Ordinance No. 7 – Building & Zoning 1973

Posted on Posted in Ordinance

An ordinance regulating the use and subdivision of land and the use and location of buildings within the corporate limits of the village of Bellechester, Minnesota, and regulating the subdivision and zoning of land within the area extending two miles beyond the corporate limits.

The Village Council of Bellechester, Minnesota ordains:

SECTION I. General Provisions.

  1. Title
    This Ordinance from the date of its passage shall be known as:



  1. Purpose
    The purpose of this Ordinance is to promote the public health, safety, comfort and general welfare of the people of the Village.
  2. Legal Authority
    This Ordinance is enacted pursuant to “An Act Relating to Municipal Planning and Development and Provided for Zoning, Subdivision Regulations, and Other Official Controls, MSA 1965 Section 462.357.
  3. Compliance
    No structure located in the Village shall be erected or altered which does not comply with the regulations of this Ordinance, nor shall any structure or premises be used for any purpose other than a use permitted by this Ordinance.

SECTION II. Definitions

For the purpose of this Ordinance certain terms and words are herein defined as follows:

  • Words used in the present tense shall include the future; words used in the singular number shall include the plural and the plural the singular.
  • The word “Shall” is mandatory and not discretionary.
  • The word “May” is permissive.
  • Agriculture: The use of land for agricultural purposes, including farming, dairying, pasturage agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, viticulture and animal and poultry husbandry and the necessary accessory uses for packing, treating, and storing the produce; provided, however, that the operation of any such accessory uses shall be secondary to that of the normal agricultural activities.
  • Agricultural Building: Any structure existing or erected and used principally for agricultural purposes, with the exception of dwelling units.
  • Mobile Home: Any trailer or semi-trailer which is designed, constructed, and equipped for the use as a human dwelling place, living abode or living quarters except house trailers.
  • House Trailer: Any trailer or semi-trailer which is not more than 35 feet in length and which is designed, constructed and equipped for the use as a human dwelling place, living abode or living quarters.
  • Mobile Home Court: A parcel of land which has been planned and improved for the placement of mobile homes for non-transient use.
  • Sign: Any words, lettering, parts of letters, figures, numerals, phrases, sentences, emblems, devises, designs, trade names or trademarks by which anything is publicized and such as are commonly used to designate an individual, a firm, an association, a corporation, a profession, a business or a commodity or products and which is visible from any street and used to attract the attention of the public.
  • Structure: Anything constructed or erected with a fixed location on or under the ground. The structure is not meant to include certain fences and utility facilities as specified in Section V. of this ordinance but is intended to include private sewage treatment facilities and wells.
  • Yard: A required open space along all sides of a piece of property which shall not be used to support or entomb any structure.
  • Yard, front: A yard extending across the front line of the lot between the inner side yard lines and lying between the front line of the lot and the nearest line of the building.
  • Yard, rear: A yard extending the full width of the lot and lying between the rear line of the lot and the nearest line of the building.
  • Yard, side: A yard between the sideline of the lot and the nearest line of the building and extending from the front line of the lot to the rear yard.
  • Subdivision: The division of a parcel of land into two or more lots or parcels for the purpose of transfer of ownership or building development, or if a new street is involved, any subdivision of a parcel of land in which the parcel transferred is less than five acres in area or is less than 300 feet in width, unless:
    • Such parcel is co-extensive with a separate parcel of record at the effective date of the ordinance, or
    • An agreement to convey such a parcel has been entered into prior to such time and the instrument showing the agreement to convey is recorded in the office of the register of deed within one year, thereafter, or
    • Such parcel is co-existent with a lot unit or units described with reference to a plat or auditor’s subdivision duly filed and of record in the office of the register of deeds prior to the effective date of this ordinance, or,
    • Such parcel is co-extensive with a lot or units described with reference to a plat duly approved by the Village Council pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance and duly filed and of record in the office of the register of deeds subsequent to the effective date of this ordinance.

SECTION III. Zoning Use Districts.

  1. Definition
    For the purpose of this Ordinance the following Zoning Use Districts are hereby established.

    1. Agricultural (A)
    2. Residential (R)
    3. Commercial (C)
    4. Industrial (I)
  2. Boundaries
    The boundaries of the Zoning Use Districts identified above are hereby established as indicated on a map entitled, “Zoning Use Districts, Bellechester, Minnesota,” which accompanies and is made a part of this Ordinance. All notations, dimensions, and designations shown thereon shall be made a part of this Ordinance as if the same were all fully described herein. The map shall be duly authenticated by the Village: it shall be kept and maintained by the Village Clerk, which copy shall be the final authority: distances not specifically indicated on the map be determined by the scale of the map: and where physical or cultural features existing on the ground are at a variance with those on the map, the Village Planning Commission shall interpret the district boundaries.

SECTION IV. District Requirements

  1. The Zoning Use Districts defined in the Ordinance shall provide for the following permitted uses.
    1. (A) Agricultural
      1. All uses herein defined as agricultural, with no restrictions as to an operation of such vehicles or machinery as are incidental to such uses, provided that poultry and livestock shall be adequately housed and not be allowed to roam at large.
      2. One or two family year-round or seasonal dwellings and their normal accessory buildings.
    2. (R) Residential
      1. Single-family dwellings and normal accessory buildings.
      2. Two family dwellings
      3. Churches and other religious structures and their accessory buildings.
      4. Parks, playgrounds and elementary schools.
      5. The offices of members of recognized professions provided such professions are carried on in their respective dwellings.
    3. (C) Commercial
      All uses of a legitimate commercial nature, such as retail, wholesale, service, office, financial, recreational, professional, and lodging; provided that no industry, manufacturing or killing of poultry or livestock shall be permitted.
    4. (I) Industrial
      Any production, processing, cleaning, servicing, testing, repair or storage of materials, goods, or products.
  2. Special Uses
    No special use shall be recommended by the Planning Commission unless said Commission shall find:

    1. That the special use will not be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the immediate vicinity for the purpose already permitted, nor substantially diminish and impair property values within the general vicinity.
    2. That the establishment of the special use will not impede the normal and orderly development improvement of surrounding vacant property for uses predominate in the area.
    3. That adequate utility, access roads, drainage and other necessary facilities have been or can be provided.
    4. That adequate measures have been, or will be taken to prevent or control offensive odor, fumes, dust, noise, and vibration so that none of these will constitute a nuisance and to control lighted signs and other lights in such a manner that no disturbance to neighboring residents will result.
      1. (A) Agricultural
        1. Churches and other religious structures and their accessory buildings.
        2. Parks, playgrounds and elementary schools.
        3. The offices of members of recognized professions, provided professions are carried on in their respective dwellings.
        4. Federal, state or local government buildings and facilities.
        5. Nursing homes, hospitals or santoria.
        6. Resorts, campgrounds, and other recreation-oriented commercial uses.
        7. Mobile home courts. The individual parking of house trailers and mobile homes outside the trailer court shall be permitted only after the granting of a permit for such parking by the Village Council.
        8. Cemeteries
        9. Such other uses and structures as may from time to time be approved by the Village Council upon proper application.
      2. (R) Residential
        1. Accessory buildings other than private garages, which may from time to time be approved by the Village Council upon proper application.
        2. Nursing homes, hospitals or santoria, philanthropic or eleemosynary (not for profit) institutions except correctional institutions and animal hospitals. The appearance of the building shall be in appropriate harmony with the residential character of the area.
        3. Multi-family dwellings (apartments)
        4. Poultry and livestock providing they are adequately housed and are not allowed to roam at large and become a public nuisance and providing that a special use permit is applied for and a yearly fee of one dollar paid.
  3. Yard Areas and Setback Requirements
    1. Lot area and setback requirements for various zoning use districts are hereby established in Table 1.
    2. All lots shall front on and have egress and ingress by means of a public right of way.
    3. In cases when an accessory structure is attached to the main building, it shall comply in all respects with the requirements of the Ordinance applicable to the main building. An accessory building, unless attached to and made a part of the main building as above provided, shall not be closer than five (5) feet to the main building and no closer than three (3) feet to any lot line or public right of way, except that such accessory buildings shall not encroach upon front yards.

SECTION V. General Requirements
Pursuant to the purposes of this Ordinance, there are certain general requirements that are not provided for in Section VI. District Requirements. It is the purpose of this section to set forth these requirements.

  1. Residential Yard Storage
    In the (A) and (R) Zoning Use Districts, all materials and equipment shall be stored within a building or fully screened so as not to be visible from adjoining properties, except for the following: Laundry drying and recreational equipment, equipment temporarily being used on the premises, agricultural equipment and materials if these are used or intended for use on the premises, off-street parking or passenger automobiles and trucks.
  2. Refuse
    In all zoning use districts, all waste, debris, refuse or garbage shall be kept in an enclosed building or properly contained in a closed container designed for such purposes. The owner of vacant land shall be responsible for keeping such land free of refuse.
  3. Screening
    Where any business or industrial use (i.e. structure, parking or storage) is adjacent to property zoned for residential use, that business or industry shall provide appropriate screening along the boundary of the residential zone, but not on that side of a business or industry considered to be a front as determined by the Planning Commission.
  4. Landscaping
    In all zoning use districts, developed uses shall provide a landscaped yard along with all streets. Except for driveways and access walks, the yard shall extend along the entire frontage of the lot and along both sides of the streets in the case of a corner lot.
  5. Non-Conforming Uses
    Any lawful use existing at the time of the adoption of this Ordinance may be continued after the adoption of this Ordinance except as follows:

    1. No non-conforming use shall be renovated, expanded or reconstructed, except that it may be restored to its original use and size if damaged by any cause not to exceed fifty (50) percent of its replacement cost as satisfactorily demonstrated to the Planning Commission and the Village Council.
    2. If a non-conforming use ceases to be used and properly maintained for a period of twelve (12) consecutive months, or is changed to a conforming use, any subsequent use shall meet the requirements of the zoning use district wherein located.
    3. A non-conforming use shall not be moved to any other part of its site or to another site where it would constitute a non-conforming use.
  6. Mobile Home Courts
    No mobile home court shall be permitted within the Village unless it has been approved and licensed by the State of Minnesota and granted a special use permit under the terms of this Ordinance. The minimum size of a mobile home court shall be two acres.
  7. Mobile Homes
    1. Except as provided in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this subdivision, no mobile home or other prefabricated units shall be located within the area regulated by this ordinance unless it is so installed to conform with the provisions of this ordinance provided however, the council may grant a variance from the minimum gross floor area requirement upon such conditions as it may stipulate.
    2. Except as provided in paragraph 1 of this subdivision, at such time that a mobile home is established within the Village of Bellechester, all future mobile homes shall be located within such mobile home court, provided the facility is duly permitted, designed and maintained according to the regulations of this ordinance and to the laws and regulations of the State of Minnesota.
    3. The location of such mobile home court should be the periphery of a residential area and should be directly accessible from a major street.
  8. Campsites
    No campsite shall be permitted within the Village unless it has been approved and licensed by the State of Minnesota and granted a special use permit under the terms of this ordinance.
  9. Abandonments
    1. No use, structure, sign, vehicle, machine or any other piece or article or real estate or personal property may be abandoned or permitted, in any public or private place, because of disuse or neglect, to become unsightly or offensive to the public.
    2. Any use authorized by this Ordinance, when abandoned or discontinued shall be removed or restored to as near its original state as practicable. Non-use for a period of twelve (12) months shall be presumptive evidence of intent to abandon or discontinue.
    3. Any citizen may make a complaint to the appropriate District Court for an order of compliance with this section.
    4. The penalty for such offense shall be the obligation to remove or to correct such unsightly or offensive thing or condition or remove or restore such abandoned or discontinued use within a time to be fixed by the court, or, in the discretion of the court, the same may be ordered removed or corrected and the cost thereof assessed against the owner of such property or the real estate on which the same is found to exist, together with all costs of prosecution.
  10. Junkyards
    Junkyards, salvage yards, or automobile reduction yards shall be permitted only within the Industrial (I) district, and in no case shall they be located so as to be plainly visible from any arterial street or highway. Such junkyards shall be effectively screened on all sides by fencing, hedging or similar means so that the storage and operation is not visible from adjacent properties and streets. Non-conforming junkyards in existence at the time of the adoption of this ordinance shall be made to comply with the regulations of this ordinance within two years of the date of Ordinance passage.
  11. Signs
    1. The following signs shall be permitted within the Village of Bellechester:
      1. Signs, that be a reason of position, shape or color, would interfere with the proper functioning of a traffic sign or signal.
      2. Signs that resemble any official marker erected by a governmental agency or that display the words “Stop” or “Danger”.
      3. Flashing signs.
      4. Signs or sign structures that obstruct any window, door, fire escape, stairway or opening intended to provide light, air, ingress, or egress for any building structure. Signs painted on windows and doors are excepted.
      5. Billboards
      6. Roof signs
    2. Miscellaneous Requirements
      1. The owner, lessee or manager of any ground sign or the owner of the land on which the same is located, shall keep grass or weeds and other growth cuts, and debris and rubbish cleaned up and removed from the lot on which the sign is located.
      2. Any sign or sign structure which may be, or hereafter become, rotted, unsafe or unsightly shall be repaired or removed by the licensee, owner or manager of the property upon which the sign stands upon written notice of the Zoning Official.
  12. Farm Operation
    Farm operations in existence at the time of passage of the Ordinance shall be permitted to continue.
  13. Dwelling Below Ground Level
    No interior space below ground level shall be occupied for more than one year unless such space is part of the structure having at least one full story above ground level and having its exterior portion in a structurally finished state.
  14. Construction Within Flood Plain
    No structure shall be permitted on any land that is subject to flooding except for park or recreation structures such as picnic tables, shelters, and barbeque pits.
  15. Digging in Village Streets
    Digging in village streets shall be allowed only after issuance of a permit. All disrupted property shall be restored as close as is possible to its former condition.
  16.  Exemptions
    1. The following uses, being essential for the operation of any zoning use district are exempt from all provisions of this Ordinance and are permitted in any district; poles, towers, wires, cables, conduits, vaults, pipelines, laterals, or any other similar distributing equipment of a public utility; and provided further that fences walls, hedges, or shrubbery may be erected, placed, maintained, or grown to a height not exceeding five (5) feet unless as otherwise specified in this Ordinance.
    2. A structure may be erected on a lot having less than the established minimum area and width provided it existed under one ownership by virtue of a recorded plat or deed at the time of the passage of this Ordinance.

SECTION VI. Subdivision Requirements
Unless waived by the Village Council, no real property within the corporate limits of the Village of Bellechester and within the area extending two miles beyond such corporate limits shall be subdivided and offered for sale or a plat recorded in a Preliminary Plat and a Final Plat have been reviewed and approved by the Village Council as having fulfilled the requirements of this Ordinance.

  1. Plat Presentation Procedure
    1. A preliminary plat of the area to be subdivided shall be prepared in sketch form and presented by the subdivider or his agent to the Village Council for review.
    2. Upon approval or conditional approval, a final plat shall be prepared by a registered land surveyor or engineer and presented by the subdivider or his agent to the Village Council for review. Such final plat may constitute only that portion of the preliminary plat which is to be recorded and developed at the time.
    3. The Village Council shall hold a public hearing as required by State law and shall act upon the final plat.
    4. If approved, the subdivider or his agent shall file the final plat with the Village Clerk and shall record the final plat with the Goodhue County Register of Deeds within 30 days of final plat approval; otherwise, such approval shall be considered void.

SECTION VII. Administration

  1. Administrator
    It shall be the duty of the Village Clerk acting as zoning administrator to cause the provisions of this Ordinance to be properly enforced and to administer the same. The Village Clerk shall have the authority to delegate these responsibilities upon approval of the Village Council.
  2. Building Permits
    1. A building permit shall be obtained prior to erecting, moving, installing, altering, converting, or remodeling any structure or part thereof if the estimated cost of such action exceeds five hundred ($500) dollars.
    2. Before a building permit is issued the terms of this ordinance shall be met. If a building permit is needed in between council meeting, call the city clerk to make arrangements to get the proper approval from the city council. If approval by email or verbal is granted the city clerk will submit the building permit request to the county for their approval. At which time the county may issue the building permit. City approval will be made at the following council meeting.
    3. A fee of two ($2.00) dollars payable to the Village shall be required for each Page 29 building permit on all buildings valued at ten thousand ($10,000) dollars of estimated construction cost. The fee shall be increased one ($1.00) for each additional ten ($10,000) thousand dollars of estimated construction cost.
    4. The Village Clerk shall refer the application for a building permit to the Planning Commission for their review prior to issuance. The Planning Commission shall, in their review, consider these points outlined in Section III, Subdivision B. of this ordinance.
  3. Appeals
    1. An appeal from the ruling of the Zoning Administrator may be taken by the lot owner or his agent within 30 days after the making of the order appealed from.
    2. The procedure for making an appeal shall be as follows:
      1. The lot owner or his agent shall file with the Village Clerk a notice of appeal stating the specific grounds upon which the appeal is made.
      2. The Village clerk shall transmit the appeal to the Planning Commission acting as the Board of Appeals, for study and recommendation at its next regular meeting.
      3. The Planning Commission shall make its recommendation within 60 days and shall transmit it to the Village Council for its official action.
      4. The Village Council shall make its decision by resolution within 60 days and a copy of the resolution shall be mailed to the applicant by the Village Clerk.
      5. A further appeal may be taken by the aggrieved parties to the District Court of the State of Minnesota having jurisdiction of the issue.
  1. Interpretations
    Interpretation and administration of the provisions of this Ordinance shall conform to such requirements as are reasonably necessary for the promotion of public safety, health, convenience, comfort, prosperity and general welfare of the Village and its residents thereof and the community surrounding the Village. It is not the intention of this Ordinance to interfere with or abrogate or annul any easements, covenants or other agreements between parties; provided, however, that where this Ordinance imposes a greater restriction upon the use of structures or premises or upon height, or requires larger open spaces than are imposed or required by Ordinance, or by easements, covenants or agreements, the provisions of this Ordinance shall govern.
  2. Special Use Permits
    A special use is one that may or may not be compatible with the other uses in the district within which it is located. The compatibility must be judged on the basis of the particular circumstances and may require the imposing of conditions. The procedure for issuance of special use permits as provided for in this Ordinance is as follows:

    1. The applicant for a special use permit shall file an application in writing in the office of the village clerk and pay a fee of five ($5.00) dollars when the application is filed. Said fee shall be payable to the Village.
    2. The village clerk shall refer the application to the planning commission. Property owners within 300 feet of the property in question shall be given not less than ten (10) days notice of pendency of same and when the same shall be considered, although failure of any property owner to receive such notification shall not invalidate the proceedings.
    3. The planning commission shall consider the application at its next regular meeting after compliance with the provisions of notice above specified.
    4. The applicant or his representative shall appear before the planning commission and answer any questions concerning the proposed special use.
    5. The planning commission shall consider all possible adverse effects on the proposed special use and what additional requirements may be necessary to prevent such adverse effects.
    6. The report of the planning commission shall be referred to the village council and be placed on the agenda of the council at its next regular meeting following referral from the planning commission.
    7. The village council shall take action on the application within sixty (60) days after receiving the report of the planning commission. If it grants the special use permit, the village council may impose any special condition it considers necessary to promote the public health, safety and welfare.
  3. Variances and Exceptions
    Where there are particular difficulties or unusual hardships in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the provisions of this ordinance, the village council shall have the power upon recommendation of the planning commission to vary from any such provision in harmony with the general purpose and intent thereof and may impose such conditions as it considers necessary so that the public health, safety and general welfare may be secured, and substantial justice done.
  4. Amendments
    1. An amendment to this ordinance may be initiated by the village council, the planning commission or be petition of affected property owners. An amendment not initiated by the planning commission shall be referred to the planning commission for study, report and recommendation and may not be acted upon by the village council until it has received the report of the planning commission on the proposed amendment or until sixty (60) days have elapsed from the date of reference of the amendment without a report from the planning commission. No amendment shall be adopted until a public hearing has been held thereon by the village council. A notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing shall be published in the official newspaper of the village at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing. When an amendment involves changes in district boundaries affecting an area of five (5) acres or less, a similar notice shall be mailed at least ten (10) days before the day of the hearing to each owner of affected property and property situated wholly or partly within three hundred (300) feet of the property to which the amendment relates. For the purpose of given mailed notice, the person responsible for mailing may use any appropriate records to determine the names and addresses of the owners. A copy of the notice and a list of the owners and addresses to which the notice was sent shall be attested to by the responsible person and shall be made a part of the records of the proceedings. The failure to give mailed notice to individual property owners, or defects in the notice shall not invalidate the proceedings, providing a bona fide attempt to comply with this subdivision has been made.
    2. Any affected property owner petitioning for an amendment to this ordinance shall make application in writing to the village clerk. The application shall be accompanied by a fee of $25.00 payable to the village.
  5. Enforcement and Penalties
    1. The violation of any of the terms and provisions of this ordinance shall constitute a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than three hundred ($300) dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding ninety (90) days or both. All fines and violations shall be credited to the village.
    2. In the event of a violation or a threatened violation of this ordinance, the village council or member thereof, in addition to other remedies, may institute appropriate actions or proceedings to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such violations or threatened violations, and it shall be the duty of village attorney to institute such action.
    3. Any taxpayer or taxpayers of the Village may institute mandamus proceedings in District Court to compel specific performance by the proper official or officials of any duty required by this Ordinance.

SECTION VIII. Provisions Severable

Should a court of competent jurisdiction declare any part of this Ordinance to be invalid such decision shall not affect the validity of the remainder.

SECTION IX. Effective Date

This Ordinance shall be in full force and effect upon the passage and publication in the manner provided by law.

Passed by the Village Council this 10th day of May, 1973.

Attest: Barbara Heppelmann, Clerk Quentin J. Majerus, Mayor

Published in the Goodhue County Tribune Thursday, June 14, 1973.

Table 1

Minimum lot area and setback requirements for main buildings.

Zoning Use Distric Lot Size Lot Width Lot Depth Front Side Rear
(A) Farm Dwelling None None None 40’ 30’ interior

40’ corner**

Non-Farm Dwelling 100’ 120’ 30’ 15’ Interior 30’
(R) Single Family Dwelling 75’ 120’ 30’ 15’ Interior 25’
Two Family Dwelling 100’ 120’ 30’ 30’ Interior 25’
Apartment Dwelling 75’ 120’ 30’ 20’
(C) None None None 40’ #* None, except when abutting another zone 10’
(I) None None None 40’ #* Same as C 10’
Hedges 5’ Setback 5’ Setback 5’
Trees ` 10’ Setback 5’ Setback

10’ Corner Lot

* Measured from edge of right-of-way

** Corner setbacks are measured the same as front yards.

# Except as may be granted by the Village Council Page 33

Note: Lot width, lot depth, front yard, side yard and rear yard requirements shall apply to all uses permitted in the respective Zoning Use District.