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Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department
2122 Campus Drive SE
Suite 100
Rochester, MN 55904
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals



The Board generally meets once each month on the first Wednesday of each month. If enough applications are submitted, a second meeting will be held on the third Wednesday of the month. The Board meets in the Council/Board Chambers, located at the Government Center (151 Fourth Street SE).

Mission Statement

State planning legislation Ch. 462 requires that any city with a zoning ordinance form a Board of Appeals. As a quasi-judicial body, the Board makes decisions based on the facts submitted by the applicant, information provided through the public hearing process, and on the requirements of the City of Rochester Zoning Ordinance and Land Development Manual. This is important in that the Board is expected to apply current city land use policies and regulations, not create policy/regulations.

Organizational Structure

The Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals is an independent body consisting of citizen volunteers appointed to the Board by the Mayor with approval of the City Council. The Board consists of 7 members with one member also being a member of the City Planning and Zoning Commission. Members shall serve for terms of three years.

60.410 Variance

The opportunity to vary the literal provisions of the ordinance is provided for as required in Chapter 462.357 (sub. 6) of the Laws of Minnesota by the creation of the variance procedure. When practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships unique to an individual property under consideration, and not mere inconvenience, would result from strict enforcement of the literal provisions of this ordinance, application may be made to vary or modify any regulation or provision of the ordinance, subject to the findings in paragraph 60.417, so that the spirit of the ordinance is observed and substantial justice is done. A variance is one remedy available where the zoning administrator has determined that no zoning certificate or development permit may be issued without varying or modifying the regulations or provisions of the ordinance.


Appeals Heard by the Board of Appeals: Appeals of the following actions shall be heard by the Board of Appeals:

  1. Any interpretation, made under the provisions of Section 60.160, may be appealed to the Board except for those falling under the provisions of paragraph 60.732(3) or 60.733(4).
  2. Decisions relating to the approval or denial of any zoning certificate, housing certificate or sign permit, may be appealed to the Board.
  3. Any decision on a Type I or II design modification may be appealed to the Board by an affected party.

Zoning Board of Appeals: There shall be a zoning board of appeals consisting of seven members, one of whom shall be a member of the commission. All members shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the council. Members shall serve for a term of three years, except the commission representative, who shall serve for a term of one year. No member shall serve more than two consecutive terms. The board shall choose a chair from among its membership and determine its rules of proceeding, a copy of which shall be filed with the zoning administrator.

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