Zoning laws regulate how property is used as well as the size and location of structures or other developments on a lot. Understanding how a property is zoned and whether a use is permitted is the foundation for your project's success.
City Zoning Code also establishes standards for signage, off-street parking spaces, and certain overlay districts. Review here the General Intent of the Zoning Code, which offers the intent behind each zoning district in Saint Paul. Find out about the zoning regulations related to the district the property is in before occupying, changing use, buying, or leasing.
Saint Paul's zoning code is online at www.stpaul.gov/code. Look under Part II Legislative Code and then under Title VIII along the left side of the screen.
The authority to make zoning decisions is divided among the Zoning Administrator, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Planning Commission, and City Council.
- The Zoning Administrator, working in DSI, is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the zoning code. Zoning administration staff coordinate the site plan review process, among other responsibilities.
- The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) has seven regular members and two alternates, appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council. The BZA makes decisions on applications for zoning variances and may review appeals of the Zoning Administrator's decisions.
- The Planning Commission, staffed by the Planning and Economic Development department, is comprised of 21 members, appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by Council to advise them on planning issues. They make zoning decisions on conditional use permits, nonconforming use permits, and determinations of similar use, rezoning and variances when coupled with another zoning request. The Zoning Committee, a seven-member committee of the full commission, holds public hearings on these cases and then makes recommendations for the full commission's action.
- The City Council's main role in zoning is to review and adopt zoning text and map amendments and to hear appeals of BZA and Planning Commission decisions. Requests to change the zoning of individual properties have public hearings before the Zoning Committee of the Planning Commission and Council. The City Council makes the final decision.
Site plan applications are accepted electronically through ProjectDox; the application may be found by clicking here. Variance applications may be submitted via email at SitePlanReview@ci.stpaul.mn.us or in person at the zoning counter in the Department of Safety and Inspections, 375 Jackson Street, Suite 220.
Conditional Use Permit, Nonconforming Use Permit, Rezoning, and Subdivision applications are submitted to the Department of Planning and Economic Development, 25 W. 4th Street, Suite 1400.
Contact City zoning staff for questions about the zoning rules for a specific property. If they cannot answer your question, they’ll refer you to City staff who are able to assist. The general zoning information number is 651-266-9008. The fax number is 651-266-9009.
Zoning Districts and Overlay Districts
- General Intent of the Zoning Code
- If Zoning District is labeled CAAPB please visit this page Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board for information
- Minnesota State Fair Parking and Vending Districts
- Tree Preservation District Regulations
- Student Housing
- For information on historic properties see the Historic Preservation Commission's site
- Proposed Green Line University Avenue Commercial Development District