Hoop houses and greenhouses

City rules and definitions for hoop houses, greenhouses and cold frames.

City definitions

Hoop house

A hoop house is defined as a temporary or permanent structure typically made of, but not limited to, piping or other material covered with translucent material for the purpose of growing food or ornamental crops. A hoop house is considered more temporary than a greenhouse. (Title 20, Chapter 520 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances relating to Zoning Code: Introductory Provisions. Section 520.160)

Cold frame

A cold frame is defined as an unheated outdoor structure built close to the ground, typically consisting of, but not limited to, a wooden or concrete frame and a top of glass or clear plastic, used for protecting seedlings and plants from cold weather.


A greenhouse is defined as a structure that is constructed primarily of glass, glasslike or translucent material which is devoted to the protection or cultivation of food or ornamental crops. (Separate definitions exist for greenhouses that perform lawn and garden supply store or wholesale functions.)


Do I need a building permit to put up a hoop house?

You don’t have to have a building permit if the hoop house is up for less than 180 days. A temporary hoop house can be erected as an accessory structure provided it is accessory to the main use on a lot and is in place for no more than 180 days. A permanent hoop house is subject to building code and site plan review requirements in addition to the accessory use requirements.

What is the maximum height for a hoop house that is part of a community garden, market garden or urban farm?

The maximum height is 12 feet.

Zoning regulations

Title 20 Zoning Code, Chapter 537.110 Accessory Uses and Structures

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