Zoning Ordinance Update Project

The City of Bloomington is engaged in a multiyear effort to update its Zoning Ordinance and related City Code provisions. The current Zoning Ordinance was largely written in the 1950s and has, until recently, never been comprehensively updated. The overall project is divided into many smaller subprojects.  Each year, the City completes several subprojects.  As the update occurs, text is transitioned from Chapter 19 to Chapter 21 of the City Code.

The following projects are underway at this time:

Self-Storage Moratorium

On June 22, 2020, the City Council adopted an interim ordinance that establishes a moratorium on the development, construction, or expansion of self-storage facilities in the City.  Given the nature of self-storage as a low-employment, low-activity use, there are concerns that Bloomington is absorbing a disproportionate share of the region’s self-storage demand.  Council has directed staff to complete a planning study assessing the need for revisions to the city’s official controls.  The moratorium is scheduled to last for up to one year, but could be lifted sooner upon completion of the study and adoption of code amendments.  

Click here for case file information, uploaded documents, and meeting dates.

For more information, contact Shawn James, Planner at sjames@bloomingtonmn.gov or 952-563-8918

Food Truck Standards

At its May 18, 2020 public hearing, the City Council decided to continue indefinitely an ordinance addressing standards for food trucks.  Staff anticipates this item to be addressed once food service establishment operations begin to return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic.  To receive notifications about upcoming meeting agendas, submit your email in the E-Subscribe box in the right column.  

Potential changes include:

  • A new food truck license
  • New standards to allow food trucks to operate outside of special events (with permission of the property owner)

Click here for case file information. 

Below are materials from the May 18th City Council meeting.

Temporary Pandemic Response Housing

The Planning Commission and City Council held public hearings on November 19 and November 23, respectively, to consider proposed city code amendments related to temporary pandemic response housing.  The public hearings on this item were opened and continued by the Planning Commission and City Council on November 5 and November 9, respectively.  The original ordinance also proposed amendments to modify definitions and add penalty language.  A separate ordinance focused on these minor modifications was presented for consideration at the public hearings on November 19 and 23.  The following documents can be viewed by clicking on the links provided:  staff report 11-19-20, zoning option maps, ordinance Option A, original draft ordinance, and 11-05-20 staff report.

Miscellaneous Issues 2020

On an annual basis, staff prepares an ordinance to collectively consider multiple minor City Code amendments that relate to land use, zoning, and development.  Items included typically do not, on their own, merit the overhead that accompanies drafting, reviewing, publishing, and hearing an individual ordinance. These minor amendments are primarily intended to clarify existing provisions in more detail, assist in public understanding, and aid in enforcement. This year's ordinances include:

  • replacing “service station” with the update language “convenience facility with fuel sales,”
  • clarifying that pool equipment enclosed in building is not subject to the same setback as equipment that is not in a building,
  • clarifying Carports parking is not considered enclosed spaces,
  • clarifying that Printing and Publishing and recycling collection facilities are permitted in industrial zoning districts,
  • clarifying that driveways may encroach into the required setback when serving a legally non-conforming driveway,
  • better identifying growing season extenders in the accessory building section of the code,
  • clarifying the maximum accessory building size for manufactured home parks,
  • clarifying when recreational vehicles are vehicles eligibles for RV license by the State,
  • adding to certain actions where a $50 filing fee is required for approvals filed with the County by the City,
  • updating the Planning commissions recommendations on street layout,
  • updating language regarding towers to approving body rather than City Council,
  • clarifying enforcement of the zoning code chapters 19 and 21,   

The draft ordinances can be found here:   PDF icon Misc Issues 2020 Ordinances.pdf

The Planning Commission staff report can be found here:   PDF icon PC Staff Report Misc Issues 2020.pdf

The Planning Commission recommended approval on November 19th and a public hearing is scheduled for December 21 at the City Council. 

Completed Updates