Zoning Study 2020 - 2023


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.

Click here to view the Comprejensive Plan

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 update zoning regulations every ten years after the decennial update to the Comprehensive Plan.

Residential and Commercial Zoning Districts

The City Council approved changes to Wayzata's residential and commercial zoning districts at their June 21 meeting. The changes included: 

  • Overall, bringing the zoning code in line with the goals of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan 
  • Consolidating commercial and residential uses, along with their standards, into a single new chapter (Ch. 937)
  • Updating individual zoning districts to support common development types in today's market and for the future 
  • Introducing accessory dwelling units as a permitted-with-conditions use in all single-family zoning districts (Ch. 937)

Clean and redlined copies of the updated zoning code can be found in the June 21 Council packet. The City's digital code library, Municode, will be updated to reflect these changes over the summer. The changes went through a year of review with staff, the Zoning Study Task Force, Planning Commission, and City Council. 

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. After the first set of proposed changes was critiqued by the Planning Commission, an updated set was recommended for approval in September. The City Council is set to discuss the changes at the October 4 meeting. 

Mixed Use Buildings Update

The creation of the new use table within Chapter 937 has made it easier to find and correct potential oversights and inconsistencies between districts. Updates are proposed to Chapters 902, 920, 937, 974, 975, and 975.5 to update the City's commercial districts to better fit the prior intent of the code and accommodate existing buildings. The changes were recommended for approval by the Planning Commission at their September 19 meeting, for consideration by the City Council at their October 18 meeting. Please note that ordinance changes require two readings. 

Definitions + General Building and Yard Requirements Update

A series of updates primarily affecting Chapters 902, 916, 917, 919, and 920 are proposed to bring greater clarity and consistency to definitions and provisions that are often difficult to interpret or conflict with other parts of the code. These changes are anticipated to go to the Planning Commission for a public hearing on April 3, 2023. The packet for that meeting will be published March 29 and will include a staff report explaining the proposed changes along with the new version of the code. Check out the Agenda Center for the packet. 

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