Plan review

Plan review staff examines and approves construction plans before a permit is issued.

Plan Review staff examines and approves construction plans before a permit is issued. Plan review looks at the required building codes and coordinates with other city requirements. Many projects need just a simple plan but other projects may need full architectural plans. Some projects, such as replacing a roof, do not need any plan review. See Permits and Plans.

2020 Minnesota Code adoption

As of March 31st, 2020, Minnesota has adopted new building codes. The 2020 MN Mechanical and Fuel Gas Code will take effect on April 6th, 2020. For details on which codes this effects and what you need to know for pulling permits, please read the Building Code Update .

Important change to the Minnesota Building Code

Plan review letter

A revised section to the administrative rules portion of the state building code will change how some of our plan reviews for some remodeling, mostly commercial/multi-family, will be done. When plans are prepared by a licensed design professional the new language will require that any code corrections that are identified be itemized by the code official through a plan review letter. The provision prevents the building department from marking up (red-lining) plans. This change takes effect January 24, 2015.

1300.0130 Construction Documents.

              Subpart 6. Approval of construction documents.

              Subitem B. (in part) "Any code deficiencies identified by the building official during the plan review process for construction documents that are prepared by a design professional who is licensed or certified under Minnesota Statutes, sections 326.02 to 326.15 must be itemized by the building official through a comprehensive plan review letter only. Any code deficiencies identified by the building official during the plan review process for construction documents that are not prepared by a licensed or certified design professional may be marked directly on the document or itemized by the building official through a comprehensive plan review letter."

This means that there will be a couple of extra steps in the process for some projects. Rather than plan review marking corrections of code deficiencies on plans and issuing a permit at that time, plan review will prepare and mail or email a correction letter to the architect/engineer. The design professional will then make any necessary revisions to the plans. Revised plans will then need to be resubmitted for review, approval and permit.

Please plan accordingly for the time necessary for these added steps.

New construction requirements

In an effort to better control problems related to the protection of adjoining property that have arisen due to inadequate construction management, the following information is presented and will be required for all new building projects that require excavation.

  • A letter prepared by an engineer qualified in soil retention shall be submitted with the building permit application. The letter shall state if any protective measures are necessary for protection of adjoining property.
  • Any required protective measures shall be installed according to the direction of the engineer.
  • Any plan for protective measures prepared by the engineer shall be submitted to the city prior to issuance of the permit.
  • The engineer shall monitor the condition and effectiveness of any measures installed as long as the measures are needed to protect adjoining property.

Additions to buildings that are ten feet (10') or less from structures on adjoining property shall also be required to submit a letter from an engineer.

Construction sites have also become a problem with respect to the use of city right-of-way.  Current city standards do not allow the use of right-of-way for staging or storing of construction materials or for other related uses. The right-of-way normally extends several feet into any property from the sidewalk.  All construction sites shall:

  • Remove all construction related materials from city right-of-way and place them entirely within the property being worked on or remove them from the site
  • Obtain an encroachment permit from the Public Works Department before placing any construction related materials in the right-of-way and adhere to the requirements of the permit

Construction debris containers that must be placed in the street require obtaining a street use permit. These containers must comply with any parking regulations in place either temporary or permanent. Containers located in the street should always be placed in front of the property where work is occurring. Containers may be placed within the property being worked on, but not in the right-of-way, without a permit.

Violations of these requirements will result in the issuance of appropriate orders and citations which will remain in place until compliance is achieved.

Minneapolis Residential Construction Management Agreement

As a result of the problems that have been occurring the city's Zoning and Planning Committee voted Thursday, April 3rd to lift the tear down moratorium and replace it with the Construction Management Plan. Effective April 3rd, 2014 all un-occupied construction projects of wrecking, new build, or major remodeling of 1 and 2 unit dwelling structures are subject to sign the Residential Construction Management Agreement .

New mechanical requirements

Mechanical Contractors: The City of Minneapolis requires that the heating load form for furnaces and boilers installed in single family homes or duplexes be left at the job site

  • Please use our Home Heat Loss form . You can also use your own form, as long as it has all the information contained on the City form.
  • Leave the heating load form with the homeowner package of information that includes the design, testing, and installation instructions.
  • The form will be reviewed when the inspector is out at the property.
  • NEW House Heat Test Record form (Orsat test)  for new installs. Please leave this form at the house also.

Construction code and related information

Energy code requirements for 1 & 2 family homes and town homes (effective June 1, 2009)
Energy Code for 1 &2 family homes and town homes

State code requirements for windows and fall protection
Egress-Escape and Rescue Window Policy
Window Fall Prevention Provisions

State code now requires radon resistant building features in new home construction (effective June 1, 2009)
Radon Resistant Construction
Radon Resistant New Construction-Best Practices

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

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Contact us


Community Planning & Economic Development

Minneapolis Plan Review






Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 220
Minneapolis, MN 55415