Zoning Code

We use a set of rules called the Minneapolis Zoning Code that helps us ensure that land is used and developed in the right way.


The rules set in the Minneapolis Zoning Code are part of a bigger plan for how the city should grow and change over time. They aim to make sure everyone receives fair treatment and has a good quality of life. 

The rules cover: 

  • How big buildings can be
  • What types of businesses can open in different areas

The city is divided into different areas, or zoning districts. Each area has its own rules on what you can build and how it is used. 

Some zoning districts allow one kind of use, like residential or industrial. Most zoning districts allow a mix of uses such as:  

  • Residential
  • Institutional
  • Medical
  • Commercial
  • Industrial

You must follow the rules when building something new or making changes to your property. You may need a public hearing before starting.

See Minneapolis Code of Ordinances, Title 20

Zoning districts and maps

The zoning regulations specify the uses allowed and development standards for each zoning district. There are three kinds of zoning districts: 

  • Primary district
  • Built form overlay district
  • Overlay district

All property in the city is in both a primary district and a built form overlay district.  The zoning maps show the location of each primary, built form overlay, and overlay zoning district.

Primary districts

A primary district is any of several urban neighborhood, residential mixed-use, commercial mixed-use, downtown, production or transportation districts. All property within the city is included within a primary zoning district. These districts determine what uses are allowed in each area of the city. In the zoning code, these districts are described in Chapter 530. Regulations for where uses are allowed are described in Chapter 545.

Built form overlay districts

A built form overlay district is any of several interior, corridor, transit, core, production, and parks overlay districts that are established to guide the scale of development in a manner that aligns with the planned development patterns of each district by regulating features such as building height, floor area, yards, lot coverage, impervious surfaces, and lot sizes. In the zoning code, these districts are described in Chapter 540.

Overlay districts

An overlay district is any of several additional districts established by the zoning regulations that may be more or less restrictive than the primary or built form overlay zoning district. Where a property is located within an overlay district, it is subject to the provisions of the primary zoning district, the built form overlay district, and the overlay district. Where the provisions are in conflict, the overlay district from Chapter 535 governs.

Overlay districts are established to preserve and protect the natural environment, to encourage high quality design, to address the development of uses with unique impacts, and to protect the public health, safety and welfare by preserving areas for future use and development. In the City's zoning code, these districts are described in Chapter 535.

Contact us

Zoning Administration

Community Planning & Economic Development


Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415