City of Grant Procedures & Policies

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Table of Contents

  1. General City Information
  2. Summary of Development Review Process
  3. Presentation Outline
  4. Procedure for Processing a Conditional Use Permit (CUP)
  5. Procedure for Processing a Subdivision Application
  6. Procedure for Processing a Variance Request

See Separately: Grant Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, Shoreline Ordinance, Septic and other Ordinances; Timelines Resolution, Fee Schedule.

This manual is intended to be a guide for applicants. It is not intended to be a substitute for the Comprehensive Plan or City Ordinances. Please also refer to those documents.

1. General Information

  1. Pre-Application Meetings: Applicants are encouraged to have an informal discussion with the City Clerk about their application. This helps avoid delays and improves efficiency of processing the correct applications. If the application is of a complicated nature, the City Clerk may elect to get limited advice from the City Planner, and/or suggest the applicant appear informally before the Planning Commission or City Council for pre-application review.
  2. All Planning Commission and City Council meetings are held at the Grant Town Hall, 8380 Kimbro Ave. North. Meetings start at 7:00 PM. See the current yearly calendar for specific meeting dates.
  3. Applications involving platting or subdivisions, conditional use permits, variances and other zoning issues require review by both the Planning Commission and the City Council in addition to the City Planner and others as dictated by specific ordinances.
  4. Notification of Meetings: See the Grant Calendar for the dates and times of City meetings. It is the responsibility of the applicant to stay informed of the agenda. Both City Council and Planning Commission agendas are on the answering machine at 651-426-3383 at least one week prior to the meeting, or you may consult with the City Clerk during business hours. Failure of the applicants to appear when scheduled on a given agenda may cause the item to be continued or denied by the Planning Commission or City Council.
  5. Accurate Information: The applicants are solely responsible for providing correct and complete information for staff review. Although this is generally true of all information related to the application, it is especially true of boundary surveys, legal descriptions, and information related to the control of land. Inaccurate or incomplete information can not only delay the processing of a petition, but can also negate action taken by any of the City governmental bodies.
  6. The City has these references for sale: Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and the Subdivision Ordinance. Other ordinances such as the Shoreland, Floodplain and the Septic Ordinance are available at the Washington County department of H.E.L.M.

2. Summary of Development Review Process

  1. The applicant obtains a copy of the application, required submittals, and other appropriate forms from the City Clerk.
  2. The applicant prepares the necessary information and plans for a formal submittal to the City Clerk. All submittals must be complete and accurate. Failure to provide a complete and/or accurate package may result in delays of one month or more.
  3. Once the applicant has submitted the necessary information and prepared the required plans, formal submittals will be received by the City Clerk. The applicant is responsible for submitting thirty (30) copies.
The City will notify the following agencies of the proposed project by distributing copies to:
  • Washington County Public Works
  • Washington County Soil & Water
  • MN Dept. of Transportation
  • all Watershed Districts
  • MN Department of Natural Resources
  • Army Corps of Engineers, and
  • MN Pollution Control Agency.
Copies will also be given to the:
  • Grant Mayor & City Council
  • Planning Commission
  • Engineer
  • Planner
  • Attorney an
  • Clerk.
The Applicant shall make application to appropriate permitting agencies as may be required.
 
In order to allow time for staff review, and 10-day public notice, the complete application must be filed according to the dates indicated on the City Calendar to be on the Planning Commission agenda.
 
Should alterations or additions be required, the applicant will be contacted and informed as to the nature of the requested changes and the reasons that have led to them. The City Planner and Engineer (if required) prepare a written report to the Planning Commission, City Council and the applicant.
  1. The item will then be considered by the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission may take one of the four actions regarding a project. These four actions and the applicants’ responsibilities in each case are outlined below:
  1. The Item is Approved as Presented: If the Planning Commission recommends approval of the proposal exactly as it is presented, it will be considered by the City Council at their next meeting (usually eight days after the Planning Commission meeting, check current calendar).
  2. Item is Approved by the Planning Commission and Recommended to the City Council, Pending Additional or Revised Submittals. Sometimes, items are approved and recommended to the City Council, pending the revision of portions of the proposal, the submittal of additional information, or staff or consultant’s approval of revised plans. When this occurs, it is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain all the necessary plans and information before presentation at the City Council meeting.
  3. Planning Commission Continuation of Consideration of the Item Pending Submittal of Additional Information or Revisions in the Proposal. Items may be continued by the Planning Commission pending the submittal of additional information or the revision of portions of a project. In this case, it is the responsibility of the applicant to make all of the necessary submittals to the City Clerk no later than two weeks prior to the next meeting. The Clerk will distribute copies to members of the Planning Commission, City Council, the Planner, Engineer and Attorney.
  4. Planning Commission Recommendation of Denial of the Proposal as Presented: If the Planning Commission’s recommendation is for denial, the petitioner will be given an opportunity to present his/her case to the City Council if desired or they may withdraw their application. The item automatically be put onto the Council’s agenda unless the Applicant requests otherwise.
The Planning Commission is an advisory body appointed by the City Council. The recommendations of the Planning Commission may or may not be followed by the City Council. 

3. Presentation Outline

The applicant or their representative are required to attend the Planning Commission and City Council meetings on the nights that concern their project. When called on, the applicant may present a succinct description of the project, using the following outline as a guide where appropriate.
  1. Who you are, and your relationship to the item discussed
  2. Tell about the Property (Bring survey, sketches, photos etc.) Give the location, identify access points to the property, identify features of the property such as slopes, water bodies etc.
  3. Tell about the Proposal. Describe number of buildings and their square footage, describe landscaping, and describe other items referred to by corresponding ordinance
  4. Summary and Conclusions Answer questions from the audience and/or governing body 

4. Procedure For Processing A Conditional Use Permit

The purpose of the conditional use permit (CUP) is to provide the City with the discretion and flexibility to achieve the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan and to determine what, if any, uses other than those specifically permitted in the City codes may be suitable within the City zoning districts.
 
Conditional uses as listed the zoning ordinance shall be considered only if they support the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Plan; protect and enhance Grant's rural character; serve, in a general way, the needs of the citizens of Grant; and do not negatively affect the general welfare, public health and safety. The mere fact that a use is listed in the ordinance does not imply that the use is appropriate for your location.
 
The applicant shall have the burden of proving that the proposed use is suitable and that all of the standards set forth have been met. See the zoning ordinance for specific standards and requirements. If a use is deemed suitable, reasonable conditions may be applied to issuance of a conditional use permit and a periodic review of said permit may be required.
 
Application for a conditional use permit or an amended conditional use permit shall be filed with the City Clerk. In addition to required fees, the application shall be accompanied by development plans for the proposed use showing such information as may be reasonably required by the City, including but not limited to those items on the checklist. Such plans shall contain sufficient information for the community to determine whether the proposed development will meet all applicable development standards. The CUP process will follow the "Summary of Development Review Process", as detailed in section IV of this Manual.

5. Procedure For Processing A Subdivision Application

Is it a Minor or Major Subdivision?
 
Any subdivision containing not more than two lots fronting on an existing street, not involving any new street or road, or the extension of municipal facilities, or the creation of any public improvements, and not adversely affecting the remainder of the parcel or adjoining property, and not in conflict with any provisions or portion of the Comprehensive Plan, Official Map, Zoning Ordinance or Subdivision Ordinance may be treated as a Minor Subdivision. All other subdivisions are Major Subdivisions.
 
Flow Of The Minor Subdivision Application Process:
 
Pre-Application Review Minor Subdivision considered by Planning Commission and City Council as outlined in the "Summary of Development Review Process" section of this manual.
 
Flow Of The Major Subdivision Application Process:
 
Pre-Application Review Concept Approval / Sketch Plan (optional step)è Preliminary Plat Reviewè Final Plat Review
 
Pre-Application Review (Minor And Major Subdivision)
 
Applicants are encouraged to have an informal discussion with the City Clerk about their application. This helps avoid delays and improves efficiency of processing the correct applications. If the application is of a complicated nature, the City Clerk may elect to get limited advice from the City Planner, and/or suggest the applicant appear informally before the Planning Commission or City Council for pre-application review.
 
For Minor or Major Subdivisions: The applicant should begin by contacting the City Clerk and will receive a copy of the application and may purchase references that will be necessary to complete his submittals. When application is made, the applicant should be prepared to pay the application fees. The City Clerk will prepare the adjacent property owner list and send out notifications of the public hearing. During the City’s review process, the applicant should be submitting the plat to the County and other organizations as necessary (ie. DNR, Watershed Districts..). This must be completed prior to the City’s release of the final plat documents.
 
Major Subdivision: Concept Approval / Sketch Plan
 
After application is made and fees are paid, Concept Approval may be pursued. Concept Approval is a voluntary first step intended to ensure that all applicants are informed of the procedural requirements and standards of Grant’s ordinances and Comprehensive Plan. It is intended to save both the applicant and the City time, energy and finances. The applicant should prepare a Sketch Plan using the guidelines in the Subdivision Ordinance, and then meet with the City Planner. Notify the City Clerk (heeding the application dates on the City Calendar) when you are ready to be on the Planning Commission agenda for public hearing and review.
 
Major Subdivision: Preliminary Plat Review
 
The procedure for processing a Preliminary Plat is essentially the same as that which is outlined under the "Development Review Process" in section IV of this manual. The approval of the Preliminary Plat requires a minimum of one public hearing and review with the Planning Commission and one meeting with the City Council. A summary of the basic submittals required to complete the Preliminary Plat application are in the subdivision ordinance, and in the zoning ordinance.
 
Major Subdivision: Final Plat Review
 
The final plat will be reviewed by at least the City Engineer, Attorney, and Planner. After approval by these individuals, the item will be placed on the City Council agenda for Final Plat approval. After Council approval, the final plat documents (hardshells) will be executed by the City officials and released to the applicant following satisfactory completion of contracts, payments of all fees and assessments, posting of bonds, etc.

6. Procedure For Processing A Variance Request

In cases where the City Council finds that extraordinary hardships or practical difficulties may result from the strict compliance with the performance standards contained in the Zoning Ordinance, a variance may be granted. The variance procedures are intended to allow some relaxation in the application of the performance standards within the zoning district, such as area, location, height, or setback when there is a hardship of the land. They are not intended, nor shall they be applied to either establish or enlarge a use that is not otherwise permitted in the zoning district.
 
Applicants should begin by contacting the City Clerk to discuss their proposal, make application, pay fees and submit necessary information. The Clerk will then refer the application to the City Planner and others as necessary, as well as forwarding the application to the Planning Commission and City Council. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and review the variance proposal and forward their recommendation to the City Council. The City Council will have the final decision on granting or denying the variance. The Council may add restrictions to the variance at their discretion. No re-application by a property owner for a variance shall be submitted to the Council within a twelve month period following a denial of such a request unless the Council feels new evidence or change of circumstances has occurred. The Council may revoke a variance if any conditions established as part of granting the variance request are violated.
 
In order to recommend approval of a variance request, the Planning Commission and City Council shall have considered the evidence presented to it and found that:
  1. Economic, personal, and health considerations shall not constitute an undue hardship as variances are granted to the land, not to the property owner.
  2. The conditions upon which the request for a variance are based are unique to the property for which it is sought and are not generally applicable to the other properties in the same zone or vicinity, and result from the particular shape, topography, or other natural characteristics of the land and are not due to action taken by the property owner/applicant.
  3. The granting of the variance will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare; the variance will not alter the essential character of the locality, for example, it will not impair an adequate supply of light or air to adjacent property, or substantially increase the congestion of the public streets, or increase the danger of fire, or substantially diminish or impair property values within the neighborhood.
  4. The variance will not in any way adversely affect the purpose and intent of the Comprehensive Plan or Zoning Ordinance.
  5. The literal interpretation of the provisions of this chapter would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same district under terms of this chapter.
  6. The granting of this variance request will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by the ordinance to owners of other lands, structures, or buildings in the same district.
  7. That the variance requested is the minimum variance which would alleviate the hardship.

7. Vicinity Map

Identify the area being considered on the map.

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