Land Use, Development & Zoning
The City Council guides development, land use, and zoning to ensure sustainable growth through a range of mechanisms and tools. The Council’s authority includes the power to:
- Adopt, enforce, and amend or modify a comprehensive plan for development across the entire city as well as small area plans to address development within specific sections of the city;
- Make final decisions on appeals of any land use applications;
- Adopt, enforce, and amend or modify a zoning code, and to consider requested zoning changes; and
- Consider applications for vacations of public streets or alleys, historic designation of properties, historic variances, and waivers from moratoria.
The primary tools governing land use and development in the city are the comprehensive plan and the zoning code.
The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth is the City’s current comprehensive plan, adopted in 2009. This plan is the primary policy document that describes the City’s vision for growth and development, and serves as a tool to address land use and development issues in a sustainable manner. The Minneapolis Zoning Code provides a regulatory framework for the implementation of the City’s comprehensive plan in a manner that protects the health, safety, and welfare of residents.
The Community Planning & Economic Development Department (CPED) is the primary City department charged with growing a sustainable city under the Council’s direction. Its Long Range Planning Division drafts and maintains the City's comprehensive plan, small area plans, and strategic planning initiatives; conducts research; oversees the Public Art Program; guides public realm principles; guides development; and partners in implementation. The Development Services Division provides planning and zoning tools and assistance; manages zoning administration; and reviews proposed development activity in the City. CPED’s Development Services Division also supports citizen advisory bodies to the City Council on land use matters, including:
- The Planning Commission, which makes decisions regarding various land use applications and advises the City Council regarding long-range planning;
- The Heritage Preservation Commission, which works to preserve historically and architecturally significant buildings, districts and sites while allowing modifications for contemporary use; and
- The Zoning Board of Adjustment, which hears matters of zoning appeals, zoning variances, and the establishment of legal nonconforming rights.
Recommendations of these bodies are submitted to the City Council for applications for re-zonings, street or alley vacations, Zoning Code text amendments, comprehensive plan amendments, historic designations, historic variances, and waivers from moratoria. Advisory body decisions are final on all other items unless appealed. The Council’s Standing Committee on Zoning & Planning hears all land use related matters before the City Council, and provides recommendations to the City Council for its final action.
Last updated May 31, 2016