Waseca Zoning Ordinance

The City of Waseca, Minnesota, had been living with a patchwork quilt of zoning and subdivision regulations for many years and finally decided that something had to be done.  Bill Weber helped the Planning Director, Kimberly Johnson, outline an entirely new ordinance structure and examine every facet of the existing district regulations. 

Mr. Weber and Ms. Johnson worked with a committee appointed by the Council for 14 months to review and refine the draft language.  Interviews were conducted the local builders and property owners to help identify strengths and weaknesses.   The City Engineer reviewed all sections addressing public improvements. 

The new ordinance was much easier to navigate and read.  All dimensional regulations were presented in tables, sections were identified in the page headers, the page layout was clear, the wording was clear and unambiguous, and antiquated terms were removed.  The Permitted, Conditional and Accessory Uses were summarized in three master tables – residential, commercial and industrial.  New chapters were written for administration, general regulations, use-specific regulations, planned-unit developments and definitions. 

The “bones” of the original districts survived mostly intact although the use and dimensional regulations were studied and amended.  One district was eliminated and another substantially altered.  Consequently, the zoning map was also adjusted. 

Finally, the ordinance was “road tested” before adoption by applying it to various types of applications.  

Client:  City of Waseca, Minnesota