Zoning Study 2020 - 2022


City staff has compiled a list of sections to the Code that should be updated over the next two years. It includes updates to the Design Standards, Residential Zoning Districts, Commercial Zoning Districts, Tree Preservation, Signs, Fences, Subdivisions, Planned Unit Developments, Floodplain, Shoreland, and Wetland Standards. While some changes are minor and considered more of a “clean-up”, other changes are a matter of policy that the community should weigh in on. Because of this, the Wayzata City Council established a Zoning Study Task Force. Members represent the City Council, Planning Commission, Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and the Energy and Environment Committee.

Zoning Study Task Force

The Wayzata City Council established the Zoning Study Task Force in September 2020. They appointed 12 members to serve through June 2021. Members include:

  • Jeffrey Buchanan, City Council Member
  • Alex Plechash, City Council Member
  • Bob Ambrose, HRA Commissioner
  • Steve Fox, HRA Commissioner
  • Peggy Douglas, Planning Commissioner
  • Jeffrey Parkhill, Planning Commissioner
  • Larissa Stockton, Planning Commissioner
  • KC Chermak, Energy and Environment Committee Member
  • Lora Ward Lake, Community Member
  • John Nolan, Community Member
  • Meredith Howell, Community Member
  • Suzanne Candell, Community Member

Staff Liaisons

2040 Comprehensive Plan

The 2040 Comprehensive Plan presents a vision for the future of Wayzata. It describes aspirations for community development and it is an important tool for guiding the growth, redevelopment, and improvements. It consists of goals, objectives, policy statements, standards, and maps for guiding the physical, social, and economic development of the City. The plan is made up of a series of sections: land use, housing, transportation, natural resources, historic preservation, and community facilities. Several years of community engagement resulted in the adoption of the plan in June 2020.

Link to the document: https://www.wayzata.org/566/2040-Comprehensive-Plan-Update

Wayzata Zoning Code

The long-term vision laid out in the Comprehensive Plan is implemented through development regulations found in the Wayzata Zoning Code. It is a complex document administered and enforced by the Community Development Department of the City. The Planning Commission utilizes the Zoning Code to review development applications and make recommendations to the City Council. It is customary to updating zoning regulations every ten years after the each decennial update to the Comprehensive Plan.

Residential and Commercial Zoning Districts

The City of Wayzata is working with WSB to make several updates to the Residential and Commercial Zoning Districts. The Zoning Study Task Force reviewed potential changes to these districts, which are a combination of policy changes and updates for greater usability and consistency, against the objectives of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The Task Force's review is complete and staff have brought their work forward to a series of workshops with the Planning Commission. All changes to the Zoning Code require a public hearing with Planning Commission and adoption by the City Council. Public hearings will occur in early spring 2022. 

Edits to the relevant zoning chapters can be found here

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU), also known as a guest house, carriage house, garage addition, basement conversion, or attic conversion, is a second, smaller unit on a property that already has a single-family home. While many larger properties in Wayzata already have units like this, staff is proposing to expand the number of eligible properties and allow rental licenses to be issued for these units. The Planning Commission is considering ordinance language at the February 28 and March 7 meetings, and an information session will be held on March 1 at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall. For more information, please check out the most recent Planning Commission packets or contact Valerie Quarles, Assistant Planner at vquarles@wayzata.org. A sharable flyer is linked at the bottom of this page. 

ADU diagram (cropped)

Draft provisions include: 

  • An ADU's total floor area shall be no more than 33% of the primary residence’s gross habitual space and no more than 960 square feet. The minimum ADU size is 300 square feet.
  • An ADU shall be designed and maintained as to be consistent with the architectural design, style, appearance and character of the primary residence. If an ADU extends beyond the current footprint or existing height of the main building, such an addition must be consistent with the existing facade, roof pitch, siding and windows.
  • One off-street parking space shall be required for the ADU, in addition to the two off-street parking spaces required for the primary residence.
  • The principal structure or ADU must be owner-occupied.
  • No more than one ADU shall be permitted on a lot or parcel.

Tree Preservation Ordinance

The City of Wayzata is currently reviewing the Tree Preservation Ordinance (TPO) §936 and §710. The goal of this review is to determine if any changes are necessary to the Ordinance to protect, preserve, and enhance the natural environment of the community. Community meetings were conducted to review the TPO on July 12, 2021 and October 28, 2021. A survey was also open to the public from August 26 to October 5 that elicited 69 responses.

Design Standards

The City of Wayzata completed a competitive process to hire a consultant to study the City's Design Standards, found in Chapter 909 of the Wayzata Code of Ordinances, and recommend updates. The City hired Van Meter Williams Pollack for this work. They are providing leadership and expertise to ensure that the changes recommended to the Design Standards meet the goals of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, relieve the administrative burden on the City. 

The recommendations were based on numerous discussions with the Zoning Study Task Force as well as results from a visual preference survey distributed widely in the community in November-December 2020. Van Meter Williams Pollack utilized their knowledge of best practices in the fields of architecture and urban design and worked in close consultation with City staff. The recommendations were reviewed by the Planning Commission and ultimately approved by the City Council on June 15, 2021. The link to the approved Design Standards Handbook is listed below. 

Design Standards Handbook