Zoning Permit Information
The city requires a Zoning Permit for new or expanded driveways and fences, temporary structures, and decks that are not attached to a building and which are less than 30 inches above adjacent grade. The purpose of the permit review process is to ensure compliance with the city's zoning regulations in terms of impervious surface coverage and setbacks.
Zoning permits are reviewed and issued by the City Planner. Zoning Permits for temporary tents, canopies, and other membrane structures are also subject to the State Fire Code and must be reviewed and approved by the Fire Marshall. Please expect 3-5 business days for Zoning Permit turn around.
Contractors that are not licensed with the State (Department of Industry & Labor) are required to have a City Contractors License before doing work in the city. Contractor's licenses must be renewed annually. Separate city licenses are required for HVAC (mechanical) work, sign installation and commercial building and remodeling.
A Zoning Permit (PDF) is required for any new or expanding driveway project in the City. The following requirements will be verified as part of the Zoning Permit review process:
- Residential properties must a have a minimum of 65% landscaped lot coverage, meaning no buildings or driveways
- There are no set back requirements for driveways; however, two driveways may not be closer than 5 feet from one another, and vehicles may not be parked within 5 feet of a property line
- Gravel driveways are not permitted; driveways and parking areas must be constructed of an approved hard surface such as pavers, concrete, or bituminous
- Each residential property is allowed one curb cut
- Driveway work along a County Road may require a Ramsey County Driveway Permit in addition to a city Zoning Permit
- Driveway Handout (PDF)
Accessory Structures (Sheds) A Zoning Permit (PDF)is required for any accessory structure larger than 120 square feet and up to 200 square feet in size. A building permit (PDF) is required for any accessory structure over 200 square feet in size. Accessory structures less than 120 square feet in size do not require a permit, however, they still require that the following requirements are met. The following requirements will be verified as part of the Zoning Permit review process for accessory structures:
- The location of a accessory structure on a property must comply with the setback regulations of the underlying Zoning District. In R-1, R-2, and R-3 districts, accessory structures shall not exceed fifteen (15) feet in height or the height of the principal structure to which it is accessory, whichever is lower.
- In R-1, R-2, and R-3 Districts, accessory structures must be located behind the front façade of the principal structure either in the side or rear yard. The minimum setback for accessory structures is ten (10) feet from all rear and interior side lot lines.
A Zoning Permit (PDF)is required for any new or expanding fence project in the city. The following requirements will be verified as part of the Zoning Permit review process:
- Fences may be located up to, but not over property lines (the city recommends placing the fence a few feet back from the property line)
- The "finished" side of the fence must face outward
- Fences in side and rear yards may not exceed 6 feet in height
- Fences in front yards may not exceed 3 feet in height
- On shoreline lots, fences may not be placed within 25 feet of the ordinary high water line
- Fences Walls & Hedges Handout (PDF)
Temporary Structure Permits
A Zoning Permit (PDF)is required for all temporary structures in commercial and industrial Zoning Districts. Temporary structures may be in place for a period of up to six months. Along with the Zoning Permit application, a site plan must be provided that indicates the lot dimensions and setbacks to property lines. The following requirements will be verified as part of the Zoning Permit review process:
- The location of a temporary structure on a property must comply with the setback regulations of the underlying Zoning District
- Temporary structures may not exceed the height of the principal structure on the property.
The State Fire Code requires additional information and documentation for Zoning Permits for temporary tents, canopies, and other membrane structures. The following requirements for these types of structures are verified as part of the review process completed by the Fire Marshall:
- A detailed site plan and floor plan is required for tents, canopies, or membrane structures with an occupant load of 50 or more. The floor plan must indicate the means of egress, seating capacity, arrangement of seating, and the location and type of heating and electrical equipment.
- Structures may not be located within twenty (20) feet of lot lines, buildings, other tents, canopies or membrane structures, parked vehicles, or internal combustion engines. For the purpose of determining required distances, support ropes and guy wires are considered as part of the structure.
- An unobstructed fire break passageway or fire road of not less than twelve (12) feet wide shall be maintained on all side of the tent, canopy, or membrane structure.
- Structures shall be adequately roped, braced, and anchored to withstand the element of weather and prevent against collapsing.
- Means of egress must be in accordance with Section 2403.12.1 through 2403.12.8 of the State Fire Code.
- Exit signs must be installed at required exit doorways and where otherwise necessary to indicate clearly the direction of egress when the exit serves an occupant load of 50 or more.
- Portable fire extinguishers must be provided as required by Section 906 of the State Fire Code.
Temporary structures are allowed in all Zoning Districts for up to two (2) days in a given thirty (30) day period without a permit provided that the temporary structure is not attached to other permanent structures, is used for non-commercial purposes, and is not permanently attached to the ground.
A Zoning Permit (PDF)is required for decks that are not attached to a building and which are less than 30 inches above adjacent grade. A Building Permit is required for all other deck projects. Along with the Zoning Permit application, a site plan must be provided that indicates the lot dimensions, setbacks to property lines, and location and area of existing and proposed structures. The following requirements will be verified as part of the Zoning Permit review process:
- Residential properties must a have a minimum of 65% landscaped lot coverage, meaning areas free of structures or driveways
- Decks and steps may extend six (6) feet into the required front, side, and rear setbacks. In the R-1 District, these encroachments shall not be less than six (6) feet from any lot line. In the R-2 and R-3 Districts, decks and steps shall not be less than three (3) feet away from any lot line.
- DECK HANDOUT (PDF)