Comprehensive Land Use Plan

Land Use Plan

What is the Comprehensive Land Use Plan?

It is a blueprint that guides the future development, growth and protection of resources in the communities across the county. It takes into account the vision, aspirations, values and needs of residents, businesses and visitors and relates those to the appropriate uses of land by those who live, work, recreate and visit St. Louis County.

Why is it important to me?

It is used as a guide to decide:

  • where residential and business growth may occur
  • what types of businesses and jobs may be encouraged
  • what types of housing may be built in the community
  • how to protect the environmentally sensitive areas
  • what values should be reflected in the character of the community


How is it used?

The Plan sets the framework for:

  • the county’s land use pattern
  • where development may occur
  • what types of uses are allowed

It provides for:

  • the basis of building set backs
  • height
  • land alterations
  • screening
  • sign standards
  • protection of lakes, streams and wetlands
  • other development regulations

It is the foundation for:

  • the county’s zoning
  • development review
  • policy
  • other county ordinances

Who decides what the plan says?

  1. St. Louis County residents (the community), through a comprehensive participation process, decide what goes into a plan
  2. The Planning Commission, which represents county residents, will review the plan, hold public hearings, and make recommendations to the County Board
  3. The County Board will review the plan, hold public hearings, and make the final decision on the adoption of a plan

Statute Requirements

Minnesota Chapter 394.23 promote:

  • the health, safety and general welfare of the community
  • provide guidelines for the timing and sequence of the adoption of official controls to ensure planned, orderly and staged development and redevelopment consistent with the comprehensive plan
  • shall apply to the use of land for both private and public purposes

Township Zoning Administration

  • Townships that administer zoning regulations must be consistent with county controls and administration
  • Townships that administer their zoning, may adopt a comprehensive land use plan for their township, but must demonstrate that the township plan is as restrictive as the county’s plan
  • These plans will be recognized by reference in the county’s comprehensive land use plan