Planning Resources

Submittal schedules

Building permit data

Community profile and demographics


Interactive maps

These applications use data stored in our geographic information system (GIS). Property information, construction projects, maximum building height, Land Use Guide Plan and zoning information are just some of the great tools for use at this link.

Permit application and forms

Permits and their associated handouts are linked below. Some projects need more than one permit. For more information on the subject, contact the Planning Division at 952-563-8920.

Planning fee schedule

Planning procedure FAQs

How can I find development standards applicable to my project in order to comply with the City Code?

Planning staff is available to help you determine any setback, parking or other standard/special requirements for your property. You can contact us by phone at 952-563-8920, by email (, or by stopping by the Planning Division Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. To 4:30 p.m.

How do I file Final Site and Building Plans for my project?

Final site and building plan (FS&BP) approval is required in all zoning districts prior to the issuance of any permit for a new building, building addition, parking lot expansion or site characteristic modification, except single family dwelling and accessory structures for a two family dwelling are exempt.  FS&BP may be approved administratively or require a hearing at the Planning Commission, City Council or both.  City staff reviews all final site and building plans and make recommendation for any changes administratively or to the Planning Commission.  Additional development standards may be added by condition to assure that the proposed development is compatible with adjacent land uses.  Check out City Code Section 21.501.01 for more information on Final Site and Building Plans.

  • Information on Plan submission requirements
  • Development application review handout
    Summary of the process and procedures that govern development applications.
  • Flow chart of the Public Hearing process
  • Download an application (Online submittal required - call (952) 563-8920 to discuss an application before proceeding)

What is a Conditional Use Permit?

A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is described in Section 21.501.04.  A CUP is processed by the Planning Division.  A CUP process reviews property uses which may be appropriate in a specific Zoning District but are not allowed as a matter of right.  CUP’s are attached to the land rather than the user or property owner. Restaurants are common CUP application as they have a variety of characteristics, such as parking, odor control and access, which require a site by site review to determine the appropriateness for the use in a specific location.  Hotels, for example, may be required to obtain a CUP when locating in an I-3 zoning district. In order to receive a CUP, property owners must submit an application and supporting documentation.  Only the Planning Commission and City Council may grant CUP’s, and only after a public hearing has been held.  Applicants for CUPs are required to attend hearings to present their applications.

The CUP process takes from six to eight weeks, depending on the public hearing schedule.  Whether you are a home occupation or an international business looking for a place to settle in Bloomington, you should contact Planning Division (952) 563-8920 or to find out the requirements for your intended location.

What is a variance?

The City Code establishes standards for development.  These standards regulate the development and use of the property including but not limited to buildings size and setbacks, yard area, landscaping, parking, access and circulation, driveways, signs, fences, trash storage, lighting, height, and potential effects on adjacent properties.  The regulations, primarily in the Zoning Ordinance, are written in a general manner, and apply to all properties equally.

City ordinance provides relief from the Zoning Ordinance requirements in unusual circumstances.  The process used to grant relief is called a variance.  The variance process requires property owners submit a development application with supporting documentation including but not limited to a recently completed lot survey with the variance request shown, building elevations, and a written narrative.  Only the City Council may grant variances after a public hearing has been held.  Applicants for variances are required to attend hearings to present their applications.  The variance process takes from five to eight weeks, depending on when the required (Planning Commission vs. Hearing Examiner) public hearing is held.

Contact the Planning Division at (952) 563-8920 or for more information.

What is a Zoning Letter? What information will be provided to me if I request one? Is there a guarantee for the accuracy of information provided?

A basic Zoning Letter informs a potential buyer on what uses are allowed based on the current zoning and property past history on file.  Depending on the information required, a basic Zoning Letter may provide information on legal land uses, zoning, FIRM information, zoning district performance standards, and any development history on-file.  A basic Zoning Letter does not provide a performance standard review.  A basic Zoning Letter is valid for six months from the date of issuance.  The 2021 basic Zoning Letter fee is $100 payable at the time of the request.  While we strive to accomplish a five day turnaround, dependent upon staff work load this may take up to three weeks.

Once the basic Zoning Letter is completed, a representative may request a detailed performance standard review which may include a site visit.  A performance standard review is a review of Zoning standards only with no engineering, building or fire performance standards review.  The 2021 fee for a Zoning performance standard review is $131 plus $56 per hour for each hour (or portion thereof) over 2 hours.  The review request must be accompanied with an as-built survey and plans detailing the performance standards review requested.  For example, required parking analysis required detailed use information for the building and parking layout, a landscape review must include an existing conditions landscape survey, a lighting review must include as-built photometric plans (exterior lighting), a setback reviews require an Alta survey, and etc…

City staff researches all information on file as accurately as possible and assumes no liability for errors or omissions. All information is obtained from public records which may be inspected during regular business hours.

To request a zoning letter you may mail a check and letter of request to:

Planning Division
City of Bloomington
1800 West Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN 55431

Residential property FAQs

Can I expand my driveway using rock or gravel instead of asphalt?

Driveway areas used for the access and parking of vehicles are required by the City to be asphalt, Portland cement concrete, bituminous concrete, blacktop or equivalent paving.  A driveway permit is required for driveway replacement or expansion. See Sections 17.13 and 21.301.06 of the City Code for further information.

Can I park my truck on my lot?

Motor vehicle classification and regulations are contained in Section 21.301.06(m) of the Code for Non-residential vehicles.

How do I find my property lines?

The City of Bloomington does not provide a service to survey the property or establish property lines.  Property lines may be located by:

  1. Contacting the City Planning Division to determine whether the City may have as-built survey information for your property.  A majority of the records are pre-built surveys which can help identify the lot line;
  2. Finding your "corner pins" and verifying that they are correct (this may require a surveyor); or
  3. Contacting a private land surveyor. A survey is required for exact placement and for all variance requests.  To remain objective, city staff cannot recommend any one survey company over another.

How do I get setback information for my property?

Most setback information is contained in Section 21.301.02 of the City Code. Generally speaking, most single-family residential structures must be setback at least 30 feet from the front yard lot line, 30 feet back from the rear yard lot line, and 10 feet back from the side lot lines. Side yard setbacks increase where a dwelling in greater than 24 feet in height.  Side yards adjacent to a street frontage generally must have a 30 foot yard. Front, side, and rear setbacks are determined by house placement/orientation and are kept on file by the Planning Division.

How do I get zoning information for my property?

The current zoning map and our interactive zoning tool are available online. Zoning maps are also available for purchase. You may also call the Planning Division for more information.

I would like to operate a business in my home. Do I need a permit?

The City of Bloomington allows a variety of home occupations as permitted accessory uses in many zoning districts.  However, retail, manufacturing, or repair, are generally not permissible.  To learn about permitted uses and home occupation/business performance standards, see Section 21.302.13 of the City Code.

Contact the Planning Division at (952) 563-8920 or for more information.

I want to put an addition/deck/garage on my home. Do I need a permit? What steps do I have to take?

City Code Sections 19.08 (decks), Section 21.301.02, and Section 21.301.19 regulate the number, size, location and appearance of all buildings accessory to and detached from principal buildings within the City.  These regulations generally apply to all detached structures, including but not limited to garages, carports, storage buildings, gazebos, screen houses, sheds, play houses and similar structures.  Covered but open porches are governed by Section 19.08 (scroll down to (d)(14)).

Contact the Planning Division at (952) 563-8920 or for more information.

Additional information and regulations for additions to your house, decks, and fences can also be obtained through the City's Building and Inspections handouts page.

Where can I store my boat/ trailer/ RV?

The City has determined that excessively large vehicles or an excessive number of vehicles at one house has a negative effect on the residential quality of neighborhoods. Section 21.301.13 of the City Code provides a clear and balanced set of rules for the parking, storage and number of recreational vehicles.

PDF icon Recreational Vehicles.pdf

Where can I store my firewood?

Section 19.50.01 of the City Code regulates for the storage of firewood. Firewood must be stored in stacks, not to exceed six feet, be kept a minimum of eight inches above the ground, 15 feet away from property lines, and out of the front yard. Following these regulations will help maintain a safe and orderly City.

City code and charter

Sign Placement and Usage FAQs

How much does a permanent sign permit cost?

The cost of a permanent sign permit varies based on the number and type of sign.  There is a sign permit application (review) fee required as part of any permit application.  If an application is found to be in compliance, a sign permit fee is payable prior to final approval.  Fees are below do not included the $1 State of Minnesota surcharge:

Sign permit application review fees:

  • 1 sign $50.00
  • 2 to 5 signs $100.00
  • 6+ signs $160.00

Permanent Sign permit fees

  • Wall and freestanding signs $110.00 each
  • Awning/canopy w/sign $50.00  each
  • Incidental/accessory sign/directional sign $20.00  each

Contact the Planning Division at (952) 563-8920 or for more information.

What is a Uniform Sign Design (USD)?

A USD is a written and graphical document which sets forth criteria for uniformity of all signs on a specific site.  The City Code provisions are general, while the USD specifies the signage allowed by the Code as it applies to a particular building or project.  It does not provide City Code flexibility and may even be more restrictive.  All multi-tenant non-residential buildings require a USD if they wish to exhibit signage for more than a single tenant on the site.  In addition, single tenant uses, such as hotels, motor vehicle sales, service stations, and any office building over seven (7) stories also require a USD.  A new USD application fee is $100 and revision application fee cost is $50.

Contact the Planning Division at (952) 563-8920 or for more information.

What is the process for acquiring a sign permit?

Sign permit application is available through the Planning portal. User registration is required before application can be completed. A complete submission must include:proposed placement, elevation measurements, setback measurements, diagram for connection, and a listing of all materials. Once Planning receives a sign permit application through the portal, it is reviewed for completeness and accuracy. Once approved, Planning will contact the applicant when the proper fees have been calculated.

City Charter and Code

What kind of paperwork is required when applying for a sign permit?

The required paperwork will depend on the type of sign proposed. Necessary documentation may include scaled drawings, elevation measurements, lettering measurements, and setback information. If the sign is proposed for a property with a Uniform Sign Design, extra documentation may be necessary.  Sign permit require registration and submittal through the online portal (paperless submittal process).  Please call (952) 563-8920 or e-mail for more information.

When are permanent sign permits required?

Generally, all business signs require a sign permit before installation. The permit fee is listed in Section 14.03. Some signs are exempt from the requirement of obtaining a sign permit and from the payment of a permit fee including construction signs less than 32 square feet, garage sale signs less than six square feet, home improvement signs, home security signs, interior signs, and special temporary signs to announce employment.

If you are unsure whether or not the type, size or placement of your sign may be in violation of the City Code, please contact the Planning staff at 952-563-8920.

Where can I get a copy of a property’s USD (Uniform Sign Design)?

Planning currently has copies of all approved Uniform Sign Design. Please contact Planning at 952-563-8920 if you are looking for a specific USD.  These are mostly paper documents with larger scale attachments that can't be copied or mailed.  Tenants of commercial buildings should contact the property owner/manager before contacting City offices.

Where can I place a sign?

Signs can be placed in many locations throughout the City of Bloomington. All signs must be placed within the property on which the advertised use is located. To find out whether the placement of your sign is legal, check out the following links: