What are your concerns about where you live? Having diverse transportation options? Protecting natural resources and agricultural lands? Sources for alternative and renewable energy? Jobs?  corn harvest SBell

If you live in Linn County, you have a say in whatever cause you choose. The county is updating its Rural Land Use plan, with an open house scheduled for Thursday, March 14, 2013. Read on for more about the comprehensive plan and this event:

You can help with the final steps in creating Linn County’s new comprehensive plan. Learn about the plan and provide your input at a public open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14, in the lower level of the Jean Oxley Public Service Center, 935 Second Street SW, Cedar Rapids. The open house will feature

•     Brief presentations at 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

•     Opportunities to ask questions and share your thoughts

•     Self-guided learning displays

•     Light refreshments.

If you are unable to attend the open house you may submit comments online by visiting here.

Linn County began updating the Rural Land Use Plan in the fall of 2010. The update effort, “A Smarter Course,” builds on the “Chart the Course” planning theme associated with the current plan that was adopted in 2000. While the new plan will still incorporate the basic framework of the older plan, the new plan will be significantly more comprehensive.

The updated plan will reflect new state legislation, the Iowa Smart Planning Principles. The legislation includes ten Smart Planning Principles and thirteen Plan Elements that cities and counties “shall consider and may apply” when preparing comprehensive plans. Linn County’s plan addresses all of the Smart Planning elements and principles outlined in the legislation. A side-by-side comparison of the Iowa Smart Planning Principles and the plan elements that will be included in Linn County’s updated plan is shown below.

Iowa Smart Planning Principles


  1. Collaboration
  2. Efficiency, Transparency, and Consistency
  3. Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy
  4. Occupational Diversity
  5. Revitalization
  6. Housing Diversity
  7. Community Character
  8. Natural Resource and Agricultural Protection
  9. Sustainable Design
  10. Transportation Diversity

Linn County’s “A Smarter Course” Plan Elements


  1. Alternative and Renewable Energy
  2. Economic Development and Employment Opportunities
  3. Hazard Planning
  4. Livable Communities
  5. Resource Protection
  6. Sustainable Development
  7. Transportation



County residents and groups have been involved in the update process through multiple public input sessions. A Steering Committee and seven work groups have been guiding county staff to use this input and other research to draft the new plan.

Attend the open house on March 14 to share your thoughts about the draft! For more information about the Rural Land Use Plan update process, including how you can become involved, please visit our website by clicking this link.