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2004 Minnesota Statutes

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462.357 Official controls: zoning ordinance.

Subdivision 1. Authority for zoning. For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare, a municipality may by ordinance regulate on the earth's surface, in the air space above the surface, and in subsurface areas, the location, height, width, bulk, type of foundation, number of stories, size of buildings and other structures, the percentage of lot which may be occupied, the size of yards and other open spaces, the density and distribution of population, the uses of buildings and structures for trade, industry, residence, recreation, public activities, or other purposes, and the uses of land for trade, industry, residence, recreation, agriculture, forestry, soil conservation, water supply conservation, conservation of shorelands, as defined in sections 103F.201 to 103F.221, access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems as defined in section 216C.06, flood control or other purposes, and may establish standards and procedures regulating such uses. To accomplish these purposes, official controls may include provision for purchase of development rights by the governing body in the form of conservation easements under chapter 84C in areas where the governing body considers preservation desirable and the transfer of development rights from those areas to areas the governing body considers more appropriate for development. No regulation may prohibit earth sheltered construction as defined in section 216C.06, subdivision 14, relocated residential buildings, or manufactured homes built in conformance with sections 327.31 to 327.35 that comply with all other zoning ordinances promulgated pursuant to this section. The regulations may divide the surface, above surface, and subsurface areas of the municipality into districts or zones of suitable numbers, shape, and area. The regulations shall be uniform for each class or kind of buildings, structures, or land and for each class or kind of use throughout such district, but the regulations in one district may differ from those in other districts. The ordinance embodying these regulations shall be known as the zoning ordinance and shall consist of text and maps. A city may by ordinance extend the application of its zoning regulations to unincorporated territory located within two miles of its limits in any direction, but not in a county or town which has adopted zoning regulations; provided that where two or more noncontiguous municipalities have boundaries less than four miles apart, each is authorized to control the zoning of land on its side of a line equidistant between the two noncontiguous municipalities unless a town or county in the affected area has adopted zoning regulations. Any city may thereafter enforce such regulations in the area to the same extent as if such property were situated within its corporate limits, until the county or town board adopts a comprehensive zoning regulation which includes the area.

Subd. 1a. Certain zoning ordinances. A municipality must not enact, amend, or enforce a zoning ordinance that has the effect of altering the existing density, lot-size requirements, or manufactured home setback requirements in any manufactured home park constructed before January 1, 1995, if the manufactured home park, when constructed, complied with the then existing density, lot-size and setback requirements.

Subd. 1b. Conditional uses. A manufactured home park, as defined in section 327.14, subdivision 3, is a conditional use in a zoning district that allows the construction or placement of a building used or intended to be used by two or more families.

Subd. 1c. Amortization prohibited. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, a municipality must not enact, amend, or enforce an ordinance providing for the elimination or termination of a use by amortization which use was lawful at the time of its inception. This subdivision does not apply to adults-only bookstores, adults-only theaters, or similar adults-only businesses, as defined by ordinance.

Subd. 1d. Nuisance. Subdivision 1c does not prohibit a municipality from enforcing an ordinance providing for the prevention or abatement of nuisances, as defined in section 561.01, or eliminating a use determined to be a public nuisance, as defined in section 617.81, subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (9), without payment of compensation.

Subd. 1e. Nonconformities. Any nonconformity, including the lawful use or occupation of land or premises existing at the time of the adoption of an additional control under this chapter, may be continued, including through repair, replacement, restoration, maintenance, or improvement, but not including expansion, unless:

(1) the nonconformity or occupancy is discontinued for a period of more than one year; or

(2) any nonconforming use is destroyed by fire or other peril to the extent of greater than 50 percent of its market value, and no building permit has been applied for within 180 days of when the property is damaged. In this case, a municipality may impose reasonable conditions upon a building permit in order to mitigate any newly created impact on adjacent property.

Any subsequent use or occupancy of the land or premises shall be a conforming use or occupancy. A municipality may, by ordinance, permit an expansion or impose upon nonconformities reasonable regulations to prevent and abate nuisances and to protect the public health, welfare, or safety. This subdivision does not prohibit a municipality from enforcing an ordinance that applies to adults-only bookstores, adults-only theaters, or similar adults-only businesses, as defined by ordinance.

Subd. 1f. Substandard structures. Notwithstanding subdivision 1e, Minnesota Rules, parts 6105.0351 to 6105.0550, may allow for the continuation and improvement of substandard structures, as defined in Minnesota Rules, part 6105.0354, subpart 30, in the Lower Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway.

Subd. 2. General requirements. (a) At any time after the adoption of a land use plan for the municipality, the planning agency, for the purpose of carrying out the policies and goals of the land use plan, may prepare a proposed zoning ordinance and submit it to the governing body with its recommendations for adoption.

(b) Subject to the requirements of subdivisions 3, 4, and 5, the governing body may adopt and amend a zoning ordinance by a majority vote of all its members. The adoption or amendment of any portion of a zoning ordinance which changes all or part of the existing classification of a zoning district from residential to either commercial or industrial requires a two-thirds majority vote of all members of the governing body.

(c) The land use plan must provide guidelines for the timing and sequence of the adoption of official controls to ensure planned, orderly, and staged development and redevelopment consistent with the land use plan.

Subd. 3. Public hearings. No zoning ordinance or amendment thereto shall be adopted until a public hearing has been held thereon by the planning agency or by the governing body. A notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing shall be published in the official newspaper of the municipality at least ten days prior to the day of the hearing. When an amendment involves changes in district boundaries affecting an area of five acres or less, a similar notice shall be mailed at least ten days before the day of the hearing to each owner of affected property and property situated wholly or partly within 350 feet of the property to which the amendment relates. For the purpose of giving mailed notice, the person responsible for mailing the notice may use any appropriate records to determine the names and addresses of owners. A copy of the notice and a list of the owners and addresses to which the notice was sent shall be attested to by the responsible person and shall be made a part of the records of the proceedings. The failure to give mailed notice to individual property owners, or defects in the notice shall not invalidate the proceedings, provided a bona fide attempt to comply with this subdivision has been made.

Subd. 4. Amendments. An amendment to a zoning ordinance may be initiated by the governing body, the planning agency, or by petition of affected property owners as defined in the zoning ordinance. An amendment not initiated by the planning agency shall be referred to the planning agency, if there is one, for study and report and may not be acted upon by the governing body until it has received the recommendation of the planning agency on the proposed amendment or until 60 days have elapsed from the date of reference of the amendment without a report by the planning agency.

Subd. 5. Amendment; certain cities of the first class. The provisions of this subdivision apply to the adoption or amendment of any portion of a zoning ordinance which changes all or part of the existing classification of a zoning district from residential to either commercial or industrial of a property located in a city of the first class, except a city of the first class in which a different process is provided through the operation of the city's home rule charter. In a city to which this subdivision applies, amendments to a zoning ordinance shall be made in conformance with this section but only after there shall have been filed in the office of the city clerk a written consent of the owners of two-thirds of the several descriptions of real estate situate within 100 feet of the total contiguous descriptions of real estate held by the same owner or any party purchasing any such contiguous property within one year preceding the request, and after the affirmative vote in favor thereof by a majority of the members of the governing body of any such city. The governing body of such city may, by a two-thirds vote of its members, after hearing, adopt a new zoning ordinance without such written consent whenever the planning commission or planning board of such city shall have made a survey of the whole area of the city or of an area of not less than 40 acres, within which the new ordinance or the amendments or alterations of the existing ordinance would take effect when adopted, and shall have considered whether the number of descriptions of real estate affected by such changes and alterations renders the obtaining of such written consent impractical, and such planning commission or planning board shall report in writing as to whether in its opinion the proposals of the governing body in any case are reasonably related to the overall needs of the community, to existing land use, or to a plan for future land use, and shall have conducted a public hearing on such proposed ordinance, changes or alterations, of which hearing published notice shall have been given in a daily newspaper of general circulation at least once each week for three successive weeks prior to such hearing, which notice shall state the time, place and purpose of such hearing, and shall have reported to the governing body of the city its findings and recommendations in writing.

Subd. 6. Appeals and adjustments. Appeals to the board of appeals and adjustments may be taken by any affected person upon compliance with any reasonable conditions imposed by the zoning ordinance. The board of appeals and adjustments has the following powers with respect to the zoning ordinance:

(1) To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that there is an error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative officer in the enforcement of the zoning ordinance.

(2) To hear requests for variances from the literal provisions of the ordinance in instances where their strict enforcement would cause undue hardship because of circumstances unique to the individual property under consideration, and to grant such variances only when it is demonstrated that such actions will be in keeping with the spirit and intent of the ordinance. "Undue hardship" as used in connection with the granting of a variance means the property in question cannot be put to a reasonable use if used under conditions allowed by the official controls, the plight of the landowner is due to circumstances unique to the property not created by the landowner, and the variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the locality. Economic considerations alone shall not constitute an undue hardship if reasonable use for the property exists under the terms of the ordinance. Undue hardship also includes, but is not limited to, inadequate access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems. Variances shall be granted for earth sheltered construction as defined in section 216C.06, subdivision 14, when in harmony with the ordinance. The board of appeals and adjustments or the governing body as the case may be, may not permit as a variance any use that is not permitted under the ordinance for property in the zone where the affected person's land is located. The board or governing body as the case may be, may permit as a variance the temporary use of a one family dwelling as a two family dwelling. The board or governing body as the case may be may impose conditions in the granting of variances to insure compliance and to protect adjacent properties.

Subd. 6a. Normal residential surroundings for handicapped. It is the policy of this state that handicapped persons and children should not be excluded by municipal zoning ordinances or other land use regulations from the benefits of normal residential surroundings. For purposes of subdivisions 6a through 9, "person" has the meaning given in section 245A.02, subdivision 11.

Subd. 7. Permitted single family use. A state licensed residential facility or a housing with services establishment registered under chapter 144D serving six or fewer persons, a licensed day care facility serving 12 or fewer persons, and a group family day care facility licensed under Minnesota Rules, parts 9502.0315 to 9502.0445 to serve 14 or fewer children shall be considered a permitted single family residential use of property for the purposes of zoning, except that a residential facility whose primary purpose is to treat juveniles who have violated criminal statutes relating to sex offenses or have been adjudicated delinquent on the basis of conduct in violation of criminal statutes relating to sex offenses shall not be considered a permitted use.

Subd. 8. Permitted multifamily use. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision 7 or in any town, municipal or county zoning regulation as authorized by this subdivision, a state licensed residential facility serving from 7 through 16 persons or a licensed day care facility serving from 13 through 16 persons shall be considered a permitted multifamily residential use of property for purposes of zoning. A township, municipal or county zoning authority may require a conditional use or special use permit in order to assure proper maintenance and operation of a facility, provided that no conditions shall be imposed on the facility which are more restrictive than those imposed on other conditional uses or special uses of residential property in the same zones, unless the additional conditions are necessary to protect the health and safety of the residents of the residential facility. Nothing herein shall be construed to exclude or prohibit residential or day care facilities from single family zones if otherwise permitted by a local zoning regulation.

HIST: 1965 c 670 s 7; 1969 c 259 s 1; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1973 c 379 s 4; 1973 c 539 s 1; 1973 c 559 s 1,2; 1975 c 60 s 2; 1978 c 786 s 14,15; Ex1979 c 2 s 42,43; 1981 c 356 s 248; 1982 c 490 s 2; 1982 c 507 s 22; 1984 c 617 s 6-8; 1985 c 62 s 3; 1985 c 194 s 23; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 333 s 22; 1989 c 82 s 2; 1990 c 391 art 8 s 47; 1990 c 568 art 2 s 66,67; 1994 c 473 s 3; 1995 c 224 s 95; 1997 c 113 s 20; 1997 c 200 art 4 s 5; 1997 c 202 art 4 s 11; 1997 c 216 s 138; 1999 c 96 s 3,4; 1999 c 211 s 1; 2001 c 174 s 1; 2001 c 207 s 13,14; 2002 c 366 s 6; 2004 c 258 s 2

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