aesthetic, and cultural heritage by preserving sites and districts andculturalsignificance

• Stabilize and improve propertyvalues

• Foster pride in the legacy of beauty and achievements of thepast

• Protect and enhance the County’s attractions to tourists and visitors and the support and stimulus to businesstherebyprovided

• Strengthen the economy of theCounty

• Promotetheuseoflandmarks and districts of historic and cultural significance as places for education, enjoyment , and welfare of thepeopleoftheCounty

According to the National Register of Historic Places, Madison County has 53 historic buildings, structures, or districts listed. Four of these are located inWinterset.

IncludedontheNationalRegister are:

• Fivecoveredbridges

• MadisonCountyCourthouse

• Winterset High School Apartments

• WintersetCityPark

• Winterset Courthouse Square CommercialDistrict

• Hockett House MuseumEarlham

• EarlhamAcademy-Earlham

• Bricker-PriceBlock-Earlham

• StoneBarn-Earlham

• J.D. Craven Women’s Relief CorpsHall-Macksburg

• Cunningham BridgeBevington

Other key historical aspects of MadisonCountyincludesitrolein The Underground Railroad. According to the Madison County Historic Preservation Commission’s website, “Madison County was located on a very active section of the Underground Railroad in southwestern Iowa. Here in our vicinity, the active underground Railroad years were from 1857 to 1862. The work here did not involve a railroad, as the railroad didn’t arrive in Madison County until after the Freedom Seekers ended.” The article goes further in saying, “...Most of the Underground Railroad activities took place in rural areas with towns being generally avoided. Prominent Winterset businessmen seemingly funded the work while farmers and their families put their lives in danger in the effort to assist the Freedom Seekers on their way through rural Madison County.“


Attractions can be critical to the local economy of a county through tourism and visitations from non-residents. In Madison County’s case there are numerous attractions to bring in multiple types of visitors. According to the Madison County Chamber and Welcome Center there are 10 key types of attractionsinMadisonCounty.


• The Covered BridgesCountywide

• John Wayne Birthplace and Museum-Winterset

• Madison County Historical Complex-Winterset

Figure 8.2: Maffitt Reservoir Map

• MonumentalPark-Winterset

• North River Stone Schoolhouse-Winterset

• Iowa Quilt MuseumWinterset

• George Washington Carver Park-Winterset

• TheIowaTheater-Winterset

• Winterset Art CenterWinterset

Covered Bridges

Madison County originally boasted 19 covered bridges, but just six remain today, five of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridges were covered by order of the County Board of Supervisors to help preserve the large flooring timbers, which were more expensive to replace than the lumber used to cover the sides and roof. Usually, the bridges were named for the residentwholivedclosest.

Thecoveredbridgesare opento the public,andtravelers can use a detailed map to do a selfguidedtourofthestructures. The bridges and their constructiondateareasfollows:

• Cedar Covered Bridge was built in 1883 by Harvey P. Jones and George K. Foster. Theoriginalbridgewasnearly destroyed by arson and was rebuiltandreopenedin2019.

• Cutler-Donahue Bridge was built in 1870 by Eli Cox. It was moved to its present location in Winterset park in 1970 and wasrenovatedin1997.

• Hogback Covered Bridge was constructed in 1884 by Harvey P. Jones and George K. Foster. The bridge is located north of Winterset andwasrenovatedin1992.

• Holliwell Covered Bridge built in 1880 by Harvey P. Jones and George K. Foster is located southeast of Winterset over the Middle

Figure 8.3: Map of Covered Bridge Locations

River. The bridge was renovatedin1995.

• Imes Covered Bridge was built in 1870 and is the oldest covered bridge. It was originally located over the Middle River west of Patterson. In 1887, the bride was moved to location over Clinton Creek southwest of Hanley. Then in 1977 it was moved to a ravine east of St. Charles. It was renovated in 1997.

• Roseman Covered Bridge wasbuilt in1883byHarveyP. Jones and George K. Foster andsitsinitsoriginallocation. The bridge was renovated in 1992.

Source: Madison County, Iowa Chamber and Welcome Center

John Wayne Birthplace and Museum

Since the John Wayne Birthplace Society was established in 1982, more than a million visitors have journeyed to historic Madison County to tour the birthplace home. Guests have included President Ronald Reagan, movie legend Maureen O’Hara, Wayne’s widow and all of his children, and fans from 50 states


With the opening of the 6,100 square foot John Wayne Birthplace Museum adjacent to the home, visitors now have the opportunity to see the largest diversified exhibit of John Wayne

Chapter 8: Parks, Recreation, and Attractions

artifacts in existence, including original movie posters, film wardrobe, scripts, contracts, letters, artwork and sculpture, and even one of his last customized automobiles. Naturally,thefacilityalsoincludes a movie theater. Relax in comfortableseats(originallyfrom Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood) and watch a documentary on Duke’s phenomenalfilmcareer.

Sources: Madison County, Iowa Chamber and Welcome Center; John Wayne Birthplace and Museum

Madison County Historical Complex

From its humble beginning in 1904, the Madison County Historical Society has developed intoacomplexwhichincludes14 buildings located on 18 picturesque acres on the south edge of Winterset. The crown jewel of the complex is the 1856 Bevington-Kaser House constructed by C.D. “Doc” Bevington. This property was a gift of June Kaser and Margaret Guye. It has been restored and furnishedinVictorianrichness.

The collections at the museum complex include rocks, fossils,

Native American Artifacts, Civil War and military items, quilts, glassware, local business memorabilia, household and domestic items, early farm machinery and technology,tools andbarbedwire,andaresearch library.Visitorscantaketheirtime exploring the grounds, structures andexhibits.

Source: Madison County, Iowa Chamber and Welcome Center

Monumental Park

This monument, dedicated on October17,1867,wasoneofthe earliest Civil War monuments erected in Iowa. It is a 14 foot marble monument on a 5 foot limestone base. There are inscriptions on the four sides. The cannons,includedin1878,aresix -pounder bronze field guns, M1841, painted black. Two were made at Ames Manufacturing Co. – one in 1855 and one in 1861. Another was cast at Cyrus Alger & Co. in 1861. The fourth is from William D. Marshall & Co., cast in 1862. The cannons and carriages are in excellent condition. Monumental Park is one block east of the Town SquareinWintersetonCourtAve. Recently, several very nice

enhancementshavebeenmade including the new entrance, concrete foundations for the cannons and the cannonball stackforeachcannon.

Source: Madison County, Iowa Chamber and Welcome Center

North River Stone Schoolhouse

Built in 1874 of native limestone, the school was in continuous use until 1945. It is on the National RegisterofHistoricPlaces.

Please note that the Interior of the North River Stone Schoolhouseisonlyaccessibleby making an appointment withthe Madison County Historical Complex or on a personal group tour led by the Madison County Chamber. It is owned and maintained by the Madison CountyHistoricalComplex.

Source: Madison County, Iowa Chamber and Welcome Center

Bricker-Price Block

Restored inside and out, the historic Bricker-Price Block serves as the cornerstone for renewed community life in Earlham and Madison County, extending a welcome to guests from Central Iowa and beyond. On the ground floor is one of the area’s newest destination dining spots. Upstairs,the Hadley Family Social Club with its classic arched windows, tall tin ceilings and refinished wood floors, is a beautiful setting for parties, receptions, weddings, dinners and corporate meetings. The Hadley Family Social Club also presents a wide variety of entertainment and educational opportunities including live music concerts, trivia competitions, craftfairsandartexhibits.

Source: Madison County, Iowa Chamber and Welcome Center

Iowa Quilt Museum

TheIowaQuiltMuseumislocated in a National Register listed building on the south side of the Winterset square. The museum hosts various events and has several permanent and traveling exhibits.

George Washington Carver

The Carver Park in Winterset was dedicated 25 years ago to memorialize the inspiring story of this well-known American citizen. Carver Park stands next to the former hotel where he worked (which is now the site of the currentWintersetFireStation)and includesamemorialmarker,short walkway,andflowers.Aceramic mural created by hundreds of Madison County students was installed in the Carver Park in 2014. This public art project, the

love of nature and art, his philosophy of service, and the story of how the people of Winterset encouraged him to reachhisdreams.

AdisplayaboutDr.Carver’stime in Winterset and beyond can be found inside the Winterset Art Center.

Source: Madison County, Iowa Chamber and Welcome Center

The Iowa Theater

Located in Winterset, Iowa, the historic Iowa Theater was purchased in July, 2015 by Marianne and Rebecca Fons with the mission to rehabilitate, restore and upgrade the space, creatingamulti-useperformance center for the community. It reopened after an extensive rehabilitationinMayof2017.

Source: Madison County, Iowa Chamber

The Winterset Art Center is many things: an art gallery, offering original art for sale; a teaching center, offering classes in painting, fiber arts, glass, pottery, ceramics, creative writing, and more; a museum about local art and artists, and a center for information about the Underground Railroad in Iowa and George Madison Carver’s timeinWintersetandIowa.

Source: Madison County, Iowa Chamber and Welcome Center

Earlham Academy (Old School House) and Hockett House Museum

Earlham’s history is lovingly preserved in the original 1860’s home of founders David and Mary Hockett. Built in the 1860’s, The Hockett House is a typical small settler home. Over time a dining room, kitchen and two smallbedroomswereaddedand the first room became a parlor. Early settler furniture has been donatedfromarearesidents.The daybed came from Earlham’s first furniture store, owned by JoshuaThorntoninthe1870’s.

The surrounding flowerbeds are representative of late 19th century Iowa gardens. Hockett familymembershavelivedinthe house for much of its history. It was updated in the 1940’s by David Hockett’s granddaughter, GertrudeHockettWalton.

David Hockett (1830-1903) brought his wife, Mary Jane, and three children to the Earlham area from eastern Iowa by ox team and wagon in 1865. They settled on 200 acres where Earlham stands today. By deedingalandstringtotheC.R.I. &P.railroadandsellingathirdof his acres for town development, Hockett was instrumental in the foundingofEarlhamin1870.

Source: Madison County, Iowa Chamber and Welcome Center

Earlham Public School (Masonic Temple)

The Earlham Public School, located on Main Street east of the business section, is one of that town's oldest extant buildings and a well-preserved example of vernacular architecture that exhibits traces of the Greek Revival and Italianate styles. Local builder Jennings P. Osborn constructed the northern portion of this twostory edifice in 1871, and its southern section was added shortly afterwards. The walls of theoldersectionareconstructed

of smooth-faced limestone and rest on rusticated foundations of thesamematerial.Windowshere are generally of the one-overone sash variety and are set in rectangular surrounds. First floor windows feature pedimented heads while cornice type heads areusedonthesecondfloor.The south addition is constructed of reddishorange brickandlikethe older portion has a rusticated stone foundation. Windows here are similar to those in the older section, but are set in arched surrounds with radiating brick voussoirs. Both sections are capped with medium pitched gable roofs that feature plain cornices with overhanging eaves and pairs of elaborately carved brackets.

The school building appears to have undergone little major exterior alteration over the years. Several years ago, the stone chimney at the north end was removed, and recently the slate roof and stone steps on the east side were replaced due to deterioration. Generally, the building appears to be in very good condition, and probably looks much as it did in the late nineteenthcentury.



Chapter 9

Public Safety

Public Safety

Public safety encompasses fire, emergency management, emergency medical services (EMS), and law enforcement. A mutual aid agreement ties these departments together. These services are made up of municipal and county-wide providers.

Communication Center (911)

The Communication Center is under the direct supervision of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. It handles calls for all of the Emergency Resources within MadisonCountyincluding:

• MadisonCountySheriff

• EmergencyMedicalServices

• PublicHealth

• Community Services/Mental Health

• EmergencyManagement

• South Central Iowa Regional E911Board


The Madison County Sheriff is the principalpeaceofficerwithinthe county. The sheriff’s office is located at 1012 John Wayne DriveinWinterset.Theofficeisrun bythedulyelectedsheriffandat the time of this plan had the followingstaffmembers:

• CountySheriff

• Nine full-time and one parttimedeputies

• ACivilClerk

• Fourdispatchers

• CAD/911coordinator

• Ajailadministrator

• Fourjailers

TheSheriff’sOfficeisthecontract law enforcement for the communities of St. Charles and Truro.

The office includes a 12-bed jail facility. The department also has a K-9 officer trained in tracking anddrugs.

Municipal Law Enforcement

Madison County has only two municipal police departments, which are in Winterset and Earlham.


The primary municipal law enforcement agency in Madison County is the Winterset Police Department. The department is currently made up of nine officers, providing 24-hour coverage within the corporate limits. Their facility is located at 1012 John Wayne Drive in Winterset; this is a shared facility withtheMadisonCountySheriff’s office.


TheEarlhamPoliceDepartmentis currentlymadeupoftwoofficers andanSROofficer.Theirfacilityis located at 140 S. Chestnut AvenueinEarlham.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Madison County EMS is the only paid, full time EMS in the county. MadisonCountyEMSrespondsto all emergent and non-emergent callsforservicewithinthecounty.

Truro Fire and Rescue, St Charles Fire and Rescue, and Earlham Fire and Rescue are Volunteer services responding to calls in their service area. Truro and St Charles Fire and Rescue can transport if they have staff. Madison County EMS is dispatched at the same time as all volunteer departments. Earlham EMS does not transport but are capable of stabilizing a person on scene. Peru has a volunteer fire department but no EMS; while Macksburg and BevingtonhavenoFireorEMS.

Fire Departments

There are four fire stations in Madison County. The largest is located in Winterset with the othersinEarlham,St.Charlesand Truro. The following are brief descriptions of the departments based upon their individual websites.

Winterset Fire and Rescue

The Winterset Fire Department was established in 1872. The Winterset Fire Department covers over 300 square miles including ten townships andtwo cities.The department responds to an averageof130callsayear.They offer fire protection and other essentialemergencyservices.

Thecurrentfirestationwasbuiltin 1977 at 101 E. Jefferson Street and houses three pumpers, two tankers, two smaller brush trucks, and one command/ attack vehicle, and a new UTV. In addition they have a variety of

Winterset Engine 501

Source: Fire Department | Winterset, IA

specialized tools from grain bin recuse tools, gas detectors, and AEDStotheJawsoflife.

Source: Fire Department | Winterset, IA

Earlham Fire and Rescue

Earlham Fire & Rescue is made up of several men and women who serve the Earlham area in Madison and Dallas Counties. The station is located 150 S. ChestnutStreet.

Source: Earlham Fire & Rescue | City of Earlham (

Truro Fire and Rescue

The City of Truro emergency services is prepared 24/7 to preserve life and minimize damage, respond to hazards or disaster events by providing the necessary assistance and emergency support functions as well as establish a recovery system that will return the community to its normal state of affairs.

Throughout the year, the City of Truro EMS engage in community

awareness and prevention programs to help the community avoid, detect, and report emergencieseffectively.

The City of Truro Fire Department'smissionistoprotect and enhance the quality of life forallcitizensandvisitorsfromthe adverse effects of natural and man-made emergencies. Their goal is to provide a protection program through a cost-efficient approach to emergency response, fire code application and public fire education. The stationislocatedat120S.Center Street.

Source: Emergency Services | City of Truro Iowa

St. Charles Fire and Rescue

The City of St. Charles Fire and Rescue is located a 210 W. Main Street. The department is fully volunteer and its service area covers approximately 36 square miles of Madison County. The mission of the department is to protect and enhancethe quality

of life for all citizens and visitors from the adverse effects of natural and man-made emergencies. Their primary goal is to provide a protection program through a cost-efficient approach to emergency response, fire code application andpublicfireeducation.

The City of St. Charles emergency services is prepared 24/7topreservelifeandminimize damage, respond to hazards or disaster events by providing the necessary assistance and emergency support functions as well as establish a recovery system that will return the community to its normal state of affairs.

Throughout the year, the City of St. Charles EMS engage in community awareness and prevention programs to help the community avoid, detect, and report emergencies effectively.

Source: Emergency Services | City of St. Charles

Other areas

The City of Bevington, as mentioned previously, does not have a local fire department, and coverage is split between the West Des Moines Fire District and Martensdale Fire Department.

Macksburgdoesnothaveitsown fire department and covered by the Orient-Mack Fire District based in Orient, west of the community.

Emergency Management

Madison County Emergency Management and Homeland Security helps Madison County residents before, during, and after emergencies through

Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Preparedness cycle

Source: About | IOWA HSEMD

preparedness, education, and response.

The agency is responsible for coordinating countywide emergency planning and response for all types and scales of emergencies. They assist local governments,schools,businesses, and voluntary organizations, through a variety of programs to make the community resilient to allhazardsituations.

Source: Emergency Management | Madison County, Iowa

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

(HSEMD) has been working to make Iowa more prepared for disasters since it began as the State Civil Defense Agency in 1965. The focus of emergency management and the hazards faced by Iowans may have changedinsomewayssincethat time,butwhathasn’tchangedis our commitment to making our state more prepared for any emergencyordisaster.

While the likelihood of a terrorist act being committed in Iowa is unknown, we will continue to be affected by floods, tornadoes, snow storms, plane crashes, and othernaturalandhuman-caused disasters. HSEMD approaches

these and other emergency situations with an emphasis on maximizing resources by using and expanding upon current capacities and building core capabilities that ensure we are preparedforallhazards.

The structure of homeland security and emergency managementinIowabeginswith the governor, who holds the responsibility for protecting Iowa’s citizens. The governor appoints the Iowa homeland security advisor and the director of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD). The HSEMD director serves as the state administrative agent for grants administered by thefederalgovernment.

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management is the coordinating body for homeland security and emergency management activities across the state. In addition to HSEMD, the advisor relies on an advisory committee for information to assist in the decision-making process.

Public Safety Goals and Action Items

Public Safety Goal PS-1: Protect critical infrastructure and prevent cyber crime. Cyber attacks to major industry affects the local, regional, and national economies.


1. Work with the Emergency Management Department to develop a plan to protect critical infrastructure and preventdamagingattacksto major industries in the county andgeneralresidents.

2. Encourage educational opportunities for county residents on how to protect theircomputerdata

Public Safety Goal PS-2:

Local law enforcement is critical to the long-term safety of the countyresidents.


1. Madison County elected officials need to continue to support law enforcement via thebudgetaryprocess.

2. The continued safety of the general public will be greatly dependent upon the coordination and cooperation of all area law enforcementagencies.

Public Safety Goal PS-3:

Medical first responders (EMS) needstobemaintained.


1. Similar to law enforcement, the needs (personnel, equipment, and supplies) of medical first responders should be continually supportedfiscally.

2. Coordination and cooperation between medical units needs to continue into the planning period.

Chapter 10 Public Health

Public Health

Planning in the United States originated with a public health purpose;planningisrootedinthe need to improve public health through reduction of congestion and regulating for responsible development.PublicHealthisthe science of protecting and improving the health of people andtheircommunity.

People employed in public healthtrytopreventpeoplefrom getting sick or injured in the first place. Public health concepts promote wellness by encouraging healthy behaviors such as exercising, reducing use of tobacco, and education on alcoholabuse.Thefieldofpublic health works to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy. Public health also

sets safety standards to protect workers.

Public health workers track diseaseoutbreaks,andshedlight on why some are more likely to suffer from poor health than others.

Sources: American Planning Association, Planning and Community Health Research Center, Healthy Plan Making; American Public Health Association

Public Health

Madison County Public Health Department

The Madison County Public Health Building is located at 209 East Madison Street. Madison County Public Health’s mission is to promote, protect and preserve the health and well being of Madison County residents through leadership and community collaboration. The Department has several functions,including:

• BloodpressureClinics

• ImmunizationServices

• DiseaseInvestigation

• FootCare

• HealthEducation

• FluClinics

Homemaker Services

The homemaking program assists individuals to safely remain in their homes for as long as possible.

The homemaking staff are fully trained and experienced Certified Nurses Assistants supervisedbythenursingstaff.


• Personal Care including bathing, personal needs; plus,checkingvitalsigns

• GeneralHousekeeping

• Meal Preparation including planning, shopping and preparingmealsinadvance.

• Laundry assistance in home, in your apartment or at the laundromat

There are several financial programs may assist in coverage oftheservices.

Blood Pressure Clinics

Blood pressure & vital sign screenings are offered in the Public Health office by appointment.

areavailableforchildrenthrough adult audiences on a variety of healthtopics.

Flu Clinics

The Madison County Public Health Department can scheduleainfluenzavaccination clinic in either their office or a businesslocation.

Health Care

Madison County Memorial Hospital

Madison County Memorial Hospital is located in Winterset. It is an affiliate of MercyOne systems.

Someofthecurrentservices providedattheWintersetfacility include:

• DietaryConsults

• EmergencyDept.24/7

• FamilyMedicine

• GeneralSurgery

• Health Coach & Transition Management

• Madison County Health & RehabServices

• LaboratoryServices

• Orthopedics

• Pediatrics

• Radiology&Imaging

• SeniorLifeSolutions

• SHIIP Consultations (Medicare)

• SpecialtyServices

Central Iowa Community Services (CICS)

Central Iowa Community Services (CICS) Mental Health and Disability Services Region is theentityresponsibleforensuring mental health and disability servicesareavailableinMadison County. CICS is a 28E entity with a membership of 15 counties. AccordingtotheIowa Code, Mental Health and DisabilityServicesRegionsarethe sole entity responsible for ensuring the availability of “Core Services” established in Iowa Code.

Besides Madison County the other counties within the 15

Madison County Public Health Building Source: Google Maps

county region include Boone, Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Jasper, Marshall, Poweshiek, Story, Warren, Webster, and Wright. Services within Madison County can be found in Winterset.

CICS provides the following withintheirregion:

• Coordination of servicesCICS professionals provide the vital link between individuals and appropriate resources in the region to improve health, hope and successfuloutcomes

• Financial support - CICS professionals help individuals navigatethroughtheprocess of applying for and securing the necessary financial support for their immediate needs

• CICS is committed to partnering with providers, families, individuals, and partner health and human service systems to maintain a system of care approach

that is welcoming and individualoriented

Source: regions/central-iowa-communityservices/

Madison County Health Care System

Madison County Health Care System consists of Madison County Memorial Hospital, The Earlham Medical Clinic, and the Health Trust Physicians Clinic in Winterset.Throughthetwoclinics there are five physicians and six mid-level providers meeting the health care needs of area residents.

Rural Health Clinics provide:

• FamilyPracticeMedicine

• EmergencyMedicine

• Pediatrics

They also offer in-house comprehensivespecialtycare:

• OrthopedicCare

• GeneralSurgery

• Foot&AnkleCare

• RehabilitationTherapy

• Chronic Disease Management

Source: CICS and

They are served by a variety of visiting specialists through the SpecialtyClinic:

• Cardiology

• Dermatology

• Ears,noseandthroat

• Oncology

• Painmanagement

• Podiatry

• Rheumatology

• Urology

Their healthcare team is a central point of contact for all the health needs and can help identifyearlysignsofdiseaserisks andpreventillness.

Madison County Health Care System is affiliated with MercyOne; however, the local board maintains complete control of the Madison County HealthCareSystem.

Source: Madison County Health Care System (

Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)

Madison County Health Care System and Madison County Public Health conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) to evaluate community health needs. The CHNA provides a way for community health partners to analyzeandaddresscommunity healthneedsandtosetgoalsfor improving the overall health of Madison County. The County is currently in the process of updatingtheirCHNA.

“Information is gathered through several methods,includingonline surveys,communityfocusgroups, interviews with stakeholders and feedback from the patients we serve. We know it is a busy time of year, but we hope you will take roughly 5 minutes to complete the survey to help us

Figure 10.1: CICS Region Members

better identify the health need in ourcommunity.”

Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)

The CHNA provides information for the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), which identifies key indicators, sets priorities, and provides measurable goals for the community to achieve. The most recent Madison County CHIP prioritized mental health, youth substance abuse, breast cancer, and influenza hospitalizations. Each of the strategies identified in the CHIP were completed or on-track per the most recent report.

Figure 10.2: Physical Environment

Chapter 11

Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy


Communication, utilities and energy are critical to most people. Thechapteroutlinesthe different communication media available throughout Madison County, as well as the different utilities provided and finally examines the production of energynowandintothefuturein MadisonCounty.


Humans want to stay in touch with our families, friends, and the day to day activities and the news occurring around them. Residents communicate via newspapers, radio, television, cable,andtheinternet.

Newspapers and Radio

The news media provides information in various ways to MadisonCounty,including:

• Two locally published newspapers

• Regional coverage via daily newspapers published in Des Moines.

• Overtheairviatelevisionand radio stations. These stations are located throughout the DesMoinesMetroarea.

Cable Television

Cable television is available in 43.97% of Madison County, according to and satellite television is available in allofthecounty.


Madison County has 13 internet providers serving the residents of the county. Their services range from DSL to Fiber. According to the FCC National Broadband Map,asoftheendof2023,100% ofMadisonCountyhasaccessto at least 100 Mbps down/20 up broadband; however, actual userexperienceoftendiffersfrom optimal conditions. About 57% of housing units are covered with

250/25 fixed broadband and about 17% have access to 1,000/100 fixed broadband service. Approximately2/3 ofthe area is also covered by 5G 35/3 mobile broadband service. As well, satellite services such as Starlink provide national broadband access with specializedequipment.


Infrastructure in Madison County istypicallyprovidedbyindividual land owners through wells and septic systems unless they are served by a municipal service or aruralwaterdistrict.

Rural Water Systems

There are a number of different providers within Madison County forwaterincluding:

• Municipal systems like Winterset, Des Moines Water Works,andVanMeter

• Three Rural Water Districts (RWD)

• Private wells where groundwatercanbelocated

• Most of the county water supply is provided by rural water districts and individual wells

Warren Water District

Warren Water District covers the most area in Madison County. TheWarrenWaterDistrictisanon -profit governmental entity established under Code 357A State of Iowa. The District is governed by a nine member Board of Directors, elected from theDistrictMembership.

Construction started in 1987 and the District’s first phase became operationalonMarch11th,1988, serving800 customers andlaying 154 miles of pipeline. All construction phases were completed in 2004. They serve 7480 customers, have almost 1,200 miles of pipe, and pump on an average 1,700,000 gallonsofwateraday.

The District serves rural families, farms, businesses, and communities of Warren County, Madison County, southern Dallas County and a portion of Polk County. This area includes the Cities of Martensdale, Milo, St. Charles, St. Marys, New Virginia, Truro, Bevington, Patterson, Ackworth, Earlham and Peru. The District also provides water to Xenia Rural Water District,Lake Ahquabi State Park, Southeast Warren Schools, River Oaks Water Co., Hartford Mobile Home Park, and Camp Wesley Woods. Water is purchased for delivery from Des Moines Water Worksandpumpedbyninelarge booster stations to seven water towers.

The District also developed and constructed and presently maintains Wastewater Systems in thecitiesofBevingtonandPeru.

Source: https://

Southern Iowa Rural Water Association


SIRWA covers the second largest area in Madison County. SIRWA has over 4,000 miles of pipeline installed to transport quality drinking water to the residents and communities of Southwest Iowa. To further this concept, SIRWA now has installed, and operates, municipal wastewater systemsinseveralcommunities.

Currently SIRWA's district covers all unincorporated areas of the Iowacountiesof:Adams,Clarke, Decatur, Ringgold, Taylor, and Union along with portions of Adair, Cass, Lucas, Madison, Montgomery, Page and Warren counties.


Xenia Rural Water District

Due to the drought of 1977, Xenia Rural Water District was established to provide quality, reliable drinking water to rural landowners in Dallas and Boone counties. In 1978, the Board of Directors applied for a FmHA loantodesign andbuildawater treatment plant and a distribution system to service the area. The loan was approved in the fall of 1981 and construction of the plant and the distribution system began in the spring of 1982 to provide service to 640 members including residents of theCityofBouton.

Expansion of Xenia’s system began in 1990 by purchasing water from the City of Boone to providewaterservicefurtherinto

Boone County. Service was extended into Polk and Southern Dallas Counties in 1994 by purchasing water from Des Moines Water Works. By 2000, Xenia acquired water purchase agreements from the City of Madrid,CityofAmesandWarren WaterDistrict.Theterritoryserved had grown to also include the counties of Adair, Madison, Guthrie,Greene,andStory.

In2004,Xeniabuiltathreemillion gallon a day water treatment plant located north of Stratford. The water plant initially provided water to Webster and Hamilton County.TheexpansionofXenia’s territory ended in 2007 with the addition of eastern Calhoun County. Xenia provides water service to all or portions of 11 counties, 19 communities and over 11,300 customers/members. The service area is 2,529 square miles containing over 2,890 miles ofpipeline.

Source: about-us


Developments outside of the municipalitiesofMadisonCounty will typically be made up of multipleindividualsepticsystems. These systems should continue to be monitored closely by the County Environmental Health Office. This includes proper separation distances from property lines and water supply wells as required by local codes and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). In subdivisions with a gross density of more than one unit per two acres, community wastewater systems meeting wastewater treatment standards established by the IDNR should generally be installed.

The county should encourage replacement of septic systems in subdivisions with community systems when feasible. This is particularly important where residential densities are too high to accommodate replacement of septic systems. Developments using individual septic systems should design lots to provide efficient septic fields are not less than three acres. Thus, nearly square lots or lots with a smaller ratio of depth to width are more effectivethandeepnarrowlots.

Alternatives to individual septic system treatment should be encouraged especially where rock is relatively shallow below thegroundsurface.

Community wastewater treatmentoptionsinclude:

• Community collection systems with pumping to an existingcommunitytreatment facility.

• Community non-discharging lagoons and collection systems.

• Individual septic tanks with community collection systemsandlateralfields.

• Community collection systems with packaged treatmentplantfacilities

In new developments, the county should also encourage the use of environmentally sensitive methods of wastewater treatment and disposal. The conservation concept and maintaining common open space provides greater opportunities for development of these systems. Techniques such as spray irrigation and land treatment are becoming more applicable and should be considered for projects when feasible. This may represent

Chapter 11: Telecommunications,

Source: Iowa Utility Board

cooperative efforts among several developments. With these methods, wastewater is aerated in deep lagoons and applied to the land surface at rates consistent with the absorption capacity of the soil. This process will require a close working relationship with IDNR to ensure all state and federal regulationsarebeingmet.

Other environmentally sensitive techniques include wastewater reclamation and reuse. This represents a refinement of the landtreatmentoption.Treatment is typically achieved in deep aerated cells over 14 to 40 days. After further treatment and settlement, the water can then

be applied to cropland and openspace.

Constructed Wetlands. Artificial wetlands are gaining growing acceptance for treatment of wastewater. This technique supplements rather than replaces septic treatment. The wetlands provide further treatment for effluent and have been combined with aerobic treatment units (ATUs) before effluent is conducted to drainagefields.


Energy usage in the early 21st Century is becoming a critical issuethroughouttheentireUnited States.Indifferentlocationsinthe

Figure 11.3: Electric Service Providers in Madison County

country, electrical utilities have been faced with rolling blackouts. However, Iowa is in a good position considering the states balanced energy portfolio consistingof:

• Coalfiredpowerplants

• Naturalgaspowerplants

• Windfarms

• Solarfarms

• NaturalGas/Propane

• Biomass

• Hydroelectric Power in Madison County Madison County residents are served five different electric utilities. These are MidAmercian Energy, Central Iowa Power Cooperative, Farmer’s Electric Cooperative, Inc, Interstate Power and Light Company, Clarke Electric Cooperative, Inc, and Winterset Municipal Utility. Figure 11.2 shows the current boundariesbasedoninformation found through the Iowa Utility Board.Company’sservicesarea.

MidAmerican Energy

The company supplies both electric power and gas to customers within their service area. Besides providing services to rural residents, MidAmerican provides the following services to communitieswithinthecounty:

• Bevington-Electricity

• Earlham-Electricityandgas

• Patterson-Electricity

• St.Charles-Electricityandgas

• Truro-Gas

• Winterset-Gas

Central Iowa Power Cooperative CIPCO is made up of several different electric cooperatives in Iowa. In the Madison County area they include Clarke Electric CooperativeandFarmersElectric Cooperative.

Farmers Electric Cooperative

Farmers Cooperative is a member owned, not-for profit serving portions of six counties including a portion of Madison County.

FarmersCooperativeElectricwas formed in 1938 when a group of farmerscametogethertocreate the cooperative. The organization got its start by constructing power lines beyond various city limits in Iowa. The cooperative is based in Greenfield,Iowa.

Interstate Power and Light Company

Interstate Power and Light CompanyisasubsidiaryofAlliant Energy. Alliant is a publicly traded utility which supplies both electricityandnaturalgas.

Clarke Electric Cooperative

Clarke Electric Cooperative supplies power to a small portion of Madison County. The CooperativeisbasedinOsceola, Iowa.


Municipal Utilities

Winterset Municipal Utilities supplies power to the Winterset community and a small are outsidethecorporatelimits.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources, according to most definitions, includenaturalresourcessuchas thewind,thesun,water,andthe earth (geothermal) capable of being used over and over again with minimal or no depletion, as well as tapping into sources of methane (from natural resources or man-made conditions). The most common sources of renewable energy used in Iowa arethewind,thesun,water,and earth. The following are

examples of renewable resources.


Madison County has seen the development of a 119 MW wind farm in the southwest corner of the county near Macksburg. The actual location of this wind farm is in an area with few residents and some of the flattest ground in the county. The wind farm consists of 51 turbines over a 17 squaremilearea.

Due to the rolling hills, geology, and scenic view sheds. This existing wind farm is likely in the best and only location within Madison County and due to several of these reasons, any expansionisdiscouraged.

Wind on a utility scale is not prudent within the remaining portions of Madison County, but, individual wind turbines for personal use may be continued; provided they do not encroach ontheviewshedsofthecounty.


Solar energy includes solar water and space heating as well as taking solar photovoltaic panels to convert the sun’s rays into electricity.

Similar to utility grade wind, utility grade solar should be discouraged due to the scenic areasandviewshedsofMadison County. However, the county should encourage personal solar for residential and other uses includinganimalagriculture.

Small scale Geothermal Energy Geothermal energy is typically utilized through a process where aseriesofpipesareloweredinto vertical cores called heat-sink wells. The pipes carry a highly conductive fluid to be either

heated or cooled by the constant temperature of the ground. The resulting heat exchange is then transferred back into the heating and cooling system of a home or other structure. This is called a geothermal heat exchange system or ground source heat pump. (Source: American Planning Association, PAS Memo January/February2009).

Future Use of Energy

Energy in the future is at a crossroads in the United States. Madison County is currently vested in all types of energy and it will play a tremendous role in their long term energy sustainability.

Communication, Utilities, and Energy (CUE) Goals and Action Items

CUE Goal CUE-1:

Telecommunication companies will be continuing to invest in county-wide broadband within MadisonCounty.

Action Items:

1. The County should take a proactive role in acquiring grant funding to expand broadbandcounty-wide.

CUE Goal CUE-2:

Protecting the groundwater is critical to the long term sustainabilityofMadisonCounty.

Action Items:

1. TheMadisonCountyPlanning and Zoning office along with the Environmental Health Department should continue working to make sure proper wells and septic systems are installed properly within the county.

2. Whenever possible, new developments should be connectedtoruralwater.

3. Whenever possible, new developments should be required to create and build a centralized sanitary sewer collection and treatment system.

CUE Goal CUE-3:

The protection of the sloping terrain in the central and northern Madison County will be criticalfortheplanningperiod.

Action Items:

1. Develop regulations limiting the mass installation of utility grade renewable energy systems which harm the view sheds.

2. Develop regulations allowing smaller individual wind and solarinthecounty.

3. Encourage the development of geothermal systems within residentialdevelopments.

4. Utility-scale industrial wind and solar facilities should be discouraged.

Figure 11.4: Residential Geothermal Energy Diagram
Source: geothermal energy residential - Bing images Chapter 11:


Chapter 12 Hazard Mitigation


The Hazards Chapter contains the description of specific hazardswithintheplanningarea. Good planning dictates the need to include these issues in theComprehensivePlan.

Hazards Information

type of hazard event and likelihood of it occurring again in the future. The types of hazards assessedwere:

• Animal/Plant/CropDisease

• DamFailure

• Drought

• Earthquakes

• ExtremeHeat

• FlashFlood

• GrassorWildlandFire

• HazardousMaterialsIncident

• HumanDisease

• InfrastructureFailure

• RadiologicalIncident

• RiverFlooding

• SevereWinterStorm

• Terrorism

• Thunderstorm/Lightning/Hail

• Tornado/Windstorm

The discussion herein will be focusedonthosewithalanduse impact and only for Madison County.

Hazards Section

One of the key items within the hazard mitigation plan is a risk assessment for the future. The assessment is based upon the

• TransportationIncident

Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan rates the 17 different hazards on Location, Maximum Probable Extent, Probability of Future Events, and Overall Significance. It is critical

to monitor hazards, even the onesratedasaLowRisk.Thekey to successfully addressing these incidentsis:

• FollowthroughwiththeGoals and Strategies developed to mitigatetheissues

• Successful mitigation will aid in minimizing the overall loss occurring from any hazard situation

Based on the identification of potentialhazards,eachhazardis profiled to provide data about previous occurrences, the probability of future occurrence and the threat to the planning area.AscentralIowaisgenerally uniform in terms of climate, topography, buildings, character, and development trends, overall hazards and vulnerability do not vary greatly across the planning area. Weather-related hazards such as drought, extreme temperatures, hail, tornados, windstorms, and winter storms affect the entire planningarea.

The following information is taken directly from the 2019 Hazard Mitigation Plan which includes Madison County. The expectation of this section and Chapter is that information, goals and mitigation strategies will be updated in the Comprehensive Plan as new Hazard MitigationPlansareadopted.

4 Highly Likely

More than 33% probability in any given year (event has up to a 1 in 1 chance of occurring), history of events is greater than 33% likely or the event is highly likely to occur.

3 Likely

2 Occasional

1 Unlikely

Between 20% and 33% probability in any given year (up to 1 in 3 chance of occurring), history of events is greater than 20% but less than 33% or the event is likely to occur.

Between 10% and 20% probability in any given year (up to 1 in 5 chance of occurring), history of events is greater than 10% but less than 20% or the event could possibly occur

Less than 10% probability in any given year (up to 1 in 10 chance of occurring), history of events is less than 10% likely or the event is unlikely but there is a possibility of its occurrence.

Source: 2021 Hazard Mitigation Plan (Note: this table was recreated from the 2021 Hazard Mitigation Plan.

As such, one general profile will be created for these hazards. However, some hazards such as damandleveefailure,andflood may have local variances and multiple profiles may be developed if the risk does not match with the entire planning area.

Calculated Priority Risk Index

The Madison County Emergency Management used the calculated priority risk index (CPRI) methodology to prioritize each of the identified hazards. CPRI prioritization considers the followingfourelements: 1. Risksofprobability 2. Magnitude/severity



4. Duration

Table 12.1 provides a summary for each of the risk elements, including a rationale behind each numerical rating. Using the rankingsdescribedin Table12.1, the following weighted formula was used to determine each hazard’sCPRI:

Probability x 0.45 + Magnitude/Severity x 0.30

x 0.15

Table 12.2: Hazard CPRI Planning Significance

Source: 2021 Hazard Mitigation Plan

Based on their CPRI, each hazard was assigned a planningsignificancecategory. Each planning significance category was assigned a CPRI range, with a higher score indicating greater planning criticality. The following table details planning significance CPRIranges.

Table 12.3: Natural Hazard CPRI Planning Significance

Source: 2021 Hazard Mitigation Plan

Note: This table was recreated from the 2019 Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Table 12.4: Mitigation Action Plan

Madison County-01*

Madison County-02

Madison County-04

Promotethisplanandkey componentstothepublic throughbrochuresandlocal newspapers.

Continue activities such as "tornado awareness week" and add new events as needed. Ideas for implementation include Brochures, local newspapers, and Public speaking events

Promotetothepublic,through brochures and local newspapers, services information, shelter locations, and information on how to react. Ideas for implementation include brochures, local newspapers, andpublicspeakingevents


Madison County-20

Madison County-33

Ensure the County stays "on topof"NIMSandothertraining requirements. Ideas for implementation include trainingopportunities.

Ensure the County stays "on topof"NIMSandothertraining requirements. Ideas for implementation include training opportunities.

Madison County-37

Madison County-39

ContinueIn-Progress.This occursannually;thegroup discussedusingtheSupervisor articletoshareinformationon theplanandemergency managementinthe county

ContinueIn-Progress.This occursannually;thegroup discussedusingtheSupervisor articletoshareinformationon theplanandemergency management in the county

Continue In-Progress. This is ongoing; Annual severe weatherawarenessweek.

Continue In-Progress. The county maintains mutual aid agreements.

Continue Not Started. The group discussed ordinances to include outdoor warning systems with any new developmentsortrailerparks. 3

Ensure future manufactured home parks, campgrounds, and schools have storm shelters meeting FEMA standards.

Increase promotion of the NOAA weather radio's relevance, especially to rural residents, seniors, and handicappedpersons.

Identify critical facilities that need to be upgraded to withstand high winds and lighting strikes such as older city halls, jail, water towers, etc., and identify what must be done with each structure, including potential back-up generators.

Develop long-term upgrade plan,includingpotentialbackup generators and other measures for critical facilities to withstand high winds and lighting strikes and implement initialimprovementswherethe benefit-costratiosarehighest.

Develop long-term upgrade plan,includingpotentialbackup generators and other measures for critical facilities to withstand high winds and lighting strikes and implement initialimprovementswherethe benefit-costratiosarehighest

Continue In-Progress. County EMA has a supply of radios freetocitizensiftheyask;with weather warnings now pushed directly to cell phones, NOAA weather radios are becoming redundant, though still effective.

Continue Not Started. This continues to be a priority.

Continue In-Progress. The Sheriff's office has been retrofitted with new grounding to mitigate electricalsurge.

Madison County-58

Madison County-63



Informpublicoflocationsof negotiatedstaffedshelters suitableforafewdaysstay duringprolongedextreme winterevents

Improve culverts to reduce water damage to roads duringflooding.

Madison County-75 4 Continue enforcing tree trimming ordinance

Madison County-77

Madison County-79

Madison County-81*


Madison County-82 1

Ensure the County stays "on topof"NIMSandothertraining requirements. Ideas for implementation include trainingopportunities.

2 Continue enforcing burn restrictions - water conservationpolicies. Drought

3 Continue to comply with the NFIPandannuallyreviewflood ordinance. RiverFlood Floodplain Manager

NOAA, Supervisors, Cities

Establish an LEPC for plan review, community outreach and education, and become eligible for additional State Grants. The Madison County LEPC was disbanded in 2012, Prior to that there was an active work group. Currently there is a “Mutual Aid Meeting” between all Fire/ EMS/LEOs. Discussions have startedabouthostingtheLEPC prior to the quarterly Emergency Management Commission Meeting. This groups would initially review ESFS, Hazards, and IAPs for upcoming events. Obstacles for implementing may include finding volunteers and scheduling meetings for maximum participation. Benefits of implementing this project will include, ensuring ESFsare notonlyreviewedbut understood and revised or implemented as needed. Quarterly discussion of emerging threats to the countyratherthanannualor5 -year planning. Possible funding opportunities to mitigate evolving or emerging threats.

* Indicates prevents damage to future development

OEMPublic, Private,and Non-Profit reps.

Action Items: See Table 12.4 Chapter 12:

The terms high, moderate, and low indicate the level of prioritization of planning effort for each hazard, and do not indicate the potential impact of a hazard occurring. Hazards rated with moderate or high planning significance were more thoroughly investigated and discussed due to the availability of data and historic occurrences,whilethosewitha low planning significance were generally addressed due to lack of available data and historicaloccurrences.

Based upon the 2021 Hazard Mitigation Plan’s specific ratings similartoTable12.1,thefollowing tables calculates a CPRI rating foreachhazard.

Hazards Goals

HM Goal 1:

Educate the public about hazards that can impact the planning area as well as mitigation activities that can be taken to reduce/eliminate damages.

Action Items: See Table 12.4

HM Goal 2:

Minimize injuries and loss of life due to hazards that can impact theplanningarea.

Action Items: See Table 12.4

HM Goal 3:

Minimize property damages, economic losses, and environmental impacts due to hazards that can impact the planningarea.

Action Items: See Table 12.4

HM Goal 4:

ImproveContinuityofOperations Capabilitiesintheplanningarea.

Chapter 13

Natural Resources and the Environment

The Environment

Formulating a truly valid and “comprehensive” plan for future development in Madison County requires an evaluation of the environmental and man-made conditions currently existing in order to determine the impacts thesefactorsmayhaveonfuture landusesinthecounty.

The following topics will be coveredinthischapter.

• NaturalConditions

• Woodedareas

• Viewsheds

• Wetlands

• SoilsType

• Groundwater

• SurfaceWater

• FloodingHazards

Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District

A large amount of responsibility forprotectingthesoilsandwater ofMadisonCountyfallsuponthe

Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District. The District wasoriginallyformedin1942.

Source: Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District Conservation Plan 2022-2026.

Within the 2022-2026 Conservation Plan, the District has established four key Priority Goalsforthemselves,theseare:

1. Inform the community through outreach and education.

2. Conserve, protect, and enhance our soil through education, technical and financial assistance, assessment, and practical application of the best conservation practices in agricultural, rural, and urban areas.

3. Conserve, protect, and enhance our water through education, technical and financial assistance, assessment, and practical application of the best conservation practices in

agricultural, rural, and urban areas.

4. Conserve, protect, and enhance wildlife habitat and landscape diversity through education, technical and financial assistance, assessment, and practical application of the best conservation practices in agricultural, rural, and urban areas.

Soil Conservation Board

The Madison County SWCD is a legal subdivision of state government and is managed by a board of five elected commissioners. The commissioners help decide the direction of the soil and water conservation programs in the county, and have the opportunity to influence state and national conservation programs.


Natural Conditions Climate

TheclimateofMadisonCountyin south central Iowa has wide seasonal fluctuations in temperature and precipitation. Theaverageannualtemperature is 49.8 degrees Fahrenheit (F.) with an average high in July of 86.4degreesF.andaveragelow in January of 11.9 degrees F. The annual precipitation averages 32.5 inches. Of this, 23.4 inches fall during the growing season from April to September. An average of 29.8 inches of snowfalloccurseachwinter.

Source: Madison County 2021 Multijurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan


Madison County lies within the RollingLoessPrairiesEcosystemin Iowa. The physiography of the area is described as “Irregular plains to open low hills. Intermittent and perennial streams, many channelized.”

Source: Iowa Department of Natural Resources

According to the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation Plan, Madison County… “has abundant natural resources including fertile soil that supports farms; waterbodies that provide drinking water, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities; natural areas including prairies, savannas, wetlands, and woodlands; animals, both livestock and wildlife...”

Geology and Topography

Madison County,Iowais located insouthcentralIowaanditisthe third tier of counties north of the StateofMissouri.

Geologically the Bethany limestone, forming the base of


theMissourianformation,extends across the County. In addition, according to The Iowa Wildlife Action Plan, 2015, the geology also includes “Moderate to thick loess,generallylessthan25feet, over clay loam till. Pennsylvanian and Cretacious shale, sandstone and limestone.”

The original topography of the County was that of a plain on uplands sloping to the northeast at the rate of about 10 feet per mile. This has been greatly modified by sheet and gully erosion and the trenching of streams. The trenching and landscape shaping action of the larger streams and their tributaries were greatly influenced by the geologic materials exposed below the original loess-mantled plain. The remnants of this plain now occupy a series of stable, loessmantled divides throughout the County. These divides are less stable and narrower in the easternpartoftheCounty.

The highest elevation in the County is in the southwestern

part of the County with the lowest elevation on the eastern portion of the County along the Middle River near Bevington. The larger streams have formed valleys 100 to 250 feet below the upland plain. The south slopes of these valleys are typically abrupt andsteep.Onthenorthside,the valley slopes are less steep and are longer. In areas of the County where limestone is visual, the steam valleys tend to be Vshaped and to have steep slopes. The bottom lands are narrow,andthetributariesofthe mainstreamsareshort

Source: Madison County Soil Survey June 1975


MadisonCountyissituatedwithin two large drainage basins, those of the Des Moines and Missouri Rivers. Middle and North Rivers andClantonCreek,atributaryof Middle River, are the largest streamsintheCounty.

Madison County crosses four watersheds. The majority of Madison County is in the Lake

Figure 13.1: Bedrock Aquifer Systems across Iowa

Red Rock Watershed. A portion ofnortheastMadisonCountyisin the North Raccoon Watershed and north central and northwest Madison County is in the South Raccoon Watershed. A small portion of southwest Madison County is in the Thompson Watershed.


The Mississippian Aquifer sets directly under Madison County. The aquifer provides water for drinking,agriculture,and industry in the and around Madison County.

In addition, the Silurian-Devonian and Cambrian-Ordovician Aquifers lie under Madison County,seeFigure13.1.


Thereare25differentanimaland plant species within Madison Countyconsideredtobeinsome state of danger or threatened status. A large number of these animal species are being threatened due to a loss of trees cover and habitat. The continued urbanization of the northeastern corner and east side of Madison County will likely worsen some of these issues in thefuture.

Natural Vegetation

According to, The Iowa Wildlife Action Plan, 2015, the potential natural vegetation of the Rolling Loess Plains (Madison County) is a “Mosaic of Big Bluestem Indiangrass prairie, and Bur Oak woodland.”


Wetlands are areas where water coversthesoil orispresent either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods during the year, including during the growing season. The following are impacts of wetlands:

1. Water saturation (hydrology) largely determines the soil development and the types of plant and animal communities living in and on thesoil.

2. Wetlands may support both aquatic and terrestrial species.

3. The prolonged presence of water creates conditions favoring the growth of specially adapted plants (hydrophytes)

4. Promote the development of characteristic wetland (hydric)soils.

5. Wetlands vary widely because of regional and local differences in soils, topography, climate, hydrology, water chemistry,

vegetation, and other factors, including human disturbance.

6. Two general categories of wetlandsarerecognized:

• coastal or tidal wetlands (not present intheinterior UnitedStates)

• inland or non-tidal wetlands

Inland Wetlands

• Inland wetlands found in Madison County are most common in floodplains along waterwaysandotherstreams (riparian wetlands). Figure 13.5 indicates the known wetlands throughout MadisonCounty.

Many wetlands can be seasonal (dry one or more seasons every year)andaredependentupon:

• Thequantityofwaterpresent andthetimingofitspresence to determine the functions of a wetland and its role in the environment.


• Wetlands can appear dry, at times, for significant parts of theyear.

The federal government protects wetlands through regulations like Section 404 of the Clean Water Act(CWA),thisisdonevia:

• Economic incentives and disincentives (for example, tax deductions for selling or donating wetlands to a qualified organization and The "Swampbuster" provisions of the Food Security Act), cooperative programs, and acquisition (for example, establishing national wildlife refuges)

• Partnerships to manage whole watersheds have developed among federal, state, tribal, and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and private landowners

• Thegoalofthesepartnerships is to implement comprehensive, integrated watershed protection approaches

• A watershed approach recognizes the interconnection of water, land, and wetlands resources and results in more complete solutions addressing more of the factors causing wetland degradation

• The federal government achieves the restoration of formerordegradedwetlands under the CWA program as well as through watershed protectioninitiatives

• Together, partners can share limited resources to find the best solutions to protect and restore America's natural resources

• While regulation, economic incentives, and acquisition programs are important,they

alone cannot protect the majority of our remaining wetlands

• Education of the public and efforts in conjunction with states, local governments, and private citizens can help protect wetlands and increase appreciation of the function and values of wetlands.

• The rate of wetlands loss has been slowing, approximately 75 percent of wetlands are privatelyowned,soindividual landowners are critical in protectingtheseareas.

Wetlands play an important role in the ecology of Madison County:

• Wetlands are home to many species of wildlife, many of which live only in wetland areas

• Wetlands provide an important service to nearby areas by holding and retainingfloodwaters

• Floodwaters are slowly released as surface water, or are used to recharge groundwatersupplies

• Wetlands help regulate stream flows during dry periods

• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has produced information on the characteristics, extent, and status of the nation’s wetlands and deep-water habitats, called the National WetlandsInventory(NWI)

Wetlands are categorized in severalclassifications,eachmore detailed and specific than the previous:

• The NWI uses five systems; marine, estuarine, riverine, lacustrine,andpalustrine

• Withineachsystem,thereare subsystems, classes, subclasses, and dominance types to describe different wetlandcharacteristics

• The system classification refers to wetlands sharing similar hydrologic, geomorphologic, chemical, orbiologicalfactors.

The following are definitions and examples of three of the five systems used to describe wetlands. The marine and estuarine wetland systems are located in and near the open ocean; therefore, they do not occurinIowa.

Madison County experiences each of the other three wetland systems. The majority of the wetlands in the county occur mostly along the rivers and as meadow areas. However, there are smaller wetland pockets scattered around Madison County

Figures13.2,13.3,and13.4depict common examples of the riverine,lacustrine,andpalustrine wetlands, respectively. These figures were produced by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service,and are taken from their 1979 publication entitled “Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States”, some enhancement was completed in order to place accents on key areas. Figure 13.5 shows the occurrence of wetlands in MadisonCounty.

Riverine Wetlands

Figure 13.2 shows the riverine system includes all wetlands occurring in channels, with two exceptions:

• Wetlands dominated by trees, shrubs, persistent emergent, emergent mosses, orlichens,and

• Habitats with water containing ocean derived saltsinexcessof0.5%.

A channel is an open conduit either naturally or artificially created which periodically or continuously contains moving water, or which forms a connecting link between two bodiesofstandingwater. Therefore, water is usually, but notalways,flowingintheriverine system.

Springs discharging into a channel are also part of the riverine system. Uplands and palustrinewetlandsmayoccurin the channel, but are not included in the riverine system. Palustrine Moss-Lichen Wetlands, Emergent Wetlands, Scrub-Shrub Wetlands, and Forested Wetlandsmayoccuradjacentto the riverine system, often in a floodplain.

Lacustrine Wetlands

The lacustrine system includes all wetlands with all of the following characteristics:

• Situated in a topographic depression or a dammed riverchannel;

• Lacking trees, shrubs, persistent emergents, emergent moss or lichens with greater than 30% area coverage;and

• Totalareaexceeds20acres.

• Similarwetlandareastotaling less than 20 acres are also included in the Lacustrine System

• If an active wave-formed or bedrock shoreline feature makes up all or part of the boundary,or

• If the water depth in the deepest part of the basin exceeds6.6feet(2meters)at lowwater.

• The lacustrine system includes permanently flooded lakes and reservoirs, intermittent lakes, and tidal lakes with ocean-derived salinitiesbelow0.5%

• Typically, there are extensive areas of deep water and considerablewaveaction.

• Islands of palustrine wetlands mayliewithintheboundaries oftheLacustrineSystem.

Source: National Wetlands Inventory
Figure 13.2: Riverine Wetlands
Figure 13.3: Lacustrine Wetlands
Source: National Wetlands Inventory Chapter 13:

Palustrine Wetlands

The palustrine system includes all non-tidal wetlands dominated by:

• Trees, shrubs, persistent emergent, emergent mosses orlichens,and

• All such wetlands that occur in tidal areas where salinity due to ocean-derived salts is below0.5%

• Wetlands lacking such vegetation, but with an area less than 20 acres lacking active wave-formed or bedrockshorelinefeatures. It also must have a water depth less than 6.6 feet (2m) at low water in the deepest part and salinity due to ocean derived salts less than .5 percent area less than20acres

The palustrine system was developed to group the vegetated wetlands traditionally called by such names as marsh, swamp, bog, fen, and prairie, which are found throughout the United States. It also includes the small, shallow, permanent, or intermittent water bodies often called ponds. These wetlands may be situated shoreward of lakes,riverchannels,or estuaries; on river floodplains; in isolated catchments; or on slopes. They mayalsooccurasislandsinlakes orrivers.

Soils Classifications

Soil types provide for a meaningful understanding and guide to limiting specific uses withinthecounty.

Soil Type Descriptions

The following soil descriptions found in Table 13.1 were taken

from the USDA. The descriptions include where the soil type occurs,theprincipalusesofthe soil, the principal crops, and nativevegetation.

Some map units are made up of two or more major soils or miscellaneous areas. These map units are complexes, associations,or undifferentiated groups.

A complex consists of two or more soils or miscellaneous areas in such an intricate pattern or in such small areas that they cannot be shown separately on the maps. The pattern and proportion of the soils or miscellaneous areas are somewhat similar in all areas. Alpha-Beta complex, 0 to 6 percentslopes,isanexample.

An association is made up of two or more geographically associated soils or miscellaneous areas that are shownasoneunitonthemaps. Because of present or anticipated uses of the map

unitsinthesurveyarea,itwasnot considered practical or necessary to map the soils or miscellaneous areas separately. The pattern and relative proportion of the soils or miscellaneous areas are somewhat similar. Alpha-Beta association, 0 to 2 percent slopes,isanexample.

An undifferentiated group is made up of two or more soils or miscellaneous areas that could be mapped individually but are mapped as one unit because similar interpretations can be madefor useandmanagement. Thepatternandproportionofthe soils or miscellaneous areas in a mapped area are not uniform. Anareacanbemadeupofonly one of the major soils or miscellaneousareas,orit canbe made up of all of them. Alpha and Beta soils, 0 to 2 percent slopes,isanexample.

Detailed descriptions of the different soils in Madison County can be found in Appendix 2 of thisplan.

Source: National Wetlands Inventory
Figure 13.4: Palustrine Wetlands

Table 13.1: Madison County Soils

7 Wiota Wiota - silt loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes

7B Wiota Wiota - silt loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes

Chapter 13: Natural Resources and Environment

8B Judson Judson - silty clay loam, dissected till plain, 2 to 5 percent slopes

11B Colo-Ely Colo-Ely - occasionally flooded, silty clay loams, dissected till plain, 2 to 5 percent slopes

24D2 Shelby Shelby - clay loam, dissected till plain, 9 to 14 percent slopes, eroded

24E Shelby Shelby - loam, dissected till plain, 14 to 18 percent sopes

24E2 Shelby Shelby - clay loam, dissected till plain, 14 to 18 percent slopes, eroded

24E3 Shelby Shelby - clay loam, dissected till plain, 14 to 18 percent slopes, severely eroded

24F2 Shelby Shelby - clay loam, dissected till plain, 18 to 25 percent slopes, eroded 3,991

43 Bremer Bremer - silty clay loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes, occasionally flooded

51 Vesser Vesser - silt loam, dissected till plain, 0 to 2 percent slopes, occasionally eroded

51B Vesser Vesser - silt loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes, occasionally flooded

54 Zook Zook - silty clay loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes, occasionally flooded

54B Zook Zook - silty clay loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes 2,290

65D2 Lindley Lindley - loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes, moderately eroded

65E2 Lindley Lindley - loam, 14 to 18 percent slopes, moderately eroded

65E3 Lindley Lindley - soils, 14 to 18 percent slopes, severely eroded 733

65F Lindley Lindley - loam, 18 to 25 percent slopes

65G Lindley Lindley - loam, 25 to 40 percent slopes

69C Clearfield Clearfield - silty clay loam, dissected till plain, 5 to 9 percent slopes 4,347

69C2 Clearfield Clearfield - silty clay loam, dissected till plain, 5 to 9 percent slopes, eroded 3,485

75 Givin Givin - silt loam

76B Ladoga Ladoga - silt loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes

76B2 Ladoga Ladoga - silt loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes, eroded

76C Ladoga Ladoga - silt loam, dissected till plain, 5 to 9 percent slopes 1,238

76C2 Ladoga Ladoga - silt loam, dissected till plain, 5 to 9 percent slopes, eroded

76D Ladoga Ladoga - silt loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes

76D2 Ladoga Ladoga - silt loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes, eroded

76E2 Ladoga Ladoga - silt loam, 14 to 18 percent slopes, eroded

- silt loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes

- silt loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes

80C2 Clinton Clinton - silt loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes, eroded

- silt loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes,

88 Nevin Nevin - silty clay loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes, rarely flooded

88B Nevin Nevin - silty clay loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes, rarely flooded

94D2 Caleb-Mystic Caleb-Mystic - loams, 9 to 14 percent slopes, moderately eroded

94E2 Caleb-Mystic Caleb-Mystic - loams, 14 to 18 percent slopes, moderately eroded

122 Sperry Sperry - silt loam

133 Colo Colo - silty clay loam, deep loess, 0 to 2 percent slopes, occasionally flooded

172 Wabash Wabash - silty clay

179C2 Gara Gara - loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes, eroded

179D2 Gara Gara - loam, dissected till plain, 9 to 14 percent slopes, eroded

179E Gara Gara - loam, dissected till plain, 14 to 18 percent slopes

179E2 Gara Gara - loam, dissected till plain, 14 to 18 percent slopes, eroded

179F2 Gara Gara - loam, dissected till plain, 18 to 25 percent slopes, eroded

179G Gara Gara - loam, dissected till plain, 25 to 40 percent slopes

212 Kennebec Kennebec - silt loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes, occasionally flooded

222C Clarinda Clarinda - silty clay loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes

222C2 Clarinda Clarinda - silty clay loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes, eroded

248 Wabash Wabash - silty cay loam

273B Olmitz Olmitz - loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes

273C Olmitz Olmitz - loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes

313E Gosport Gosport - silt loam, 14 to 18 percent slopes

313F Gosport Gosport - silt loam, 18 to 25 percent slopes

318D2 Clanton Clanton - silt loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes, moderately eroded

318F2 Clanton Clanton - silt loam, 14 to 25 percent slopes, moderately eroded

322D2 ClantonGosport Clanton-Gosport - silt loams, 25 to 40 percent slopes, moderately eroded

Chapter 13: Natural Resources and Environment

322E2 Clanton-Gosport Clanton-Gosport - silt loams, 14 to 18 percent slopes, moderately eroded 499 322F2 Clanton-Gosport Clanton-Gosport - silt loams, 18 to 25 percent slopes, moderately eroded

322G2 Clanton-Gosport Clanton-Gosport - silt loams, 25 to 40 percent slopes, moderately eroded

326D2 Dunbarton Dunbarton - silt loam, deep variant, 9 to 14 percent slopes, moderately eroded

368 Macksburg Macksburg - silty clay loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes

Macksburg Macksburg - silty clay loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes

369 Winterest Winterest - silty clay loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes

370 Sharpsburg Sharpsburg - silty clay loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes

370B Sharpsburg Sharpsburg - silty clay loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes

Sharpsburg Sharpsburg - silty clay loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes, eroded

Sharpsburg Sharpsburg - silty clay loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes

Sharpsburg Sharpsburg - silty clay loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes, eroded

Sharpsburg Sharpsburg - silty clay loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes, eroded

Keswick Keswick - loam, 9 to 14 slopes, moderately eroded

Ely - silty clay loam, dissected till plain, 2 to 5 percent slopes

434D Arbor Arbor - loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes

411G Hixton Hixton - fine sandy loam, 20 to 40 percent slopes

451D2 Caleb Caleb - loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes, moderately eroded

464 Spillville Spillville - loam, flaggy substratum, 0 to 2 percent slopes, occasionally flooded

477E Sloping Sloping - stony land

478G Steep Steep - rock land

Spillville Spillville - loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes, occasionally flooded

Nordness Nordness - loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes

570C2 Nira Nira - silty clay loam, dissected till plain, 5 to 9 percent slopes, eroded

592D2 Mystic Mystic - loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes, moderately eroded

593D2 Mystic-Clanton Mystic-Clanton - complex, 9 to 14 percent slopes, moderately eroded

593E2 Mystic-Clanton Mystic-Clanton - complex, 14 to 18 percent slopes, moderately eroded

Nodaway-Martinsburg Nodaway-Martinsburg - silt loams, 2 to 5 percent slopes

742B Martinsburg Martinsburg - silt loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes

822C Lamoni Lamoni - clay loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes

822D Lamoni Lamoni - clay loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes, eroded

822D2 Lamoni Lamoni - cloay loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes, eroded

822D3 Lamoni Lamoni - clay loam, 9 to 14 percent slopes, severely eroded

824C2 Shelby-Lamoni Shelby-Lamoni - complex, 5 to 9 percent slopes, eroded

824D Shelby-Lamoni Shelby-Lamoni - complex, 9 to 14 percent slopes

824D2 Shelby-Lamoni Shelby-Lamoni - complex, 9 to 14 percent slopes, eroded

824D3 Shelby-Lamoni

824E2 Shelby-Lamoni

Shelby-Lamoni - complex, 9 to 14 percent slopes, severely eroded

Shelby-Lamoni - complex, 14 to 18 percent slopes, eroded

824E3 Shelby-Lamoni Shelby-Lamoni - complex, 14 to 18 percent slopes, severly eroded

870 Sharpsburg

870B Sharpsburg

Sharpsburg - silty clay loam, terrace, 0 to 2 percent slopes

Sharpsburg - silty clay loam, terrace, 2 to 5 percent slopes

876B Ladoga Ladoga - silt loam, terrace on dissected till plain, 2 to 5 percent slopes 1,059

880B Clinton Clinton - silt loam,terace, 2 to 5 percent slopes

1075 Givin

1134 Colo-Ely

1541 Quiver-Colo

1542 Quiver-Colo

Givin - silt loam, benches

Colo-Ely - frequently flooded, silty clay loams, gullied, 2 to 5 percent slopes

Quiver-Colo - silty clay loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes, frequently flooded

Quiver-Colo - silt clay loams, 0 to 2 percent slopes, occasionally flooded

1820 Dockery-Quiver Dockery-Quiver - silt loam, 0 to 2 percent slopes, occasionally flooded

Source: Web Soil Survey ( (For complete description of these soils see Appendix 2)

Capability Grouping

Capability classes are groups of soils having the same relative degree of hazard or limitation. The risks of soil damage or limitation in use become progressively greater from class I to class VIII. The capability classesareusefulasameansof introducingthemap usertothe more detailed information on the soil map. The classes show the location, amount, and general suitability of the soils for agricultural use. Only information concerning general agricultural limitations in soil use are obtained at the capability classlevel.

• Class I soils have few limitations restricting their use

• Class II soils have moderate limitations reducing the choice of plants or requiring moderate conservation practices

• Class III soils have severe limitations reducing the choice of plants, or they require special conservation practices,orboth

• ClassIVsoilshaveverysevere limitations reducing the choice of plants, or they require very careful


• Class V soils are not likely to erode but have other limitations, impractical to remove, thus limiting their use

• Class VI soils have severe limitationswhichmakethem generally unsuitable for cultivation

• Class VII soils have very severe limitations which make them unsuitable for cultivation

Prime Farmland

According to USDA, Prime Farmland land with the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops. It must also be available for these uses. It has the soil quality, growing season, and moisture supply needed to produce economically sustained high yields of crops when treated and managed according to acceptable farming methods, including water management. In general, prime farmlands have an adequate and dependable water supply from precipitation or irrigation, a favorable temperature and growing season, acceptable acidity or alkalinity, acceptable salt and sodium content, and few or no rocks. They are permeable to water and air. Prime farmlands are not excessively erodible or saturated with water for a long period of time, and they either do not flood frequently or are protected from flooding.

• Class VIII soils and landforms have limitations which nearly preclude their use for commercialcropproduction

Capability subclasses are soil groups within one class. They are designated by adding a small letter, e, w, s, or c, to the class numeral, for example, 2e. The letter “e” shows the main hazard is the risk of erosion unless closegrowing plant cover is maintained; “w” shows water in or on the soil interferes with plant growth or cultivation (in some soils the wetness can be partly corrected by artificial drainage); “s” shows the soil is limited mainly because it is shallow, droughty, or stony; and “c” used in only some parts of the United States, shows the chief limitation is climate due to verycoldorverydryconditions. Sources: Natural Resources Conservation Service; United States Department of Agriculture

Prime Farmland and Land Use

Prime farmland is critical to the economic viability of a county similartoMadisonCounty,where agriculture is a large part of the local economy. The following paragraphs will focus on Prime Farmland, as well as Unique Farmlandwithinthecounty.

Prime Farmland

Prime farmland is directly tied to the specific soils and their composition. Table 13.2 contains each soil type and if said soil is prime farmland, farmland of statewide importance or not prime. The map in Figure 13.8 identifies Prime Farmland, Prime Farmland if Drained, Farmland of Statewide Importance, and Not PrimeFarmland.

Source: National Wetlands Inventory
Figure 13.7 Capability Grouping Classes

Table 13.2: Madison County Prime Farmland and CSR Rating Chapter 13:


13.3: Soil Suitability by

Chapter 13: Natural Resources and

Source: Source: Web Soil Survey (

Legend: Table 12.3 1.Flooding

Prime farmland is one of several kinds of important farmland defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is of major importance in meeting the nation's short- and long-range needs for food and fiber. The acreageofhigh-qualityfarmland is limited, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recognizesgovernmentsat local, state, and federal levels, as well as individuals, must encourage and facilitate the wise use of our nation'sprimefarmland.

Prime farmland soils are soils best suited to producing food, feed, forage, fiber, and oilseed crops. Such soils have properties favorable for the economic production of sustained high yields of crops. The soils need onlytobetreatedandmanaged using acceptable farming methods. The moisture supply, of course, must be adequate, and the growing season has to be sufficiently long. Prime farmland soils produce the highest yields with minimal inputs of energy and economic resources, and farming these soils results in the least damage to the surrounding ecosystems.

Prime farmland soils may presently be in use as cropland, pasture, or woodland, or they may be in other uses. They either are used for producing food or fiber or are available for these uses. Urban or built-up land and water areas cannot be considered prime farmland. Soils classified as prime farmland usually get an adequate and dependable supply of moisture from precipitation or irrigation. The temperature and growing seasonarefavorable.Theacidity or alkalinity level of the soils is acceptable.Thesoilshavefewor

Chapter 13: Natural Resources and Environment

no rocks and are permeable to water and air. They are not excessively erodible or saturated with water for long periods and are not subject to frequent flooding during the growing season. The slope ranges mainly from 0 to 6 percent.

Soils having a high water table, are subject to flooding, or are droughty may qualify as prime farmlandsoilsifthelimitationsor hazards are overcome by drainage, flood control, or irrigation. Onsite evaluation is necessary to determine the effectiveness of corrective measures.

A recent trend in land use in some parts of the county has been the conversion of some prime farmland to urban and industrial uses. The loss of prime farmland to other uses puts pressure on marginal lands, which generally are wet, more erodible,droughty,ordifficultto cultivate and less productive than prime farmland. Soils determined to be prime farmland need to beprotected throughout the rural areas of Iowa. These soils are typically thebestcropproducinglands.

Unique Farmland

Unique farmland is land other than prime farmland used for the production of specific highvalue food and fiber crops, such as citrus, tree nuts, olives, cranberries,andotherfruitsand vegetables. It has the special combination of soil quality, growing season, moisture supply, temperature, humidity, air drainage, elevation, and aspect needed for the soil to economically produce sustainable high yields of these

crops when properly managed. The water supply is dependable and of adequate quality. Nearness to markets is an additional consideration. Unique farmland is not based on nationalcriteria.Itcommonlyisin areas where there is a special microclimate, such as the wine countryinCalifornia.

Insomeareas,landthatdoesnot meet the criteria for prime or unique farmland is considered to be farmland of statewide importance for the production of food, feed, fiber, forage, and oilseed crops. The criteria for defining and delineating farmland of statewide importance are determined by the appropriate State agencies. Generally, this land includes areasofsoilsthatnearlymeetthe requirements for prime farmland and that economically produce highyieldsofcropswhentreated and managed according to acceptable farming methods. Some areas may produce as high a yield as prime farmland if conditions are favorable. Farmland of statewide importancemayincludetractsof land that have been designated foragriculturebyStatelaw.

In some areas that are not identified as having national or statewide importance, land is considered to be farmland of local importance for the production of food, feed, fiber, forage, and oilseed crops. This farmland is identified by the appropriate local agencies. Farmland of local importance may include tracts of land that have been designated for agriculturebylocalordinance.

Corn Suitability Rating

Initially developed at Iowa State University in the 1970s, the Iowa Corn Suitability Rating Index, or CSR, began as a way to classify soils in the state. When the methodology was updated in2014,thenewindexwascalled theCSR2.

The CSR2 is Iowa's most widely used soil PI, and it is only available for soils in Iowa. By combining historical corn yield records and soil characteristics, the CSR2 produces a relative rating of corn productivity in the state.

The CSR2 brings transparency to the Iowa agricultural sector, allowing comparisons among different soils and fair price calculations adjusted by soil productivity.

Soil PIs, including CSR2, are unitless;theyarerelativeandnot absoluteproductivitymeasures.

TherangeofCSR2is5-100,with5 being the minimum (if the equation gives a value lower than 5, it is set to 5). Higher numbers indicate more productivesoils.

TheCSR2assumesasoilmapunit is adequately managed, artificially drained where required,thereisnolandleveling or terracing and it is not irrigated.

Soil qualities in Iowa follow the guidelinesbelow:

High - CSR2 higher than 83: Very productive soils. The average yield for this group in the state is 193bu/ac.

Medium - CSR2 65-82: Productive soils with some properties that limit yield to remain below the excellent ones. The average yield for this groupinthestateis188bu/ac.

Low -CSR2below65:Productive soils with some properties that limit yield to remain below the excellent ones. The average yieldforthisgroupinthestateis 176bu/ac.

Source: Understanding Iowa's Corn Suitability Rating Index (CSR2) | FBN

Figure 13.9 shows the overall CSR for Madison County; while , 13.10 show the CSR’s of 60 or greaterforMadisonCounty.

Soil Suitability and Limitations


These limitation interpretations are based on the engineering properties of soils, on test data for soils in the survey area and others nearby or adjoining, and on the experience of engineers and soil scientists familiar with the soils of Madison County. Soil limitations are indicated by the ratings Not Limited, Somewhat Limited,andVeryLimited.(Refer toFigures13.11through13.16at the end of this chapter). Not Limited (green) means soil properties are generally favorable for the stated use, or in other words, limitations are minor and easily overcome. Somewhat Limited (yellow) means some soil properties are unfavorable but can be overcome or modified by special planning and design. Very Limited (red) means soil properties may be so unfavorable and difficult to correct or overcome as to require various degrees of soil

reclamation, special designs, or intensivemaintenance.

Figure 13.17 indicates each soil and identifies it’s suitability rating aswellastheconditionscreating thespecificrating.


Fundamentalsoilpropertiesforall soilsinclude:

• Sand(%)

• Silt(%)

• Clay(%)

• Horizon rock fragment content(%)

• Water transmission (hydraulic conductivity)

• Water storage (available waterholdingcapacity)

• Organicmatter(%)

• Bulkdensity

• pH

• Electricalconductivity

• Cationexchangecapacity

• Shrink-swell

• Slope(%)

• Slope shape (gather or spreadwater)

• Stoniness

• Rainfall

• Growing season length (frostfreedays)

• Watertable

• Flooding

• Ponding

• Landscapeposition,and

• Soilparentmaterial

Ratings, or interpretations, are baseduponthesesoilproperties. Interpretations start with a need topredicthowalandusewillbe affectedbydifferentsoilandsite properties

Therelationshipsbetweenthesoil and site properties and the land usearedeliberatedbyateamof experts and captured in a “criteria table” as a starting point.

Dwellings Without Basements

Figure 13.11 shows the soil suitability conditions for constructing dwelling without a basement (slab on-grade construction). In addition, Table 13.3providesthesuitabilitybysoil typesandthespecificconditions impactingthesoil.

Very Limited Conditions

BasedonTable13.3,themajority of soils in Madison County are considered very limited for a dwelling unit without a basement. There are four major conditions impacting the soils (not all four are present in any one soil type). The conditions presentinthedifferentsoilsare:

• Flooding

• Slope

• Shrink-Swell

• Ponding

Theseconditionsmayormaynot eliminate the ability of a land owner to build a slab-on-grade dwelling unit, but specific conditions will need to be engineered to overcome potentialproblemsinthefuture.

Somewhat Limited Conditions

Besidestheseveresoils,thereare 21 soils considered somewhat limited which is less of an issue when developing.The conditions creating the somewhat limited classificationare:

• Slope

• Shrink-Swell

Not Limited

There are no soil groups with no limitations.

Chapter 13: Natural Resources and Environment

Dwellings With Basements

Figure 13.12 shows the soil suitability conditions for constructing dwelling with a basement. In addition, Table 13.3 provides the suitability by soil types and the specific conditionsimpactingthesoil.

Very Limited Conditions

Based on Table 13.3, the majority of soils in Madison County are considered very limitedforadwellingunitwitha basement. There are six major conditions impacting the soils (not all six are present in any one soil type). The conditions presentinthedifferentsoilsare:

• Flooding

• DepthtoSaturatedZone

• Slope

• Shrink-Swell

• Ponding

• DepthtoBedrock

These conditions may or may not eliminate the ability of a land owner to build a dwelling with a basement, but specific conditions will need to be engineered to overcome potentialproblemsinthefuture.

Somewhat Limited Conditions

Besides the severe soils, there are 23 soils considered somewhat limited which is less of an issue when developing. Theconditionsthatarecreating the somewhat limited classificationare:

• DepthtoSaturatedZone

• Slope

• Shrink-Swell

Not Limited

Therearenosoilgroupsratedas not limited in Madison County fordwellingswithbasements.

Septic Tank and Absorption Fields

Figure 13.13 shows the soil suitability conditions for constructing septic tank and absorption fields. In addition, Table 13.3 provides the suitability by soil types and the specific conditionsimpactingthesoil.

Very Limited Conditions

BasedonTable13.3,themajority of soils in Madison County are consideredverylimitedforseptic tanksandabsorptionfields.There are eight major conditions impacting the soils (not all eight are present in any one soil type). The conditions present in the differentsoilsare:

• Flooding

• DepthtoSaturatedZone

• Slope

• Shrink-swell

• Ponding

• DepthtoBedrock

• SlowWaterMovement

• Seepage

Theseconditionsmayormaynot eliminate the ability of a land owner to build a septic tank or absorption field, but specific conditions will need to be engineered to overcome potentialproblemsinthefuture.

Somewhat Limited Conditions

Besidestheseveresoils,thereare two soils considered somewhat limited which is less of an issue when developing.The conditions that are creating the somewhat limitedclassificationare:

• Flooding

• DepthtoSaturatedZone

• SlowWaterMovement

Not Limited

Therearenosoilgroupsidentified not posing limitations in Madison County for septic tank and absorptionfields.

Sewage Lagoons

Figure 13.14 shows the soil suitability conditions for constructing sewage lagoons. In addition, Table 13.3 provides the suitability by soil types and the specificconditionsimpactingthe soil.

Very Limited Conditions

BasedonTable13.3,themajority of soils in Madison County are considered very limited for sewage lagoons. There are six major conditions impacting the soils (not all sixarepresent inany one soil type). The conditions presentinthedifferentsoilsare:

• Flooding

• DepthtoSaturatedZone

• Slope

• Ponding

• DepthtoBedrock

• Seepage

Theseconditions mayor maynot eliminate the ability of a land ownertobuildasewagelagoon, but specific conditions will need to be engineered to overcome potentialproblemsinthefuture.

Somewhat Limited Conditions

Besidestheseveresoils,thereare 15 soils considered somewhat limited which is less of an issue when developing.The conditions are creating the somewhat limitedclassificationare:

• Flooding

• DepthtoSaturatedZone

• Slope

• Seepage

Not Limited

Therearenosoilgroupsidentified not posing limitations in Madison Countyforsewagelagoons.

Sanitary Landfills

Figure 13.15 shows the soil suitability conditions for constructing sanitary landfills. In addition, Table 13.3 provides the suitability by soil types and the specific conditions impactingthesoil.

Very Limited Conditions

Based on Table 13.3, the majority of soils in Madison County are considered very limited for sanitary landfills. There are seven major conditions impacting the soils (notallsevenarepresentinany one soil type). The conditions presentinthedifferentsoilsare:

• Flooding

• DepthtoSaturatedZone

• Slope

• Ponding

• DepthtoBedrock

• Seepage

• Dusty

These conditions may or may not eliminate the ability of a land owner to build a sanitary landfill, but specific conditions will need to be engineered to overcomepotentialproblemsin thefuture.

Somewhat Limited Conditions

Besides the severe soils, there are eight soils considered somewhat limited which is less of an issue when developing. These conditions are creating the somewhat limited classificationare:

• DepthtoSaturatedZone

• Slope

• Dusty

Not Limited

There are no soil groups not posing limitations in Madison Countyforsanitarylandfills.

Small Commercial Businesses

Figure 13.16 shows the soil suitability conditions for constructing small commercial businesses.Inaddition,Table13.3 provides the suitability by soil typesandthespecificconditions impactingthesoil.

Very Limited Conditions

BasedonTable13.3,themajority of soils in Madison County are considered very limited for small commercialbusinesses.Thereare five major conditions impacting thesoils(notallfivearepresentin anyonesoiltype).Theconditions presentinthedifferentsoilsare:

• Flooding

• DepthtoSaturatedZone

• Slope

• Shrink-Swell

• Ponding

Theseconditions mayor maynot eliminate the ability of a land owner to build a small commercialbusiness,butspecific conditions will need to be engineered to overcome potentialproblemsinthefuture.

Somewhat Limited Conditions

Besidestheseveresoils,thereare 16 soils considered somewhat limited which is less of an issue when developing.The conditions that are creating the somewhat limitedclassificationare:

• DepthtoSaturatedZone

• Slope

• Shrink-Swell

Not Limited

There are no soil groups not posing limitations in Madison County for small commercial businesses.

Soil and Water Classifications


Groundwater refers to water found beneath the surface, smaller pockets of water, and aquifers. Groundwater is one of sources the residents of Madison County, both city and rural, get their potable water for everyday living as well as the irrigation waterforcrops.

The ability to find water meeting these specific needs is critical to the placement of certain uses. These specific needs include water quantity, water quality, andwaterpressure.

Use of Groundwater

Groundwater use in the county comes in three forms; domestic (Individual wells), livestock supply and public water supply. Each use is important to the overall viability of Madison County. Surface water is expensive to treat, so the uses within the countyrelyongroundwater.

Domestic and Livestock Supplies

Domestic and most livestock water supplies are obtained throughtheuseofsmalldiameter wells.Mostofthesewellsare:

• Drilled only a few feet below thetopofthewatertable

• Arelowproductionwells

• Equipped with electric powered jet or submersible pumps

• Thewateryieldofthistypeof well is usually no more than five gallons of water per minute.

Source Water Protection

The term "Source Water" is used to define drinking water in its

Chapter 13: Natural Resources and Environment

Source: Source Water Protection

Source: wikipedia

Figure 13.17: Source Water Protection Example
Figure 13.18: Des Moines River Watershed

original environment, either as surface water (rivers, streams, reservoirs, lakes) or as groundwater (aquifers), before being withdrawn, treated, and distributed by a water system. Source Water Protection (SWP) is the act of preventing contaminants from entering publicdrinkingwatersources.

The quality of the source water can be influenced by both naturalandhumanactivities.The concept of Source Water Protection (SWP) is to manage the areas through which water travels and the activities that occur on the land, in order to protect the quality of the resource.Theseprotectionefforts save the community money through improved water quality requiring less treatment, longer life cycle for a well, and less likelihood of having to seek an alternate source or replace the wellduetocontamination.

Surfacewaterismoresusceptible to contamination incidents from natural or man-made causes, such as a flood or a chemical spill, but it also recovers much

more quickly than does groundwater. Groundwater is much less susceptible to contamination, but when that happens, natural recovery is very slow to occur. Source Water Protection includes both groundwater (wellhead) protection and surface water protection.

Source: Source Water Protection (

The Iowa DNR's SWP Program is a voluntary program, although there are numerous benefits for a water system to protect its water supply. There are three components to the Source WaterProtectionProgram.

• Phase 1 Assessment: The DNR provides the initial source water assessments, called Phase 1 assessments, toallpublicwatersuppliesin Iowa.Thisassessment details the water system's active wells, delineates the source water protection areas, lists the susceptibility to contaminationclassification, and provides the known potential contamination sources.

• Source Water Protection Plan: In the second step, the system then develops its SWP Plan through a local team effort. These plans are sometimes called Phase 2 plans. The components are listed in a templated plan that is used to guide the team through the process to determinehowthesystemwill protect its drinking water resource.

• Implementation: In the third step, the SWP Plan is implemented, addressing the specific items that the community and system will use to protect its drinking waterresource.

ThedevelopmentofagoodSWP Plan does not require any assistance or involvement of an engineer or consultant. A system may wish to contact an outside entity for assistance. The Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Rural Water Association provide experienced source water consultation and assistance for developing the SWP Plan, at no charge to the publicwatersupply.

Source: Source Water Protection (


A watershed is an area of land that drains or “sheds” water into aspecificwaterbody.Everybody of water has a watershed. Watersheds drain rainfall and snowmelt into streams and rivers. These smaller bodies of water flow into larger ones, including lakes, bays, and oceans. Gravity helps to guide the path that water takes across the landscape.

Source: Watershed (

Table 13.4: Definition Of Soil Slopes

Watersheds are defined as the larger overall drainage area which typically flows to a major river.Eachrivertypicallyflowsvia gravity to the next largest river until the water reaches a major bodyofwatersuchastheGulfof Mexico or Pacific or Atlantic Oceans.

Madison County, overall, lies within the Des Moines River watershed.However,themajority of the county is a part of the Lake Red Rock sub-basin. However, small portions of the county fall within the North Raccoon River Watershed and the Thompson sub-basin, see Figure13.9.

Natural Resource Conservation Service Projects

Within Madison County there havebeen fourmajorwatershed projects. North Thompson Watershed Project, Cedar Lake WatershedProject,BadgerCreek WatershedProject,andRaccoon River2080Project.

North Thompson Watershed Project

The North Thompson River Watershed is an 111,600 acre watershed located in southeast AdairCounty,southwestMadison County, and northeast Union County in central Iowa. This area is60to70percentintensivelyrow cropped (corn and soybeans) and has potential soil erosion rates of 11 to 15 tons/acre/year. The lower reaches of the Thompson River in Union County and West Branch Creek in MadisonCountyfrequentlyflood. The overall goal of the project is to improve water quality in the North Thompson River and its watershed. The project works towards this goal by reducing

Chapter 13: Natural Resources and Environment

sediment through the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs).


• Grade stabilization structures

• Water and sediment control structures

• Terraces

• Grassedwaterways

Source: North Thompson River Water Quality Project - Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District (

Cedar Lake Watershed Project

The Cedar Lake River Watershed is an 10,700 acre watershed. The watershed drains into Cedar Lake near Winterset.

ThewaterqualityofCedarLake needs improvement nitrate levels in recent years have exceeded federal and state limits, placing the lake on the state’s impaired waters list. Taking the entire Cedar Lake watershed into account is an important part of improving the lake’swaterquality.

The Cedar Lake watershed an area of land that drains into abodyofwater coversmore than 10,000 acres (or 17 square miles)andincludesanumberof streams, farm fields and residential areas. Because water drains from these areas into the lake, both positive and negative actions throughout the watershed determine the lake’swaterquality.

The goals of the watershed projectinclude:

• To build large wetlands to remove nitrate from the drainedcroplandareas.

• Development of specific practices and structures including contour buffer/filter strip, riparian buffers, nutrient and pest management, rotational grazing, terraces, anderosioncontrolbasins.

Source: https;//

Badger Creek Lake Watershed Project

Badger Creek Lake Watershed contains11,700acresincludinga 269 acre lake. The current phase of the Badger Creek Lake Watershed Project began in 2013, but the real roots of the watershed project go back to the 1950s, when flooding and siltation issues prompted landowners and farmers in the watershed to organize the Badger Creek Watershed Committee in 1957. The committee submitted an application, and the State Soil Conservation Committee recommended the Badger Creek Watershed as a priority watershedunderPublicLaw566.

The goals of the watershed projectare:

• Reduce nonpoint source pollution to at or below TMDL levels in the Badger Creek Lake watershed while maintaining agricultural productivity

• Monitor and evaluate sediment and phosphorus loading reductions to Badger CreekLake

• Educate the public and partners about lake and watershed improvement activities, and progress being madetowardprojectgoals.

Source: https;// badger-creek-lake-watershed-project/

Hydric Soils

Hydric soils are formed under conditionsofsaturation,flooding, or ponding. The process has to occur long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upperpart.Hydricsoilsalongwith hydrophytic vegetation and wetland hydrology are used to definewetlands.



The slope of an area is critical to theabilityoftheareatobeused for agricultural purposes or constructing homes and septic systems. Typically the steeper the slope the more difficult these issues become. However, lands with little to no slope can also create problems regarding the inability of water to drain away fromasite.

Figure 13.21 shows the percent slope for Madison County. Based upon the map,the entire county has a steep slopes throughout and this should be protected, especiallythoseslopesover10%. It is these slopes that also create wonderful viewsheds and landscapes within Madison County. Based upon Table 13.4 slope is factor in a few soils/ locationsinthecounty.


Flooding is the temporary covering of the soil surface by flowing water from any source, such as streams and rivers overflowing their banks, runoff from adjacent or surrounding slopes, or a combination of different sources. During a flooding event there are three components making up the floodedarea.

The areas on Figure 13.22 are definedassuch:

• Floodway which is the channel of a watercourse and those portions of the adjoining floodplains which are required to carry and discharge the 100-year flood with no significant increase in the base flood elevation.

• Floodplain which is the low land near a watercourse which has been or may be covered by water from floodof100-yearfrequency, as established by engineeringpracticesofthe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It shall also mean that a flood of this magnitude may have a 1 percent chance of occurringinanygivenyear.

• Floodway Fringe whichisthe portion of a floodplain that is inundated by floodwaters but is not within a defined floodway. Floodway fringes serve as temporary storage forfloodwaters.

The floodplain also includes the floodway and the flood fringe, whichareareascoveredbythe flood, but which do not experienceastrongcurrent.

The floodplain area of greatest significance in terms of state andfederalregulationisthe100 year floodplain. This area is defined by the ground elevation in relation to the water elevation experienced during a 100 year flood event. The 100 year floodplain is calculated to be the elevation leveloffloodwaterexpectedto be equaled or exceeded every 100 years on average. In other and more accurate words, the 100 year flood is a 1% flood, meaning it defines a flood having a 1% chance of being

equaled or exceeded in any singleyear.

Preserving the floodplain and floodway are critical to limiting the level of property damage occurring as well as the level of damage to life of the occupants of the area. Land when not flooded seems to be harmless, but control needs to take place for those rare times when it threatenslifeandproperty.

In recent years there have been numerous flooding occurrences in the Midwest. These events have included the Platte River, theRepublicanRiver,theMissouri River, Des Moines River, Cedar River, and the Mississippi River, as well as their tributaries. Each of these events have caused significant damage to life and property. In order to protect an individuals property there are specific rules and guidelines needing to be followed. On some occasions these guidelines work and others may not; most guidelines are developed for 100 year flooding events. When the 100yearfloodplainguidelinesdo not work, they are typically referred to as a 500 year event for lack of a better term. However, in some cases, due to mother nature and increases in development runoff, the area needed to handle the floodway and floodplain (100 year event) have increased due to the amount and speed the water is reachingthestreamsandrivers.

Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) Goals and Action Items

The following goals were split by type between water, soil, and thefloodplain.

NRE Goal NRE-1:

Both surface water and groundwater in Madison County will be protected from depletion andcontamination.


1. Encourage the preservation of environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands and waterways (streams, ponds, lakes,rivers,etc.)byfollowing all state and federal guidelines.

2. Protect all water supplies from dense development activitiesaffectingthequality andquantityofwater.

3. Development must demonstrate a positive or, at least, a neutral impact on groundwater.

4. Discourage heavy land use development within the floodplainsofthecounty.

5. The county will encourage soil and water conservation efforts to aid in erosion, sediment,andrun-offcontrol.

6. Encourage mitigation of agriculturalrunoff.

7. Madison County should require the protection of riparian vegetation from damage resulting from development.

8. Water erosion control structures, including riprap and fill, should be reviewed by appropriate authorities to ensure all are necessary and are designed to minimize adverse impacts on water currents, erosion, and accretionpatterns.

NRE Goal NRE-2:

Chapter 13: Natural Resources and Environment

Protection of soils in regard to the suitability of certain uses is critical to the preservation of thesesoils.


1. Discourage conversion of designated prime agricultural land and soils to non-agricultural uses by targeting less productive agricultural soils for urban or non-farmuses.

2. Encourage the preservation of environmentally sensitive areas such as the slopes and wooded areas of MadisonCounty.

3. Madison County should discourage heavy land use development within the slopedareasofthecounty.

NRE Goal NRE-3:

Prevent loss of life and/or property by continuing to control development in the county’sfloodplain.


1. Continue participation in the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program to preventflood-causedlossof lifeandproperty.

2. Madison County should discourage heavy land use development within the floodplainsofthecounty.

3. Encourage the preservation of environmentally sensitive areas associated with floodplainssuchaswetlands and waterways (streams, ponds,lakes,rivers,etc.).

NRE Goal NRE-4:

Protection of the sloped areas of Madison County due scenic vistas and vegetation and habitatexistingintheseareas.


1. Discourage conversion of vegetive sloped sections of ground from their existing statetourbandevelopment.

2. Encourage maintenance of sloped areas along with their drainageways in order to protect the existing ecosystems including water runoff.

3. Maintain the sloped areas along with their drainageways in order to protect the water runoff systems.

4. Discourageincreasederosion within Madison County to protect the existing drainage systems and densities in the existing rural portions of the county.

5. Encourage the preservation of environmentally sensitive areas such as the slopes and wooded areas of Madison County.

NRE Goal NRE-5:

Implement the strategies and vision of the Growth and Development Subcommittee.


1. Encourage the use of conservation easements and trusts to protect sensitive areasofMadisonCounty.

2. Protect viewsheds and historical areas by limiting density considerations, especially regarding height, soundandlight.

3. Agri-tourism (orchards, wineries, CSA, etc.) shall be encouragedwithminimumof 20acres

4. Conservationareasshouldbe established to protect and enhance:

 Endangeredspecies

 Nesting and feeding areas for threatened or endangered wildlife, including eagles, bats, etc.

 Wildlife corridors, includingarialwildlife

 Wetlandsandwatersheds

 Historicalareas

NRE Goal NRE-6:

Implement the strategies and vision of the Conservation Subcommittee.


1. Improve the health and species diversity of our soils, water, air, plants, and animalsby:

 Incentivizing rural land owners to adequately treatwastewater

 Require septic system setbacks from waterbodies

2. Protect natural resources for recreational enjoyment and publicuse.

 Protectheadwaters

 Maintainwatertrails

 Fishingresources

Thesegoalsandactionitemsare important components to use when reviewing future land use requests and amendments. The different elements discussed in this Chapter are a major part of what makes Madison County, MadisonCounty.

Chapter 14

Land Use and Growth Management


The Madison County Land Use and Growth Management Chapter is to provide a general guideto:

• Growth/growth pressures fromexternalareas

• Land use directs future uses andzoningcriteria.

• The resulting land uses are intended to be a guide without creating multiple incompatibilities with currentlyexistinguses.

• The Madison County Land Use and Growth Management Chapter provides the basis for the formulation of land use and thezoningregulations.

This Chapter reflects the existing conditions and should be flexible in order to meet the needs of its citizensaswellasthevisionofthe county.

It is imperative to formulate a plan tailored to the needs, desires and environmental limitationsofMadisonCounty.

Madison County Land Use Elements

The elements of the Madison County Land Use and Growth ManagementChapterinclude:

• ExistingLandUse

• ExistingResidentialDensity

• County Land Use ManagementPolicy(CLUMP)

• FutureLandUsePlan

All of these elements are integrated in some manner. Effective evaluations and decisions regarding development decisions require a substantialamountofinformation tobeutilized.

Existing Land Use

The term “Existing Land Use” refersto:

• The current uses in place within a building or on a specificparcelofland

• The number and type of uses constantly change within a county, and produce a number of impacts either benefiting or detracting from thecounty.

The short and long-term success andsustainabilityofthecountyis directly contingent upon available resources utilized in the best manner given the constraints the county faces duringthecourseoftheplanning period.

Overall, development patterns in and around Madison County havebeeninfluencedby:

• Topography

• Water

• Soils

• Manmade features such as

oneIowastatehighway,one U.S. Highway, Interstate 80 andseveralcountyhighways

• These items will likely continue to influence development patterns throughout the course of the planningperiod

Existing Land Use Categories

The utilization of land is best described in specific categories with broad descriptions where numerous businesses, institutions, and structures can be grouped. For the purposes of the Comprehensive Plan, the following land use classifications areused:

• Agriculture

• Farmsteadsandacreages

• Livestockfacilities

• UrbanDensityResidential

• Commercial

• Industrial

• Quasi-Public/Public/Parks

The above land use categories may be generally defined in the followingmanner:

• Agriculture- Row crop, alfalfa, pastureland and all grain crops, as well as, Agritourism are considered agriculture land uses. Madison County is an agricultural based county and the existing land use mapverifiestheseuses.

• Farmsteads and acreagesThis category includes residentialdwellingseitheras a farmstead, acreage or residential developments located within the county. Acreages are distributed throughout the County; while more dense residential development can be found along County Highway G4R G50, US Highway 169, and IowaHighway92.

• Urban Density - Thiscategory includesresidential dwellings mostly in close proximity to Winterset, St. Charles, and in spotty locations within the Northeast corner of the county.

• Livestock facilities – These are specific confinement buildings including chicken

and swine houses, dairies, and open lots for cattle. Madison County desires to become a Livestock friendly county once this plan and the new regulations are completed.

• Commercial- Uses in this category consist of various service related businesses such as: retail stores, feed, seed, automobile and machinery sales; petroleum sales, etc. Commercial uses tendtobelocatednearorin the urban areas, as well as in close proximity to major highwaysforaccessibility.

• Industrial - Land uses of this nature include communication plants, light and heavy manufacturing, commercial storage, industrial parks, large salvage yards, utilities, etc. These uses tend to be located near municipalities and major transportation routes for accessibilitypurposes.

• Quasi-Public/Public/parksLand uses of this nature include governmental offices and structures, churches, cemeteries, and county, state, private, and federal parks. These uses tend to be locatedthroughouttheentire county and may be near major transportation routes foraccessibilitypurposes.

Overriding Land Use Concerns

The following overriding conceptsforlandusecamefrom four different subcommittees focused on four topics: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Historical, and Growth and Development.Thelandusefocus from the four committees is as follows:

Agriculture Committee

• Prefer development to be balanced throughout the countydependinguponCSR locationandagriculturaluses

• Prefer development adjacenttocities

• Prefer Development along pavedroads

• Prefer to limit the number of access points into a development,sothereisone access/driveway

• Focusisnotonpreventingag development on housing, but on preserving and protectingwhatwehave

Growth and Development Committee

• High density residential–withincitylimits

• Moderatedensity– withincity limits

• Low density– Anything outsidetwomilesofcitylimits

• Residential lots should be a minimum of three acres and size to accommodate individualsepticsystems

• Planned Unit Development (PUD) – Considered high density and prohibited outsideofcitylimits

• Conservationeasementsand trustsencouraged

• Impacts to viewsheds and historical areas should be included in density considerations, especially regarding height, sound and light

• Designs for new commercial construction should be the least impactful to the surroundingareaviewsheds

• Residential grading (High, medium,low,multi-use,multifamily density) should be applied – developmentsshall be aligned to a rural county lifestyle, with high & moderate density limited to bewithincitylimits

Chapter 14: Land Use and Growth Management

• Industrial uses – confined withincitylimits

• Light industrial uses –confined within two mile radiusofcitylimits

• Commercial uses with grading(C1,C2,C3)levels –encouraged with alignment levelstocountyrurallifestyle, such as minimum of 300 ft. buffers to waterways, lakes, ponds, creeks, timber canopy

• Agri-tourism (orchards, wineries, CSA, etc.) shall be encouraged

• Consideration of conservation of areas as partofdevelopment:

 Endangeredspecies

 Nesting and feeding areas for threatened or endangered wildlife, including eagles, bats, etc.

 Wildlife corridors, includingarialwildlife

 Wetlands and watersheds

 Historicalareas

Historic Preservation Committee

• Develop a zoning overlay district limiting commercial advertising,signage,andset design standards (implementing design review) for new development along the Covered Bridges Scenic Byways route to protect its aestheticresources.

• Add capacity and necessary additional resources to the Madison CountyConservationBoard:

 To become a viable holder of Madison County Conservation Easements,or

 Work with stakeholders within the community to develop a land trust tailored to holding a variety of conservation easements within the county and potentially directly adjacent to the county

• Continue to inventory and qualify local historic, natural, cultural, and aesthetic resources and make informationpubliclyavailable wherepossible

• Create a set of guidelines and an informational document pertaining to the use of planned unit developments and how they may be used to modify zoning and subdivision regulationsto:

 Preserve and protect existing historic, natural, cultural, and aesthetic resources during development and into thefuture.

• Craft conservation base level zoningforourprimarystreams and water ways to protect them from modification, depredation, and development.

• Protect all rural covered bridges and the adjacent ground with a conservation zone crafted as an overlay district to limit development near them and protect their adjacentviewsheds.

• Establish a zoning overlay district and design review processtoprotectviewsheds, especially those considered iconic, such as that south of ClarkTower.

• Support ongoing efforts to preserve Madison County’s unique historical, natural, cultural, and astatic resources and the sharing


and education about these resources with visitor and residents.

Natural Resources Committee

• Improve the health and species diversity of our soils, water, air, plants, and animals.

 Incentivize rural land owners to adequately treatwastewater

 Require septic system set backsfromwaterbodies

• Protect natural resources for recreational enjoyment and publicuse.

 Protectheadwaters

 Maintainwatertrails

 Fishingresources

County Land Use Management Policy (CLUMP)


The purpose of the CLUMP system is to develop a broad policyacknowledging:

• existinglandusepatterns

• existing and future market demands

• manages these factors in relationtooneanother

CLUMP establishes a long-range management policy which in turnprovidesguidanceforfuture landusedevelopment.

CLUMP Process

CLUMP was devised to identify and examine existing developmenttrendsforcounties.

The CLUMP process includes a review of three critical elements of the existing land use fabric withintheCounty;whichare:

• Existing Land Use patterns and locations (see Figure 14.1)

• Existing density of residential development per 1/4 section of ground, countywide(seeFigure14.2)

• Areas where development will likely move towards duringtheplanningperiod


• The demand for urban and non-urban development with the preservation and conservationofagriculture

• The fiscal responsibilities to provideserviceseitheratthe county and the municipal level.

The concept of CLUMP is based on:

• The belief development pressuresanddemandsexist

• The best approach is to identify and accommodate certain pressures through diligentplanning

• These pressures must be managed and channeled to areas which are in the processofdeveloping

• Areas capable of accommodating this development over the long term

CLUMP Concept

The CLUMP concept centers on four policy areas. These areas are:

• UrbanizedGrowthArea

• Agricultural

• Transitional,

• UrbanReserve

These four policy areas are indicated on Figure 14.3 of this document.

These areas generally identify different levels of development baseduponproximityto:

• Existing urban centers or smallerdevelopments

• NaturalAmenities

• Proximity to major transportationroutes

• Existinglandusedensitiesand

• Potential land uses to be allowedinthefuture.

Theintentistoconcentrateeach of the different policy considerations into areas based upon these factors. Ideally, intense development (major commercial centers, densely populated subdivisions, etc.) should be encouraged to locate within or adjacent to the existing communities of Madison County. Ultimately,the CLUMP concept is to discourage dense growth and development within the unincorporated areas of the County.

Policy Areas

Urbanized Growth Area

TheUrbanizedGrowthAreaisthe preferred location for dense development and larger commercial and industrial land uses. Urbanized Growth Area is intended to accommodate the followingpolicies:

• Planned and contiguous growth extending out from thecitiesofMadisonCounty

• Areas would be likely be connected to existing or extended city services, such as: Water, Sanitary Sewer, electricalpower,etc

• Development in these areas wouldlikelyseetheextension of the municipal street systems

The proposed land uses for the this policy area should follow the uses laid out within each community’s future land use plan.

Agriculture Policy Area

The Agriculture policy area is intended to accommodate the followingpolicies:

• The preservation of agriculturaluses

• Low density residential development, primarily farmsteads and residences connected to an existing farmingoperation

The Agriculture policy area covers the majority of Madison County. The proposed land uses for the Agriculture policy areas are:

• GeneralAgriculture

• TransitionalAgriculture

• Mixture of Agriculture and agri-businesses

• Public

• Parks/Recreation

When making future land use and zoning decisions, the policy allowsonlytheseusetypestobe located within an Agriculture policy area. These areas have beenidentifiedbasedupontheir lack of development and the ability to preserve the agricultural base of Madison County. All future development of this type should be located in the designated areas in order to minimize future sprawl and haphazarddevelopment.

Transitional Policy Area

The Transitional Policy Area is

intended to accommodate the followingpolicies:

• Higher density development than allowed in the Agricultural areas. Typically, residentialacreages

• Located along major transportation routes within thecounty

• Location of higher intensity uses

• Potential growth areas adjacent to the smaller communities

The Transitional Policy Areas are generally located throughout MadisonCounty.

The proposed land uses for the Transitionalpolicyareasare:

• GeneralAgriculture

• TransitionalAgriculture

• RuralResidential

• Mixture of Agriculture and agri-businesses

• Public

• Parks/Recreation

Making future land use and zoning decisions, the policy allows any of these use types to belocatedwithinanTransitional policy area. All future developmentofthistypeshould be located in the designated areasinorder tominimizefuture sprawl and haphazard development.

Urban Reserve Policy Area

The Urban Reserve policy area is intended to accommodate the followingpolicies:

• More dense development including residential and commercial

• Residential development could reach densities typically seen in urban areas provided some level of centralized water and sewerage is in the development

• Major areas along the highwaysareintendedtoaid in strengthening the economic base of Madison County

The proposed land uses for the UrbanReservepolicyareasare:

• RuralResidential

• UrbanResidential

• Commercial

• Industrial

• TransitionalAgriculture

• Agri-businesses

• Public

• Parks/Recreation

Future development, especially the commercial and industrial uses, urban residential, and rural residential should be designed in ways to minimize impact on surrounding uses (i.e. cluster development, development away from environmentally sensitive conditions). One key factor determining the Urban Reserve locations was based upon the density of existing residentialdevelopment.

Any land use and zoning changes to the maps must consider the potential impacts on the soils and other natural resources and the impact on adjacentproperties,especially:

• Thecornsuitabilityrating,

• Sensitivity of the soils regardingpercolation Chapter

• Floodinghazard

• Slopes

All future development of this type should be located in the designated areas in order to minimize future sprawl and haphazarddevelopment.

Future Land Uses

The Future Land Use Plan provides the basis for the formulation of land use policy and zoning regulations. Therefore, it is imperative to formulate a plan tailored to the needs, desires and environmental limitations of Madison County. The following principlesandlanduseconcepts have been formed to guide future land use and growth management activities within MadisonCounty.

The plan is based upon existing conditions and projected future conditions for the county. The criteria used in this Plan reflect severalelements,including:

• The current use of land within and around the county

• The desired types of growth, includinglocation

• Future development activities

• Physical characteristics, opportunitiesandconstraints offuturegrowthareas

• Current population and economic trends affecting thecounty

Efficient allocation of land recognizes the forces of the private market and the limitations of the capital. This Plan acknowledges these

factors and their role in the development of Madison County.AFutureLandUsePlanis intended to be a general guide to future land uses; while, balancing private sector development (the critical growth element in any county) with the concerns, interests, and demands of the overall local economy.

ThelandusesforMadisonCounty are becoming more and more critical as the county continues to feel growth pressures around Winterset and along the Dallas, Warren,andPolkCountylineand West Des Moines, as well as Interstate 35 just east of the eastern county line. The future policies within this plan will be critical to directing growth in Madison County for the next 10 to20years.


The future land uses for Madison County are separated into nine categories. The following list shows the land uses within this plan:

• PrimaryAgricultural

• TransitionalAgricultural

• RiverProtectionCorridor

• RuralResidential

• UrbanResidential

• Commercial

• Industrial

• Public

• ParksandRecreation


Chapter 14: Land Use and Growth Management

Primary Agriculture

General Purpose

This land use district provides for all agriculture practices. In this "agriculture first" land use district, agricultural activities should be given primary consideration where conditions prove favorable. This category is where livestock production and feeding operations are allowedandnon-farmresidentialdevelopmentarediscouraged.

Compatible Uses





Commercial uses related to agriculture such as: fertilizer processingandstorage,grainelevators,etc.




Agri-Tourismactivitiessuchas:huntingpreserves,fishing,vineyards etc.


11. Educationalusesandstructures

Incompatible Uses

1. Residential/Acreagedevelopmentsnotassociatedwithafarming operation

2. Largecommercialdevelopments

3. Industrialdevelopments

Potential issues to consider

1. Potablewelllocationsandwateravailability

2. Slopes

3. Topography

4. Naturalamenitiessuchastrees,ponds,andstreams

5. Sitedrainage

6. Floodinghazards.

7. Groundwateravailability

8. Groundwatercontamination

9. Minimumlotsizesandresidentialdensities

10. Wetlands

11. Existingand/orproposedsanitarysystem

12. Wellheadprotectionareas

13. Conflicting uses such as new acreages near livestock confinements

Special Policies

1. Minimumresidentiallotsizesshouldbekeptatthelowestpossible sizeaccommodatingbothprivatewaterandsanitarysewer.

2. Residential densities within this land use district should be minimal inordertoprotectagriculture.

3. Cluster developments should be considered and used whenever soils,topography,naturalamenitieswarrant.

Transitional Agriculture

General Purpose

The Transitional Agriculture represents an area in the County where agriculture is protected, but limited. The Transitional Agriculture land useisintendedtoprovidealocationwhereagriculturecancontinue tothrivebutmayatsomepointinthefuturebeinfluencedbygrowth intheadjacentcommunities.

Compatible uses

1. Cropproduction,includinggrazinglands

2. Livestockoperationsforalltypesofanimals

3. Agri-Tourism activities such as: hunting preserves, fishing, vineyardsetc.

4. Privateandcommercialgrainstorage

5. Manure/fertilizerapplications

6. Singleacreagedevelopments

7. Publicrecreational,wildlifeandhistoricalareas

8. Religioususesandstructures

9. Educationalusesandstructures

Incompatible Uses

1. Large scale residential developments including mobile homes as asingle-familydwellingunlesslocatedwithinamobilehomepark

2. Industrialdevelopments

3. Largecommercialdevelopments

Potential issues to consider

1. Potablewelllocationsandwateravailability

2. Slopes

3. Topography

4. Naturalamenitiessuchastrees,ponds,andstreams

5. Sitedrainage

6. Floodinghazards.

7. Groundwateravailability

8. Groundwatercontamination

9. Wetlands

10. Existingand/orproposedsanitarysystem

11. Wellheadprotectionareas

Special policies

1. Residential lot sizes may vary depending upon the types of sanitarysysteminstalledandthesourceofpotablewater.

2. Residentialdensitieswithinthislandusedistrictshouldbeminimal inordertoprotectagriculture.

3. Clusterdevelopmentsshouldbeconsideredand usedwhenever soils,topography,naturalamenitieswarrant.

Chapter 14: Land Use and Growth Management

River Protection Corridor

General Purpose

ThislandusedistrictisshownalongtheMiddleRiverandNorthRiver. The River Protection Corridor has the environmental objective of protecting surface water through a limited number of uses. Preserving water quality and minimizing flood hazards should be the leading priorities considering any type of land use in these areas. Developmentwithinthefloodplainshouldnotbeallowed.

Compatible uses








8. Educationalusesandstructures

9. Community/RecreationalCenter

10. Largerparkandrecreationareas

11. Miningoperations

Incompatible Uses

1. Largecommercialdevelopments

2. Largeindustrialdevelopments

3. RVStoragelocatedinthefloodplainand/orfloodway

4. Mobile homes as a single-family dwelling unless located within a mobilehomepark

Potential issues to consider

1. Potablewelllocationsandwateravailability

2. Floodway,floodplainandfloodinghazard

3. Wetlands

4. Depthtogroundwater

5. Topography

6. Naturalamenitiessuchastrees,ponds,andstreams

7. Sitedrainage

8. Groundwatercontamination

9. Existingand/orproposedsanitarysystem

10. Wellheadprotectionareas

Special policies

1. Residential lot sizes may vary depending upon the types of sanitarysysteminstalledandthesourceofpotablewater.

2. Residentialdensitieswithinthislandusedistrictshouldbeminimal inordertoprotectagriculture.

3. When a sandpit/gravel development or mining operation is proposed and the development is the proposed reclamation solution,thedensitymaybegreater.

4. Clusterdevelopmentsshouldbeconsideredandusedwhenever soils,topography,naturalamenitieswarrant.

Chapter 14: Land Use and Growth Management



General Purpose

This land use is intended to provide for residential development adjacenttoandincloseproximitytothemunicipalitiesandhighways where conditions prove favorable. Industrial or commercial uses of any size should not be permitted and buffers in the residential land use area would be critical. Lot size requirements would be based upon the capacity of the area to provide potable water and to properly handle sanitary waste systems. However, it is intended that moredenselydevelopedareaswouldbeconnectedtoaruralwater district.

Compatible uses

1. Residentialuses

2. Lowdensityresidentialdevelopments

3. Acreagesandassociatedaccessoryuses

4. Religioususesandstructures

5. Educationalusesandstructures

6. Cropproduction,includinggrazinglands

7. Community/RecreationalCenter/Recreationalfacilities

8. Renewableenergysourcesataresidentialscale

9. Homeoccupations

Incompatible Uses

1. Livestockoperations

2. Largecommercialdevelopments

3. Mobile homes as a single-family dwelling unless located within a mobilehomepark

4. Industrialdevelopments

Potential issues to consider

1. Potablewelllocationsandwateravailability

2. Floodplainandfloodinghazard

3. Slopes

4. Proximitytoexistinglivestockfacilities

5. Wetlands

6. Depthtogroundwater

7. Topography

8. Naturalamenitiessuchastrees,ponds,andstreams

9. Sitedrainage

10. Existingand/orproposedsanitarysystem

11. Wellheadprotectionareas.

Special policies

1. Residential lot sizes may vary depending upon the types of sanitarysysteminstalledandthesourceofpotablewater.

2. Residentialdensitieswithinthislandusedistrictshouldbeminimal inordertoprotectagriculture.

3. Clusterdevelopmentsshouldbeconsideredand usedwhenever soils,topography,naturalamenitieswarrant.

4. The development should incorporate the natural environment,

Chapter 14: Land Use and Growth Management

including existing slopes, existing trees, existing waterways, etc. intotheoveralldesign.

Urban Residential

General Purpose

This district is intended to provide for residential development with densities similar to those found in incorporated communities. Developments in these areas will need to be connected to a community water and/or sanitary system. Ideally, as development occurs these areas will be served by local municipal utilities and annexed when eligible to be included in the corporate limits. This type of development should have immediate access to major highwaysorpavedcountyroads.

Compatible uses

1. Residentialuses

2. Religioususesandstructures

3. Educationalusesandstructures

4. Community/RecreationalCenter/Recreationalfacilities

5. Homeoccupations

Incompatible Uses

1. Smallandlargecommercialdevelopments

2. Mobile homes as a single-family dwelling unless located within a mobilehomepark

3. Industrialdevelopment

Potential issues to consider

1. Wateravailabilityandconnections

2. Floodplainandfloodinghazard

3. Slopes

4. Proximitytoexistinglivestockfacilities

5. Wetlands

6. Depthtogroundwater

7. Topography

8. Naturalamenitiessuchastrees,ponds,andstreams

9. Sitedrainage

10. Sanitarysewer

11. Wellheadprotectionareas.

Special policies

1. Residential lot sizes may vary depending upon the types of sanitarysysteminstalledandthesourceofwater.

2. Densityoflotscouldbesimilartoanadjacentcommunity.

3. Cluster developments should be considered and required in this landusearea.

4. The development should incorporate the natural environment, including existing slopes, existing trees, existing waterways, etc. intotheoveralldesign.

5. All streets/roads should be paved by the developer to meet the adjacentcommunity’sdesignguidelines/standards.

Chapter 14: Land Use and Growth Management

Commercial Land Use

General Purpose

These land use areas provide for larger commercial development where transportation routes and other conditions prove favorable. This land use is to promote agriculture, commercial and any value added agricultural industry in Madison County and to provide services and development opportunities at key locations within the County.

Compatible uses

1. Agricultural/commercialusesincludingimplementstores

2. Commercialgrainfacilities

3. Uses serving the motoring public (truck stops, convenient stores, etc.)

4. Religioususesandstructures

5. Educationalusesandstructures

6. Self-storagefacilitiesincludingrecreationalvehicles,boats,etc.

7. Community/RecreationalCenter

8. Adultentertainmentwhereappropriate

Incompatible Uses

1. Residentialdevelopments

2. Mobile homes as a single-family dwelling unless located within a mobilehomepark

3. Industrialdevelopments

Potential issues to consider

1. Wateravailabilityandconnections

2. Floodplainandfloodinghazard

3. Slopes

4. Erosioncontrols

5. Wetlands

6. Depthtogroundwater

7. Topography

8. Naturalamenitiessuchastrees,ponds,andstreams

9. Sitedrainage

10. Proposedsanitarysystem

11. Wellheadprotectionareas

Special policies

1. No minimum lot size other than adequate space for vehicular movement,parkingandsepticandwatersystems.

2. Developmentsofoneacreormoremayberequiredtomeetthe standards of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)permitting.

3. Developments creating more than a 5% increase in runoff may berequiredtoconstructadetentionbasintocontrolrunoff.

Chapter 14: Land Use and Growth Management

Industrial Land Use

General Purpose

This land use provides for industrial development to continue where transportationroutesandotherconditionsprovefavorable,including rail access. These industrial land use areas are to promote general industrial development, mining, and the ag-industry of Madison County and to provide services and development opportunities at keylocationswithintheCounty.

Compatible uses






Post-Secondary Educational uses and structures (including TechnicalTrainingCenters)




10. Salvageyardswithspecificscreeningguidelines

11. Agriculturaluses

Incompatible Uses


Mobile homes as a single-family dwelling unless located within a mobilehomepark

Potential issues to consider



3. Slopes

4. Erosioncontrols

5. Wetlands

6. Depthtogroundwater

7. Topography

8. Naturalamenitiessuchastrees,ponds,andstreams

9. Sitedrainage

10. Proposedsanitarysystem

11. Wellheadprotectionareas

Buildable Lot Policies

1. No minimum other than adequate space for vehicular movement,parkingandsepticandwatersystems.

Special policies

1. Developmentsofoneacreormoremayberequiredtomeetthe standards of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting.

2. Developmentscreatingmorethana5%increaseinrunoffmaybe requiredtoconstructadetentionbasintocontrolrunoff.

Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Land Use

General Purpose

TheParks,Recreation,andConservationlandusedistrictisestablished in order to specifically acknowledge those areas within Madison Countyprovidingspecialservicesfortheresidents,theregion,andthe state.

Compatible uses

1. Cropproduction,includinggrazinglands

2. Manure/fertilizerapplications

3. Publicrecreational,wildlifeandhistoricalareas

4. Agri-Tourism activities such as: hunting preserves, fishing, vineyardsetc.

5. Historic and conservation protection areas such as the Covered BridgesScenicBywaysandviewshedprotectionareas

6. Educationalusesandstructures

Incompatible Uses

1. Residentialdevelopments

2. Commercialdevelopments

3. Industrialdevelopments

4. Mobile homes as a single-family dwelling unless located within a mobilehomepark

Potential issues to consider

1. Wateravailabilityandconnections

2. Floodplainandfloodinghazard

3. Slopes

4. Erosioncontrols

5. Wetlands

6. Depthtogroundwater

7. Topography

8. Naturalamenitiessuchastrees,ponds,andstreams

9. Sitedrainage

10. Existingand/orproposedsanitarysystem

11. Wellheadprotectionareas

Special policies

1. No minimum lot size other than adequate space for vehicular movement,parkingandsepticandwatersystems.

Chapter 14: Land Use and Growth Management


Conservation Subdivisions

Conservation subdivisions are a development tool to help guide a mix of development and conservation of sensitive lands. The graphic above is of Dows FarminLinnCounty,Iowa.

The primary purpose of this technique in Madison County will be to encourage the conservation of critical natural amenities; while, allowing the developer to maintain a specific density of building lots. Some of these environmental elementsinclude:

• Wetlands

• Steepslopes

• Viewsheds

• Floodplains

• Streams

• Drainageways

• Naturalprairie

• Cropland


The concept allows the developer and county to negotiate the lot sizes through a plan unit development (PUD) concept. In most cases the sensitiveareasare:

• Placed in some type of conservationeasement

• Dedicatedtopublic

• Placedintrust

• The protected areas, in a majority of cases,are placed into a common area to be shared by all the residents; this in turn increases the overallvalueofthelots

• These developments are sometimes referred to as golf coursedevelopmentswithout thegolfcourse

The other form of a conservation subdivision focuses on similar principles of the previously discussed development style but allows for larger lots and requires building lots to incorporate key environmental amenities; trees, waterways, rock outcroppings, etc. into the layout and positioning of the homes and businesses in a manner requiring lessremovingofdirtandtress.


• Preserve environmental amenities such as; mature trees, native grass, wetlands, waterways, slopes, floodplains,etc

• Preserve valuable vistas and viewsheds

• Generate more income from morevaluablelots

• Become the desired location tolive


Land Use Goal and Objectives

Guiding future growth and development in Madison County in order to insure compatible uses locate together is essential during this planningperiod.

Land Use Policies and Action Items

Goal 1: TheCountywantstoprotectthe natural amenities and environmentofthecounty.

Action Items:

1. Future land uses in the county should carefully consider the existing natural resources of the area, including soils, wetlands, slopes, rivers, and groundwater.

2. Future growth and development in Madison County should work toward compact patterns of land uses.

3. The County should confine denser development to the areas identified as Urban ReserveontheCLUMPMap.

4. Madison County should consider limited future development to identified areasofthecounty.

5. All land uses and structures shouldbecarefullyreviewed forcompliancewiththeduly adopted floodplain, floodway regulations, and viewsheds in Madison County.

Goal 2:

Urban development from neighboringcountiesislimited.

Action Items:

1. Municipalities based in neighboring counties will be discouraged from urban growth without being responsible for providing servicestothearea.

2. The Madison County Land Use Plan and Zoning Regulations should be designed to expedite the review and approval process wherepossible.

3. Future land use districts on the perimeter of Madison County will be limited to agriculture, transitional agriculture; while, the CLUMP map will identify the area as either Agriculture or Transitional.

Goal 3:

Agriculture will continue to be the main economic driver in MadisonCounty.

Action Items:

1. Madison County will encourage uses referred to as “Agri-tourism” (Wineries andorchards).

2. Livestock production will be protected within the primary agricultural area from the establishment of conflicting usessuchasacreages.

3. Madison County will support agricultural production throughout the county; except where there may be potential conflicts with other policiesofthisplan.

4. Madison County will minimize encroachment of nonagricultural uses into agricultural areas using the “PrimeFarmland”designation andtheCornSuitabilityRatio.

5. Encourage low to zero nonfarm densities in prime farmland areas and other agricultural districts by

providing residential lot size requirements, densities and separation distances between residential and agriculturaluses.

6. Protect the quality of groundwater and surface waterinMadisonCounty.

Goal 4: Madison County desires to protect the quality of its surface waterinthecounty.

Action Items:

1. The North and Middle Rivers willbeprotectedwithaRiver ProtectionCorridor

2. Due to the soils and flooding occurring the River Protection Corridor will limit hazardous uses within the Corridor.

3. The establishment of chemical storage facilities including the manufacturing of chemicals should not be allowedinthisarea.

4. Existing uses within these Corridors having a high contaminate potential should be relocated to a more suitable location when possible.

5. The County should work to discourage any permanent structures within any floodwayareaofthecounty.

Goal 5: Residential development in MadisonCountywillbelimitedto specific areas in order protect agriculture and other natural andenvironmentalamenities.

Action Items:

1. Residential developments should be separated from more intensive uses, such as agriculture, industrial, and commercial development, by the use of setbacks, or bufferzones.

2. Establish a maximum Corn Suitability Ratio (CSR) for the purpose of protect agricultural uses from nonfarm residential development.

3. Encourage low to zero nonfarm densities in prime farmland areas with CSR’s above70.

4. Establishminimumresidential lot size requirements and proper separation distances between residential and agriculturaluses.

5. Establish maximum residential densities within the Agricultural and Transitional Agricultural Districts.

6. Develop subdivision regulations to provide a quality living environment while avoiding inefficient and expensive public infrastructureexpansions.

7. New residential developments should include a subdivision agreement, which provides for the maintenance of common areas, easements, groundwater, use of plant materialsanddrainage.

8. Establish zoning and subdivision design standards requiring buffers, screening standards and functional usablegreenspace,fornew developments.

9. All proposed rural area developments should be based on reasonable expectations and no largescale development should beapprovedwithout:

• The submission and approvalofalayoutand designconcept

• The approval of all federal and state agencies relative in any applicablehealth,safety

and environmental controls

• Demonstration of the financial capacity (escrows, performance bonds, etc.) and responsibility of the applicants to complete the development and provideforoperationand maintenanceservices

• Suited to the area or site proposed for development

• Not located in any natural hazardarea,such as a floodplain or floodway

• Not locatedinanareaof geologic hazard, steep slope, severe drainage problems orsoil limitations for building or subsurface sewage disposal, if relevant

• Encourageenvironmental evaluationsofimpacts

10. Implementationofaplanned unit development (PUD)/ Clustered Development/ Conservation Subdivision process providing a viable alternative to conventional urbandevelopmentpatterns.

11. Madison County should review and accommodate, wherever possible, any new or alternative development concepts or proposals, provided they are consistent with and do not compromise in any way the established dispositionoflandusesonthe Land Use Map or the goals andpoliciesofthePlan.

12. New residential construction or relocations should not be allowed along any Level B or C Road unless the road is upgraded to county specificationsandpaidforby the property owner or developer, prior to



Goal 6:

Commercial and industrial development inMadisonCounty willbelimitedtospecificareasin order protect agriculture and other natural and environmental amenities, as well as avoiding conflicts with residential developments.

Action Items:

1. Encourage commercial and industrialusestolocatewithin the urban communities of MadisonCountyoralongthe majorhighways.

2. Utilize frontage roads within clustered commercial and industrial developments when locating along major roads/highways.

3. Commercial and industrial uses should be required to provide their own adequate water supply without negatively impacting existing neighboringproperties.

4. Landscapingstandardsforall new commercial and industrial use as well as expansion to existing operations should be implemented.

5. Whereindustrialusesneedto locate in the rural areas of the county and need rail access, the county should work with Iowa Interstate Railroad to identify strategies forspurlines/sidetracks.

6. Industrial development not utilizing rail transport should be discouraged from locating next to a railroad right-of-way.

7. Heavy industrial uses with a high water and/or waste disposal requirement should be encouraged to locate or relocate only in or immediately adjacent to

urban areas where all required services are available.

Goal 7:

Parksandrecreationin Madison County will be protected during theplanningperiod.

Action Items:

1. Create recreational and educational opportunities from the protection of specific view sheds and habitat protection areas/ corridors.

2. Work with the historic preservation community on mini county parks centered on the Covered Bridge Scenic Byway and the remainingbridgelocations.

3. Continue to provide educational opportunities within the parks of Madison County in order to expand the appreciation of the natural/scenic assets of the county.

4. Work with local farms to develop opportunities for peopletobetterunderstand the importance of agricultural lands and the production of food for not only Madison County but theworld.

5. Work with the existing county parks system, municipal parks systems in the county, and the covered bridges to develop acounty-widesystemofday trip trails including all forms of transportation (motor vehicles, bicycles, off-road vehicles,etc.)

Goal 8:

Historic preservation and conservation of historic propertieswillbecomecriticalin thefutureinMadisonCounty.

Action Items:

1. Develop a zoning overlay district limiting commercial advertising, signage, and set design standards (implementingdesignreview) for new development along the Covered Bridges Scenic Byways route to protect its aestheticresources.

2. Continue to inventory and qualify local historic, natural, cultural, and aesthetic resources and make it publiclyavailable.

3. Create a set of guidelines and an informational document pertaining to the use of planned unit developments and how they may be used to modify zoning and subdivision regulations to preserve and protect existing historic, natural, cultural, and aesthetic resources during development and into the future.

4. Protect all rural covered bridges and the adjacent ground with a conservation zone crafted as an overlay district to limit development near them and protect their adjacentviewsheds.

5. Establish a zoning overlay district and design review processtoprotectviewsheds, especially those considered iconic, such as that south of ClarkTower.

6. Support ongoing efforts to preserve Madison County’s unique historical, natural, cultural, and aesthetic resources and the sharing and education about these resources with visitor and residents.

Goal 9:

Conservation of natural and environmentally sensitive areas are key to maintaining the characterofMadisonCounty.

Action Items:

1. The County should continue to support the recreational potential of the area and work with existing property owners to establish specific eco-tourismopportunities.

2. Craftconservationbaselevel zoning for our primary streams and water ways to protect them from modification, depredation, anddevelopment.

3. The County will establish protections for the headwaters of streams and riverswithinMadisonCounty.

4. The County will identify key wildlife habitat within their boundaries.

5. The County will give consideration to any developments impact on wildlife habitat including nestingareasandcorridors.

6. Conservation easements should be encouraged to protect farmland as biodiverse areas, farmland, andslopesintothefuture.

7. Support added capacity and necessary additional resources to the Madison County Conservation Board tobecomeaviableholderof Madison County ConservationEasements.

8. Workwithresidentswithinthe community to develop a land trust tailored to holding a variety of conservation easements within the county and potentially directly adjacenttothecounty.

9. Develop a roadside vegetation management system to aid in protecting

Chapter 14: Land Use and Growth Management

unique habitat (or biotic) resources.

10. Protect old forest growth in MadisonCounty.

11. Require rural land owners to adequately treat wastewater.

12. Require septic systems to be setbackfromwaterbodies.


Chapter 15 Transportation


Transportation networks are the lifeblood of America, especially intheGreatPlains.Thesesystems includetheinterstatesystem,the federal and state Highway systems, county roads, railroads, and airports. These systems are responsible for moving people from point A to point B and beyond.

Transportation networks tie communities together as well as providing a link to the outside world. Adequate circulation systemsareessential forthesafe and efficient flow of vehicles and pedestrians, as well as accessibility to all parts of the county. This chapter identifies existing systems and those necessary to provide safe and efficient circulation of vehicles withinMadisonCounty.

Existing Systems and Facilities

Residents within a county have specific transportation needs. These include bus service, air transportation, and vehicular transportation.

Bus Service

Local Transit Madison County residents are servedwithlocaltransitviaHeart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency (HIRTA)whichprovidesserviceto a seven county region including Madison County, Boone County, Dallas County, Jasper County,

Marion County, and Warren County.

HIRTA provides low cost transportation services to the residents in their service area. Approximately 90% of riders are inWinterset.

Commercial Bus Service

The closest bus service is in Des Moines via Greyhound. Greyhound has routes serving all directions from Des Moines. In addition to Greyhound, Burlington Trailways also offers busservicefromDesMoines.

Commercial Airport Service

Des Moines International Airport

Des Moines International Airport the nearest commercial airport (approximately 30 miles) from Winterset. It is the largest commercial airport in Iowa and serves 24 cities with non-stop flights. In 2019, the facility had its largest number of passenger serving over 2.9 million passengers.

Small Craft Public Airports

Winterset Municipal Airport

The Winterset Municipal Airport (3Y3)isageneralaviationfacility locatedtwonauticalmiles(4km) north of the business district of Winterset, the county seat of Madison County, Iowa. Winterset Municipal Airport covers an area of 33 acres (13 ha) at an elevation of 1,115 feet (338m)abovemeansealevel.It has one runway designated 14/32 with an asphalt surface measuring3,000by50feet(914x 15 m). It is owned by the WintersetAirportAuthority.

The Winterset Airport is open 24 hours, seven days a week with pilot controlled-lighting on 122.7

and PAPI lights on runway 14 and runway 32. Avgas is credit card self-service, jet fuel is by truck during attended hours or bypriorappointment.

Source: Winterset Municipal Airport –Municipal Airport in Winterset, Iowa (

At the time of this plan, the airport was in the process of expandingandremodelingthe facilities. This includes a new 5,500 feet north/south runway 18and36.

State and Federal Highways

Madison County is served by Interstate 80, which connects East and West. A mile east of thecountyisInterstate35.

Besides the Interstate system, Madison County is serves by US

Highway 169 which runs north/ south through the county. In addition, Iowa Highway 92 passes east/west through the county. Within Madison County, there are numerous county highways connecting communities and major points of interest in the county. Madison County has a total 104 miles of paved roads and over 900 miles ofgravel roadswithinthecounty roadsystem.

Historical Auto Routes

The State of Iowa has identified HistoricalAutoRoutesinthestate by county. Madison County has fivesuchroutes.Theseroutesare:

• AyrAirLine-U.S.169

• IOAShortLine-Iowa92

• The Great White Way (White Pole Route) -County Road G14

Figure 15.1: Winterset Municipal Airport
Source: Google Earth Chapter

• Tourists’Trail -CountyRoadR35andG-68

• Wilson Highway - Iowa 92, CountyRoadP-69,andG-53

Ayr Air Line

No details are available on this highway other than it can be seen on an old 1919 Iowa road map.

IOA Short Line

Registered January 8, 1924, the route from Davenport to Council Bluffs covered a distance of 330 miles. The letters I.O.A. do not mean anything except that when spoken they sound like the nameofthestate.

The Great White Way

Registered July 30, 1914, the route from Davenport to Council Bluffstotaled340miles.Itwasthe firstroutetogetacertificatefrom the Highway Commission. It was alsoofmilitaryimportance.

Tourist Trail

Registered March 23, 1917, the route started in Mount Ayr and ended in Des Moines and coveredadistanceof92miles.

Wilson Highway

Registered September 13, 1918 and amened on June 24,1920, the route was named for Woodrow Wilson and began at theIowa/MissouriStateLinesouth ofBedfordandtravellednorthto Emmons, Minnesota. The route was approximately 273 miles long.

All of the historical auto routes informationwasderivedfromthe 1914-1925 Iowa Registered HighwayRoutespdf.

Chapter 15: Transportation

Source: 1914-1925.pdf (

Veteran’s Parkway in Madison County

Veteran’s Parkway in the Des Moines Metro Area has been designed as a corridor south of Interstate 80 in the general metropolitan area. Some portions are becoming more urbanized as developments begin to locate along the corridor. A portion of this Parkway is located in northern MadisonCounty.

Madison County believes the portion located within their county should remain as a rural segment, paying homage to the rural character once seen along the western edge of the DesMoinesMetro.Itisimportant to the residents of Madison County for this portion of their county to remain rural and an example of the wonderful landscape and ecosystems once found across Central Iowa.


Bridges, county bridges, in Madison County are maintained by the County Engineer’s Office/ Secondary Roads Department. Onthecountyroadsystemthere are 245 bridges. Bridges on the state and federal highway system are maintained by Iowa DepartmentofTransportation.

Transportation Planning and Land Use

Land use and transportation planning create the pattern for future development; both are interdependent on one another in order to effectively shape a community. An improved or new transportation route generates a greater level of accessibility and will likely determine how adjacent land will be utilized in thefuture.

Figure 15.3: Historic Auto Trails 1914-1925
IOA Short Line
Wilson Highway
Tourist Trail
Great White Way

Intheshortterm,landuseshapes the demand for transportation; one key to good land use planning is to balance land use and transportation. However, neworimprovedroadsaswellas county and state highways may change land and property values, thus altering the intensity ofwhichlandisutilized.

In general, the greater the transportation needs of a particularlanduse,thegreaterits preference for a site near major transportationfacilities.

Commercial activities are most sensitive to accessibility since theirsurvivaloftendependsupon how easily a consumer can get tothebusiness.Thus,commercial land uses are generally located near the center of their market area and along highways or at theintersectionofarterialstreets.

Industrial uses are also highly dependent on transportation access - but in a different way. For example, visibility is not as criticalforanindustryasitisfora retail store. Industrial uses often needaccesstomorespecialized transportation facilities, which is why industrial sites tend to be located near railroad lines or highways to suit individual industrialuses.

Street and Road

Classification System

Roads are classified into multiple functionalareas.


Major roadway with or without medians accommodating large volumes of traffic with limited access. Primarily used for safe progression of through traffic. Typically controlled by federal or stategovernment.

Source: Bridge Conditions in the MPO (

Major Arterial:

Major street with or without medians accommodating high volumes of traffic and controlled access. Primarily used for safe and efficient circulation of high volumes of traffic between sections of the city or county as well as across the urbanized area. Typically is not intended for direct access toanabuttingproperty.

Minor Arterial:

Streets with moderate volumes oftrafficandcontrolledaccess. Direct access to abutting properties is allowed. Primarily used for safe and efficient circulation of traffic between areas and across the city/ county.


Street with low traffic volumes and unlimited access. Primary use is for circulation within an areaandbetweendifferentland uses. Collectors distribute traffic from local street to arterial streets. Direct access should be limited.

Figure 15.4: Bridge Conditions in Madison County Chapter

Local Street: Streets with low volume of traffic, slow design speeds, and unlimited access. Primarily used for direct access to abutting properties.

Transportation Policies and Action Items

General Transportation Madison County should continue to provide a safe and adequate road system throughout the county.


1. Development should be discouraged from occurring in areas where the road systemisinsufficienttohandle any additional traffic load without upgrades being completed.

2. Madison County should requirenewdevelopmentto:

• Minimize direct access points onto arterial rightsof-way by encouraging the utilization of common driveways or service roads

• New development should not be located along roads officially designated as Area Service “B” and “C” roads.


Chapter 16 Implementation

Achieving the County’s Future

Successful community plans have the same key ingredients: "2% inspiration and 98% perspiration." This section of the plan contains the inspiration of the many county officials and residents who have participated in the planning process. However,the ultimate success of this plan remains in the dedication offered by each and everyresident.

There are numerous goals and objectives in this plan. We recommend reviewing the relevant goals during planning and budget setting sessions to determine what projects may need to be undertaken during thecourseofthefiscalyear.

Action Agenda

The Action Agenda is a combinationofthefollowing:

• Goals and policies found throughout the various Chapters

• LandUsePolicies

• Support programs for the aboveitems

It will be critical to earmark the specificfundstobeusedandthe individuals primarily responsible for implementing the goals and objectivesinMadisonCounty.

Support Programs for the Action Agenda

Four programs will play a vital role in the success of Madison County’s plan. These programs are:

• Zoning Regulation Updates: updated land use districts can allow the county to provide direction for future growth

• Subdivision Regulation Updates: establish criteria for dividing land into building areas, utility easements, and streets. Implementing the Transportation Plan is a primary function of subdivisionregulations

• Plan Maintenance: anannual andfive-yearreviewprogram will allow the county flexibility in responding to growth and a continuous program of maintaining the plan's viability

• Strategic Plan: A Strategic Planwouldassistinidentifying future strategies for development that will tie into the overall planning effort of thecounty.Itwillbecriticalto work with this document and theplaninunison

Other key Tools for Implementing the Policies of this Comprehensive Plan

Zoning Overlay Districts

A regulatory tool that creates a special zoning district, placed over an existing base zone(s), whichidentifiesspecialprovisions in addition to those in the underlying base zone. The overlay district can share common boundaries with the base zone or cut across base zone boundaries. Regulations or incentives are attached to the overlay district to protect a specific resource or guide development within a special area.

Zoning overlay district can be usedtoprotectnaturalresources by managing development in or near environmentally sensitive areas, such as groundwater recharge areas (to ensure water quality and quantity), special habitat (species or feature protection) or floodplains (prevent flood damage). Common requirements may include building setbacks, density standards, lot sizes, impervious surface reduction and vegetation requirements. Structure requirements could include building floor height minimums and flood-proofing to high water level. The county might use incentives to encourage desirable development densities, target uses, or control appearance. Overlayzonesmaybeappliedto protect historical areas and/or encourage or discourage specific types of development. Land within the historic overlay district may be subject to requirements that protect the historical nature of the area

(materials, facade design, or color).

Conservation Easements

A voluntary legal agreement that permanently limits some specified uses of the land in to protect a specific attribute and retain private ownership. The legal agreement with a landowner, must be between a qualified conservation group (usually a land trust), or in Madison County’s case the County Conservation Board (IA Code 457.A1). Conservation easements can be used to permanently protect attributes, including the natural, cultural, historic and scenic attributes of theland.

When a landowner grants a conservation easement, they retain many land ownership rights while voluntarily giving up others(likedevelopmentand/or mining) that could negatively impact the site’s conservation values. The easement document, which is binding to thecurrent ownerandall future owners, is filed with the county recorder. The easement holder accepts the responsibility of monitoringthelanduseintothe future.

Planned Unit Development or PUD

A development tool that is not subject to the standard zoning and/orsubdivisionrequirements, but instead works with the county government to develop criteria that will determine common areas, private areas and building guidelines. This development tool could be utilized in Madison County to preserve a historic structure(s) such as barns for use as a community center, or to

preserve elements of a crop field, pasture, or natural area from development while still allowing the developer to have a viable project. In essence, allowing for growth and preservationsimultaneously.

For example, if a developer wanted to develop a 40-acre section, and housing density for this parcel required a 5-acre minimum, theywould be legally allowed eight parcels. However, 10 acres of the original 40 acre parcel had a feature that Madison County deemed worth protecting (old growth forest, prairie remnant, picturesque pasture, or historic site), the county could use a PUD to allow the developer to still build eight units on the remaining 30 acres, thus allowing for a minimum lot size reduction to 3.75 acres instead of five in exchange for protecting the desirable element through provisions in their association agreement or even the use of a conservation easement. Planned Urban Developments can be used to strike a balance between protection and development and should be used to give Madison County maximum flexibility to preserve its historic, cultural,andnaturalassets.

Conservation Zoning

A tool used to protect natural resources, areas of historical and cultural value, and aesthetic resources. A conservation zone can be structured as a stand-alone zone or as a zoning overlay district.It isoften usedinlimiting development in floodplains, or to restrict densities in areas with unique aesthetic resources, unique biotic communities, or

on steep terrain. Conservation zonescanbetailoredtoaddress specific points of concern and can even protect existing structures and uses of a property within the zone. The restrictions imposed by a conservation zone are usually tied to addressing very specific concerns. If the scopeoftheconservationzoneis not specific, it can be overly burdensometothelandowner.A conservation zone may also be used to limit developments that radically alter the existing use of an area. Conservation zoning provides a highly flexible tool when applied in a focused matter to address a specific resourceorpointofconcernand canincludedesignreviewbythe planning and zoning board on futuredevelopment.

Design Review

Thepracticeofexaminingpublic and private projects for their aesthetic, architectural, or urban design quality and compatibility with nearby development. Design review focuses on the appearance of new construction, site planning, and such concerns as landscaping, signage, and other aesthetic issues. Design review typically involves reviewing development projectsfortheirconsistencywith an area, district, or zone’s adopted standards or criteria addressingcommunitycharacter and aesthetic quality. Design review can be incorporated as an element of zoning overlay districts, planned unit developments, or conservation zoning as mentioned earlier. Administering the review process can be done by a zoning administrator and/or their staff or by the planning and zoning board.

Design review follows a set of design elements, called guidelines or standards. These guidelines/standards are often createdtopreserveorenhance the character of an area, the creation of the guidelines is typically the result of a public input or planning process. It is important that this process be specific and not overly vague, otherwise it will not stand-up to legal challenge. Implementing design review helps maintain continuity around specific identified resources and represents a process tool that will serve as a component of largerzoningefforts.

Comprehensive Plan Maintenance

Annual Review of the Plan

A relevant, up to date plan is criticaltotheon-goingplanning success. To maintain both public and private sector confidence; evaluate the effectiveness of planning activities;and,mostimportantly, make mid-plan corrections on theuseofcountyresources,the plan must be current. The annual review should occur duringthemonthofJuly.

After adoption of the comprehensive plan, opportunities should be provided to identify any changes in conditions that would impact elements or policies of the plan. At the beginning of each fiscal year a report should be prepared by the Zoning Administrator and Zoning Commission, which provides information and recommendationson:

• Whether the plan is current inrespecttopopulationand


• The recommended goals, objectives, and/or policies are still valid for the county anditslong-termgrowth

The Zoning Commission should hold a meeting on this report in orderto:

• Provide citizens or developers with an opportunity to present possible changes to the plan

• Identify any changes in the status of projects called for intheplan

• Bring forth any issues, or identify any changes in conditions, which may impact the validity of the plan

If the Zoning Commission finds major policy issues or major changesinbasicassumptionsor conditions have arisen which could necessitate revisions to the comprehensive plan, they should recommend changes or further study of those changes. This process may lead to identificationofamendmentsto the comprehensive plan and would be processed as per the proceduresinthenextsection.

Methods for Evaluating Development Proposals

The interpretation of the comprehensive plan should be composed of a continuous and related series of analyses, with references to the goals and policies, the land use plan, and specific land use policies. Moreover, when considering specific proposed developments, interpretation of the comprehensive plan should includeathorough review ofall sections. Chapter 16:

If a development proposal is not in conformance or consistent with the policies developed in the comprehensive plan, serious consideration should be given in determining if the proposal presentsapublicbenefitinorder topursueamendingtheplan.Ifit is not in the general public’s interest then the plan should remainasis.

The following criteria should be used to determine if a comprehensive plan amendmentwouldbejustified:

• The character of the adjacentarea

• The impact on the existing and future ecosystems, as wellas,historicproperties

• The impact on the overall character of the existing landscape

• The zoning and uses on nearby properties and impactsonthesame

• The suitability of the property for the uses allowed under the current zoning designation

• The type and extent of positive or detrimental impact affecting residents, adjacent properties, or the countyatlarge,iftherequest isapproved

• The impact of the proposal on utilities, public facilities, andotherinfrastructure

• Thelengthoftimethesubject and adjacent properties have been utilized for their currentuses

• The benefits of the proposal to the public health, safety, and welfare compared to the hardship imposed on the applicant iftherequest isnot approved

• Comparison between the existing land use plan and the proposed change regarding the relative conformance to the goals andpolicies

• Consideration of county staffrecommendations

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