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February 01, 2007

Kalona Introduction

Kalona is a charming historic community that proudly occupies the crossroads of Iowa State Highways 1 & 22 in north central Washington County. Kalona is about 15 miles from Iowa City and the Cedar Rapid/Iowa City Technology Corridor; an area that provides the entire region with diverse, competitive, and cutting edge opportunities for business growth. This regional growth is backed by excellent educational institutions that provide the skill-sets necessary for future technology growth and a robust workforce. Over the passed decade the region surrounding the Technology Corridor has seen substantial and sustained growth, in both commerce and population, and the community of Kalona has felt the impacts of that regional growth.

Kalona’s recent growth, which is untypical for many rural communities in Iowa of similar size, has at been primarily fueled by a segment of the regional population growth that includes families. These families are generally seeking the unique qualities of small, more rural, communities; qualities that Kalona has imbedded in its roots and that continue to flourish across the community. Between 1990 and 2000, Kalona’s population increased by 18%, the total number of dwelling units increased by 27%, and the community has taken careful and thoughtful steps to accommodate for this growth by improving both infrastructure and public facilities over the past few years.

As Kalona continues to grow the available amount of developable land within the city limits, as well as demands on community resources, will continue to be affected by the impacts of growth. RDG Planning and Design has been chosen by Kalona to assist in accurately observing, carefully considering, and adequately resolving these growth issues through the creation of a new comprehensive plan. Comprehensive planning is an excellent and proven process that allows a community to provide itself with a vision and then a plan to sustain that collective vision through future growth. RDG Planning and Design has extensive experience in community comprehensive planning and is dedicated to assisting the community of Kalona in providing its citizens with a strategic document that is truly a plan for Kalona’s future. At the end of the process, Kalona will have a comprehensive plan that adequately addresses the planning and growth issues facing the community, provides a context for making the best development decisions, presents a guide for development policy, serves as a tool to guide Kalona’s priorities and directions in both land use planning and capital investment.