Property owners in the City of Rogers have certain legal rights to use and enjoy their property. That use and enjoyment is defined by land use plans and policies and zoning ordinances. Some projects may simply require an application for a building permit. Whereas, other projects may require an extensive examination, including a public hearing, Planning Commission review and City Council action, prior to issuing a building permit.
The City of Rogers is committed to helping property owners understand what is possible on their land and the types of approvals required of their projects, as well as assisting them through the review process.
General Overview of the City’s Development Review Process
1. Research City Codes
Having a vision for your project is an important first step. So is understanding what is possible on your property. Property owners should spend time researching City ordinances to understand whether their projects are achievable and require special approvals, and what it takes to receive those approvals. Most land development projects in the City of Rogers will require a Zoning & Land Use Application. Thus, the success of a project will depend on the planning, preparation and participation by the property owner and / or developer.
Examples of common special zoning requests include setback variances for home additions and placement of accessory structures, and conditional use permits for outdoor storage on commercial and industrial properties. New developments typically require a site plan review of the overall development in addition to preliminary and final plats.
2. Pre-Application Meeting
The first step with any land development project is participation in a pre-application meeting between City staff and the property owner and/or developer. This meeting is an early opportunity to discuss project goals and the related review and approval processes, and identify any preliminary challenges. Developers should include their team members – architects, engineers, etc. – at this meeting. Complex projects may require more than one meeting.
Participation in a pre-application meeting is not required but is highly recommended as a means to help applicants move through the review process as expeditiously as possible. It also makes City staff aware of potential project applications coming forward. The City is not responsible for project review delays if applicants opt to forego this meeting.
3. Submit Application
Each Zoning and Land Use Application has a corresponding checklist detailing the plans and documents required with any application submittal. Applicants must provide all materials and according to City specifications or the City may refuse to accept the application. The City reserves the right to revise or waive application materials, or request additional information not shown on the checklist. All applicable fees are also due at the time of application submittal. Generally, Zoning and Land Use Applications are due the first Wednesday of a month. Depending on the type and location of a development project reviews and approvals may be required by the Elm Creek Watershed Management Commission, Minnesota Department of Transportation and/or Hennepin County.
4. Staff Review
Once a Zoning and Land Use Application is received, State Statute gives the City 15 business days to review all plans and application materials to ensure they satisfy City requirements. If the application is complete, State Statute then requires the City to act –approve or deny the application - within 60 days, up to 120 days. If not complete, the City may require plan revisions and/or additional information before the application is scheduled for Planning Commission review and/or City Council action.
During the 15 day review period, City staff may provide comments on the application and may request plan revisions. Revised plans and documents must be resubmitted for staff concurrence prior to the application moving forward for formal, public review. It is the goal of the City to schedule application reviews by the Planning Commission (3rd Tuesday) and City Council (4th Tuesday) of the following month. Again, complex projects may require additional review time, up to the full 120 days allowed by State Statute.
5. Planning Commission Hearing
As an advisory board to the City Council, the Planning Commission is responsible for conducting the formal assessment of all applications to:
Ensure proposed land uses conform to the City’s Comprehensive Plan and applicable zoning codes,
All special zoning requests are reasonable and do not create conflict with adjacent land uses.
The type of application may or may not require a public hearing. In the event of a public hearing, the City shall notify all property owners within 350 feet of the subject property and shall also publish the notice of the request and hearing date in the newspaper.
Action taken by the Planning Commission may include recommendation of approval with or without conditions, denial of an application, or to table consideration of the application, pending the need for additional information, etc. Planning Commission recommendations then go to the City Council for final action.
6. City Council Action
The City Council has final decision-making authority on all zoning and land use requests. City staff prepares a report with a recommended motion to the City Council, summarizing the application request and action from the Planning Commission meeting. If a development contract is required with the proposed project, City staff shall prepare the contract and present it for City Council approval at the same meeting with the land use application or as soon as possible there after.
7. Recording Documents
Signed copies of the resolution or ordinance conveying City Council action, along with related documents (i.e. plats, development contracts, etc.), is provided to the applicant and is recorded with Hennepin County. It is the responsibility of the applicant to record the final plat, once it is released by the City for recording. The City handles the recording for all other zoning and land use items. All documents must be recorded before the City will issue any construction-related permits.
8. Construction Plan Review and Permitting
Upon approval of the Zoning and Land Use Application, and signing and recording of all documents, the project will move forward to the construction phase. At this time the applicant may submit full construction plans for plan review and permitting. Departments responsible for reviewing construction plans include Building Inspections, Fire, Public Works/Engineering and Planning. Depending on the size and complexity of a project, plan review and permitting may take from three days up to a week or more. When the permits are ready to be issued, the City shall notify the permittee of all applicable permit fees. Possible project permits,include but are not limited to: building, water/sewer, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire sprinkler and alarm systems, grading and erosion control, signs, etc. Permits from the Elm Creek Watershed Management Commission for projects in excess of one acre and/or impacting wetlands, and Minnesota Department of Transportation and Hennepin County for projects requiring access to State or County rights of way.
9. Pre-Construction Meeting
For larger development projects, the City may require a pre-construction meeting prior to issuing site grading and building permits. This provides a developer and City staff the ability to review essential elements and timelines of a project with project contractors, utility companies, and City permit and inspection requirements.
It is the responsibility of the permittee to arrange the required inspections throughout each phase of the construction schedule.
11. Project Close Out
Once the construction phase of a project is complete the property owner and/or developer may request formal close out of the project. All permits finalize all site inspections must be finalized before City staff will issue final occupancies. Development agreements will also be reviewed to ensure all expectations of those agreements are satisfied, including ongoing maintenance bonds and other financial securities are satisfied and in place. Projects that include public improvements (i.e. streets and utilities) must provide “As-Builts” or “Record” drawings of those completed improvements; the improvements must also be found as acceptable by the City Engineer.
Project escrows are released six months after the project is finalized and closed out, unless otherwise approved by the City.