394.25 FORMS OF
Subdivision 1. Adopted by ordinance. Official controls shall be adopted by ordinance and
may include but are not limited to the features set forth in this section.
Subd. 2. Districts set by zoning ordinances. Zoning ordinances establishing districts within
which the use of land or the use of water or the surface of water pursuant to section 86B.205
for agriculture, forestry, recreation, residence, industry, trade, soil conservation, water supply
conservation, surface water drainage and removal, conservation of shorelands, as defined in
sections 103F.201 to 103F.221, and additional uses of land and of the surface of water pursuant to
section 86B.205, may be by official controls encouraged, regulated, or prohibited and for such
purpose the board may divide the county into districts of such number, shape, and area as may be
deemed best suited to carry out the comprehensive plan. Official controls may also be applied to
wetlands preservation, open space, parks, sewage disposal, protection of groundwater, protection
of floodplains as defined in section 103F.111, protection of wild, scenic, or recreational rivers as
defined in sections 103F.311 and 103F.315, protection of slope, soils, unconsolidated materials or
bedrock from potentially damaging development, preservation of forests, woodlands and essential
wildlife habitat, reclamation of nonmetallic mining lands; protection and encouragement of
access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems as defined in section 216C.06, subdivision 17;
and the preservation of agricultural lands. Official controls may include provisions for purchase of
development rights by the board in the form of conservation easements under chapter 84C in areas
where preservation is considered by the board to be desirable, and the transfer of development
rights from those areas to areas the board considers more desirable for development.
Subd. 3. In district zoning, maps. Within each such district zoning ordinances or maps may
also be adopted designating or limiting the location, height, width, bulk, type of foundation,
number of stories, size of, and the specific uses for which dwellings, buildings, and structures may
be erected or altered; the minimum and maximum size of yards, courts, or other open spaces;
setback from existing roads and highways and roads and highways designated on an official map;
protective measures necessary to protect the public interest including but not limited to controls
relating to appearance, signs, lighting, hours of operation and other aesthetic performance
characteristics including but not limited to noise, heat, glare, vibrations and smoke; the area
required to provide for off street loading and parking facilities; heights of trees and structures
near airports; and to avoid too great concentration or scattering of the population. All such
provisions shall be uniform for each class of land or building throughout each district, but the
provisions in one district may differ from those in other districts. No provision may prohibit
earth sheltered construction as defined in section 216C.06, subdivision 14, 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.
Subd. 3a. Pre-1995 manufactured home park. A county 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. 3b. Conditional uses. A manufactured home park, as defined in section
a building used or intended to be used by two or more families.
Subd. 3c. Feedlot zoning ordinances. (a) A county proposing to adopt a new feedlot
ordinance or amend an existing feedlot ordinance must notify the Pollution Control Agency and
commissioner of agriculture at the beginning of the process, no later than the notice of the first
hearing proposing to adopt or amend an ordinance purporting to address feedlots.
(b) Prior to final approval of a feedlot ordinance, a county board may submit a copy of the
proposed ordinance to the Pollution Control Agency and to the commissioner of agriculture and
request review, comment, and recommendations on the environmental and agricultural effects
from specific provisions in the ordinance.
(c) The agencies' response to the county may include:
(1) any recommendations for improvements in the ordinance; and
(2) the legal, social, economic, or scientific justification for each recommendation under
(d) At the request of the county board, the county must prepare a report on the economic
effects from specific provisions in the ordinance. Economic analysis must state whether the
ordinance will affect the local economy and describe the kinds of businesses affected and
the projected impact the proposal will have on those businesses. To assist the county, the
commissioner of agriculture, in cooperation with the Department of Employment and Economic
Development, must develop a template for measuring local economic effects and make it available
to the county. The report must be submitted to the commissioners of employment and economic
development and agriculture along with the proposed ordinance.
(e) A local ordinance that contains a setback for new feedlots from existing residences must
also provide for a new residence setback from existing feedlots located in areas zoned agricultural
at the same distances and conditions specified in the setback for new feedlots, unless the new
residence is built to replace an existing residence. A county may grant a variance from this
requirement under section 394.27, subdivision 7.
Subd. 4. Official maps. Official maps as defined in section 394.22, subdivision 12.
Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1974 c 571 s 51]
Subd. 5a. Metro counties; special areas. In counties in the metropolitan area as defined in
section 473.121, official maps may for a period of up to five years designate the boundaries of
areas reserved for purposes of soil conservation, water supply conservation, flood control, and
surface water drainage and removal.
Subd. 6.[Repealed, 1974 c 571 s 51]
Subd. 7. Specific controls; other subjects. (a) Specific controls pertaining to other subjects
incorporated in the comprehensive plan or establishing standards and procedures to be employed
in land development including, but not limited to, subdividing of land and the approval of land
plats and the preservation and dedication of streets and land for other public purposes and the
general design of physical improvement.
(b) A county must approve a preliminary plat that meets the applicable standards and criteria
contained in the county's zoning and subdivision regulations unless the county adopts written
findings based on a record from the public proceedings why the application shall not be approved.
(c) The controls may require that a portion of any proposed subdivision be dedicated to the
public or preserved for public use as parks, recreational facilities, playgrounds, trails, wetlands, or
open space. The requirement must be imposed by ordinance.
(d) If a county adopts the ordinance required by paragraph (c), the county must adopt a
capital improvement program and adopt a parks and open space plan or have a parks, trails, and
open space component in its comprehensive plan subject to the terms and conditions in this
paragraph and in paragraphs (e) through (p).
(e) The county may choose to accept a per lot cash fee as set by ordinance from the applicant
for some or all of the new lots created in the subdivision.
(f) In establishing the portion to be dedicated or preserved or the per lot cash fee, the controls
must consider the open space, park, recreational, or common areas and facilities that the applicant
proposes to reserve for the subdivision.
(g) The county must reasonably determine that it will need to acquire that portion of land for
the purposes stated in this subdivision as a result of approval of the subdivision.
(h) The fees or dedication must be fair, reasonable, and proportionate to the need created.
(i) Any cash payments received must be placed by the county in a special fund to be used
only for the purposes for which the money was obtained.
(j) Any cash payments received must be used only for the acquisition and development or
improvement of parks, recreational facilities, playgrounds, trails, wetlands, or open space. Cash
payments must not be used for ongoing operation, maintenance, or redevelopment of parks,
recreational facilities, playgrounds, trails, wetlands, or open space.
(k) The county must not deny the approval of a subdivision based on an inadequate supply of
parks, open spaces, trails, or recreational areas within the county.
(l) The county must not condition the approval of any proposed subdivision or development
on an agreement to waive the right to challenge the validity of a fee or dedication.
(m) The county must use at least 75 percent of the funds collected under this subdivision
according to the plan required in paragraph (d) in the township or city where the collection of
funds occurs. However, the township board or city council may agree to allow the county to use
these funds outside of the township or city in a manner consistent with the county parks, trails,
and open space capital improvement plan or the county parks and open space component in its
comprehensive plan. The remainder of the funds may be used by the county only for parks and
trails connectivity and accessibility purposes. The county must annually report to cities and
townships on where funds were collected and where funds were expended in the past year.
(n) Previously subdivided property from which a park dedication has been received, being
resubdivided with the same number of lots, is exempt from park dedication requirements. If, as
a result of resubdividing the property, the number of lots is increased, then the park dedication
or per lot cash fee must apply only to the net increase of lots.
(o) A county must not require a dedication of a portion of a proposed subdivision or a
payment in lieu of dedication in a town or city that has adopted a requirement to dedicate or a
payment in place of dedication as a provision of the town or city's subdivision regulations under
section 462.358, subdivision 2b, or chapter 366.
(p) A county may negotiate an agreement with a town or city to share the revenue generated
by dedicating a portion of a proposed subdivision or a payment in place of dedication.
Subd. 8. Law adopted by reference. Any statute of Minnesota, any administrative
any department of the state of Minnesota affecting the county, or any code, adopted by reference
as part of the official control. The term "code" as used herein means any compilation of rules
or standards or part thereof prepared by any governmental agency or any trade or professional
association for general distribution in printed form as a standard or model on the subject of
building construction, plumbing, electric wiring, inflammable liquids, sanitary provisions, public
health, safety, or welfare. Prior to adoption at least one copy of the statute, rule, ordinance or code
shall be marked as official copies and filed for use and examination by the public in the office
of the county auditor. Provisions of the statute, rule, ordinance, or code thus incorporated in
such ordinance by reference shall be as much a part of the ordinance as if they had been set out
in full therein.
Subd. 9. Erosion and sediment controls. Erosion and sediment controls with regard to
clearing, grading, excavation, transporting and filling of lands. Erosion and sediment controls
may include, but need not be limited to requiring the development of plans before any land
is disturbed. Plans for disturbing land may be submitted to the appropriate soil and water
conservation district for comment and review.
Subd. 10. Amendments. An amendment to official controls may be initiated by the board,
the planning commission, or by petition of affected property owners as defined in the official
controls. An amendment not initiated by the planning commission shall be referred to the planning
commission, if there is one, for study and report and may not be acted upon by the board until it
has received the recommendation of the planning commission.
History: 1959 c 559 s 5; 1963 c 692 s 3; 1969 c 777 s 2; 1974 c 317 s 1; 1974 c 571 s 12-19;
1978 c 786 s 12; Ex1979 c 2 s 39; 1980 c 509 s 151; 1981 c 356 s 248; 1982 c 490 s 1; 1985 c 248
s 70; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1990 c 391 art 8 s 44; 1994 c 473 s 2; 1995 c 186 s 119; 1997
c 200 art 4 s 4; 1997 c 216 s 135,136; 2003 c 95 s 1; 1Sp2005 c 1 art 1 s 90; 2006 c 270 art 1 s 2