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Development Plans

A development plan is required for the future development of larger tracts of land.

A development plan lays out the general location of buildings, roadways, storm water basins, and open spaces for development to occur in a phased manner. In all instances, a development plan is one component of the development process and other applications will be necessary.

The following is an overview of the typical 60-day development plan review process.

Pre-application meeting

We recommend you meet with a planner to discuss your intentions before making your application. This meeting will introduce to you to the city staff members who will be working with you. We will discuss the city’s zoning rules, policies, and plans that could affect your application as well as what to expect during the review process. For this meeting, please identify the location of the property and any preliminary plans you have.

We may recommend that a neighborhood meeting is held before you submit your application. City staff will assist you with dates and suggest meeting locations. At the neighborhood meeting, you will be expected to present your concepts to neighbors and solicit feedback to incorporate into your plans.

After the pre-application meeting, you have the ability to develop your plans further for the formal application.

Application deadline

Click here for application deadlines and Planning Commission/City Council dates.

Information to be included

The application consists of:

  • Letter of consent from property owner
  • Letter of request
  • Application fee
  • Plans that you would like the Planning Commission to review
  • Application form

Application form

Please use our online portal to complete the application form.

Apply online >

Letter of request

A brief letter explaining the proposed development and outlining the design team (applicant, property owner, surveyor, engineer, etc.) should be submitted. This letter can give better insight into your plans.

Application fee

A non-refundable fee of $500 is required. Additionally, a $2,000 review escrow is required with the application. The escrow account that you establish with the City will help cover the costs of the public hearing notices, staff time to review the application and write reports, and the city attorney’s title review. Additional escrow will be required upon approval of the development plan or when the escrow account is low and remaining escrow is refundable when the project is finished.


Plans must be submitted in both paper format and in electronic format (PDF). Two full-sized sets and two 11×17-inch reductions are required with your initial application. Additional copies may be requested after revisions are made.

The full-sized plans must be at a standard engineering scale and contain the following components (please note that not all of this information may be necessary as determined at your pre-application meeting):

1. Existing conditions

This page shows what is on the property today: structures, fences, utility lines, water bodies, wetlands, significant vegetation, etc.

2. Site development plan

A basic plan showing lot lines, rights-of-way, building locations, parking areas, truck courts, storm water basins, and any other common element. This plan must show all of the zoning requirements for the site including lot areas and densities. If existing buildings are proposed to remain after platting, setbacks of the existing building to the new lot lines must be shown.

3. Building design plan

This plan is a booklet outlining the architectural or site design requirements for all users within the development plan boundary. It can also limit the uses allowed within the development plan boundary so that a certain business focus or theme can be established.

4. Preliminary grading and drainage plan

This plan shows how storm water will flow across the property and drain through the storm sewer system. It will also include how the site is graded for building pads, parking lots, etc., as well as any berms created for screening. This plan will need to be submitted to the applicable watershed management organization for approval.

5. Utility plans

This plan shows how the lots are or will be served by sanitary sewer and water. If applicable, the plan must show how utilities will be extended to neighboring properties. Existing wells and septic systems must be shown if they are remaining after subdivision.

6. Landscaping plans

This plan is usually required for common areas, median islands and boulevards, and major screening and buffering areas. More detailed landscaping plans will be reviewed as each site is presented. Landscaping plans must be shown with the grading plan contours to ensure proper planting locations.

7. Lighting plans

This plan shows the freestanding and wall-mounted lights on the property. A photometrics plan shows the intensity of the light at various points on the property. Please include the fixtures you plan to use.

8. Other plans or documents

Depending on the size of your application, other information may be necessary to review your application properly. This information will be discussed at the pre-application meeting. Traffic studies, environmental reviews, and wetland delineations are three such examples.

Following City Council approval, construction plans (more detailed grading, drainage, roadway, and utility plans) and a development plan (lot and building elevation plan) may be required if applicable.

Receipt of application

After receiving your application, City staff will review your plans for completeness. In many cases, staff will recommend that changes be made in order to conform to the City’s Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan or to be more compatible with neighboring properties. Additional information may be requested. Adequate time will be given to make revisions prior to the Planning Commission meeting.

If the application is determined to be incomplete, it will be returned to you with a letter stating why the application was deemed incomplete and the things that are missing. You are welcome to reapply at the next submittal date with your complete application.

Public notice

The City is required to notify surrounding property owners of any pending development plan and information regarding the public hearing. Mailed notices will be sent to all property owners, residents, and businesses within 500 feet of the property line of your site. We also place an ad in the legal section of our official newspaper, The Brooklyn Park Sun Post. A sign may be placed on your property notifying people as well. Make sure that this sign is clearly visible and not moved without consent of the Planning Staff. Your escrow will be charged for the notification costs.

Public hearing

The Planning Commission holds the public hearing and solicits comments from interested parties before making a recommendation to the City Council on your development plan. The Planning Commission meets the second Wednesday of the month following your application.

You are welcome to invite people to speak on your behalf. People can also submit letters or emails with their comments. All people speaking or submitting written comments are expected to give their names and addresses. The Planning Commission may ask questions or make suggestions for changes; therefore you must be in attendance or have a knowledgeable authorized representative in your place. If you cannot attend, it is recommended that you extend your application to a future meeting.

City Council

The City Council approves or denies your application. They take into consideration the Planning Commission’s recommendation and any comments received at the public hearing. The City Council is obligated to take action on your preliminary plat request within 60 days of your application unless an extension is made per state law.

Because the development plan anticipates a phased development, it is acceptable that additional applications are approved for the first phase of the development along with the development plan.

City attorney’s review

The city attorney’s office will review cross-access and maintenance agreements or easements that are common to a development plan. These agreements establish legal rights for businesses, employees, residents, and visitors using the shared or common areas within a development plan as well as maintaining these common areas. These agreements and easements will be recorded with the final plat. Your escrow account will be charged for the review.