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Draft Design Guidelines Receive Thumbs-Up from Steering Committee 

Next Stop: Planning + Zoning Commission, Then City Council

Hello Historic West Des Moines:

Yesterday evening, the Steering Committee for the Historic West Des Moines Master Plan Update unanimously recommended pages 1-40 of the Draft Design Guidelines, which focus on the Mixed Use Commercial District. Next step is to present the guidelines to the Planning and Zoning Commission on February 14th, then City Council on February 21st. The Draft Guidelines can be viewed here; this page will be updated with latest versions as the document is finalized. Please subscribe for updates via the homepage.

We want to thank everyone who has been involved in this process to date. As was cited at yesterday’s meeting, these guidelines are rooted in the community. The extensive feedback, direction, and design preferences shared by local residents, businesses, and stakeholders – paired with steady review and thoughtful discussion by the steering committee is what shaped the recommendations of the guidelines.

As highlighted in an article by the Des Moines Register:

After nearly three hours of discussion and debate Wednesday, a committee of Valley Junction business owners, residents and developers unanimously agreed on a new set of design guidelines for the historic district. West Des Moines resident Mitchell Callahan, who sits on the steering committee, said he’s happy with the direction his fellow members took on the guidelines. 

“We’re going to have an eclectic, cohesive, historic district that’s moving into a good future,” he said.

MJ Hoag, who attended the meeting, said he thought the guidelines were “reasonable.”“I wanted to be here because I grew up here and I live here now and it’s important how the area evolves,” he said.

– Article in the Des Moines Register


In addition to presenting the guidelines to the Planning + Zoning Commission and City Council, zoning updates are an integral next step, along with reviewing the remaining chapters of the draft guidelines that focus on the Transitional District and Railroad Avenue District.

Thank you to the Historic West Des Moines community for coming together in this effort. These past few months of hard work have resulted in guidelines that celebrate the historic, eclectic, charm of Historic West Des Moines, and will help continue to shape this character moving forward.

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