Planning & Zoning

UDC Application Manual

UDC Determination Appeal Application 2020


Annexation Application 2020
The form of the petition should be a letter, addressed to the City Manager, City of Winona, City Hall, 207 Lafayette Street, Winona, MN 55987. The letter must include the following minimum information:

  • Name of all persons holding ownership interest in the property.
  • Address of property
  • A statement requesting immediate annexation of the property along
    with the purpose (ie: sewer/water facilities) of this request.
  • A complete legal description of the property as secured from a property
    abstract, or County Recorder’s Office. Do not include abbreviation
    descriptions as may be included on tax statements.
  • Letter to be signed by all persons holding ownership interests in the

A fee of $5 per acre with a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $600 must be submitted to with the letter. Checks are payable to the City of Winona. Following tentative approval by the City, the annexation petition requires approval by the respective township. To approve an annexation request related to a septic system, the township will require an inspection report which states the system is non-compliant with current regulations and explains why a replacement system cannot be installed.

Certificate of Appropriateness (Historic Properties)

COA Application
Design Guidelines for downtown projects.

City Council Appeal

City Council Appeal Form 2020

Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment

Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment Application 2020

Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment

Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment Application 2020

Conditional Use Permit (CUP)

CUP Application 2020

Floodplain Application

Floodplain Application 2020

Interim Use Permit

IUP Application 2020

Land Disturbance Activity Permit
(Bluffland Development)

Land Disturbance Activity Application 2020

Mining/Extraction Pits

Mining Application 2020
Mining Attachments

Sandwich Board Signs

Sandwich Sign Application 2020

Sign Permit

Sign Application 2020

Silica Sand Processing & Transportation Operation

Sand Processing Application 2020
Sand Processing Attachments

Site Plan Permit

Site Plan Application 2020


Subdivision Application 2020

UDC (Zoning) Map Amendment

UDC Map Amendment Application 2020

UDC (Zoning) Text Amendment

UDC Text Amendment Application 2020


Variance Application 2020


Wetlands Application 2020
Wetlands Joint Application Form

Complete Streets Policy

The City of Winona adopted a Complete Streets Policy and Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan in December of 2017.

For information, questions, or concerns, please contact Assistant City Planner Luke Sims at  (507)457-8250.


MapsBicycling 101Bike SignalsResourcesBiking/Tourism

Bicycling 101 – Understanding the Law

Provisions in Accordance with State Statue 169.222:

  • Bicyclists are afforded the same rights and duties of motor vehicle drivers.
  • Bicyclists should ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
  • Bicyclists are treated as pedestrians when inside a crosswalk (even when riding a bike).
  • Bicyclists may ride a maximum of two abreast as long as traffic is not impeded.

Local Provisions:

  • Bicycling on the sidewalk in the central business district is prohibited (see Winona Bikeways Map).
  • Bicycling on sidewalks is permitted outside the central business district, but is discouraged for those over the age of 16
  • Helmets are recommended – especially for those under the age of 16.
  • Walking bicycles within crosswalks is encouraged.

5 Tips for Sharing the Road

  1. Both drivers and cyclists should know the laws and their responsibilities, and should abide by both.
  2. In Winona’s central business district it is against the law to ride bikes on sidewalks.  When in the business district, bike riders must dismount and walk on sidewalks or ride in the street.
  3. Reducing distractions and being aware of your surroundings improves safety. Watch to make sure that other cyclists or motorists are noticing your movements.
  4. All traffic signals and stop signs must be followed. Disregard of signals and stop signs by bicyclists and motorists may lead to crashes.
  5. Check both directions before pulling into traffic, looking both ways can prevent a crash.

Bicycle Parking

The City of Winona does not have formal restrictions on where cyclists may park bicycles. However, the City does recommend cyclists not park their bikes on trees. The City asks cyclists to use their discretion when selecting a parking location.

Left Turn Signals

For left turns, extend arm straight out – towards the left.

Right Turn Signals

For right turns, extend arm to make a 90 degree angle – towards the right

STOP Signal

To stop, extend arm to make a downward 90 degree angle – on the left hand side

Things to do in Winona

Our historic island city offers a variety of activities for the traveler.  With a strong arts, historic and cultural scene, Winona offers many opportunities when not biking our many trails.

For more information visit

Local Bike Shops

Adventure Cycle and Ski
178 Center Street
Winona, MN 55987

Kolter Bicycle & Fitness Inc.
400 Mankato Avenus
Winona, MN 55987

The Mississippi River Trail: Winona Segment

The Mississippi River Trail offers around 3,000 miles of on-road pathways beginning from the headwaters of the Mississippi River-Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

Winona Minnesota is proud to be one of the communities included in this unique trail.

For more information visit

Comprehensive Plan 2007

The updated Comprehensive Plan was approved by the City Council on August 6, 2007. The Comprehensive Plan establishes a vision for conservation and development in the City of Winona over the next 10 to 15 years. The Plan examines the City’s conditions, strengths and needs and contains a series of recommendations in several areas including land use, economic development, environment, housing and transportation. Examples of current challenges addressed include a need for industrial land, condition of housing stock and transportation issues caused by the rail line will be addressed in this process.

The Comprehensive Plan expands into two areas—Riverfront and the Downtown. The Riverfront and Downtown Revitalization plans draw on Comprehensive Plan goals and objectives to plan for more specific initiatives, including development sites, parking areas and downtown streetscape.

2007 Comp Plan

“12/2016 Revision for 207 Winona Street”

Downtown Revitalization Plan

Riverfront Revitalization Plan

Baseline Report

The City was assisted by URS, a planning consulting firm out of Minneapolis.

The primary Comprehensive Plan working group was a 13-member Steering Committee appointed by the Mayor. The Steering Committee worked directly with City staff and URS, representing a broad range of interests and experience to provide close citizen oversight of the process. Public involvement was broadened through nine subcommittees covering the following topics: Arts and Culture; Downtown; Economic Development; Environment; Historic Preservation; Housing; Parks and Recreation; Riverfront; and Transportation. These subcommittees provided input to the Steering Committee on the key goals and objectives relating to their topics. Roughly 85 people participated in subcommittee meetings, not counting City Council members, City staff and the 15 people that at some time served on the Steering Committee.

The Public had opportunities to be involved via open houses organized by URS. These events informed the public as to the progress being made and solicited public input. Each Plan was subject to public hearings in front of the Planning Commission and the City Council. Those public hearings were held on July 23, 2007 and August 6, 2007, respectively.

The planning process began late in 2005, though substantively began in February, 2006 with the selection of URS as the consultant.

Please contact City Planner Carlos Espinosa with any questions:

(507) 457-8250

Short-Term Rentals

All short-term rentals (e.g. Airbnbs, VRBOs, HomeAway units) are required to be inspected and licensed by the City of Winona.  In addition, all short-term rentals are required to pay the City Hotel/Motel tax (4% of monthly rent) beginning July 1, 2018.

The City also requires a Planning Commission public hearing prior to licensing short-term rentals in residential zoning districts. 

In Winona City Code, short-term rentals are termed “Tourist Homes.”  Tourist Homes are split into two categories: Owner Occupied and Non-Owner Occupied.  Definitions and specific regulations for each are provided below.

Please contact Carlos Espinosa, City Planner at 507-457-8216 with questions.

Tourist Home: A building or part thereof, other than a hotel or motel, bed and breakfast, residential retreat center, roominghouse or rooming unit, where sleeping accommodations are provided to transient guests for up to 29 consecutive days for compensation.

Tourist Home – Owner Occupied: A tourist home located on a lot that is owned by and includes the primary residence of a host or host family.  The host or host family shall reside on the lot during any period of guest stay.

Owner Occupied Regulations

Tourist Home- Non-Owner Occupied:  A tourist home located on a lot where the property owner does not occupy the premises during the rental period.

Non-Owner Occupied Regulations

Signage & Streetscape Plans

Beginning in 2016, The City of Winona has followed general guidance of the document below in development of wayfinding signage.  It was developed by Active Living Winona County in association with the Minnesota State Health Improvement Program (SHIP).  The document promotes a consistent design for wayfinding signage in Winona County.

Community Wayfinding Toolbox for Winona County

In 2015, the City adopted the document below to guide the design and placement of lighting and streetscape elements (e.g. benches, trash receptacles, lighting) in downtown Winona.  It was created through a partnership with the Winona Main Street program.  Over time, the document is intended to help create a more cohesive streetscape for downtown.

Downtown Winona Streetscape Plan 2015

Each of these documents are based on recommendations from the Downtown Revitalization section of the 2007 Winona Comprehensive Plan:

Streetscape Component – 2007 Comprehensive Plan

Frequently Asked Questions
What are the home-based business zoning requirements?
Professional offices in the residence of a physician, dentist, artist, lawyer, planner, engineer, teacher, minister, architect, cosmetologist, barber, daycare provider or other member of a recognized service profession are allowed, with provisions. One such provision is that only one person that does not reside on the premises may be employed. Aside from licensed daycare facilities, the use shall be designed to serve only one client at a time. Also exclusive of licensed daycare facilities, not more than one half of the floor area of one floor of the principal dwelling shall be devoted to the professional use. The professional use must be established in accordance with applicable local and state licensing requirements.

Customary home occupations, such as handicrafts, dressmaking, millinery, laundry, preserving and home cooking are allowed, provided that such occupations shall be conducted exclusively by resident occupants and that no more than one quarter of the area of one floor of the dwelling shall be used for such purpose. There are several conditions: 1) No structural alteration or constructions involving features not customarily found in dwellings shall be made, 2) One unlighted sign with a maximum area of two square feet in area and attached flat against the building shall be permitted, 3) No mechanical or electric equipment that will interfere with TV or radio reception or affect the health and safety of area residents shall be used, 4) The use shall not emit any noise, air pollution, fumes or odors that are not customary for a residence, 5) The use shall not generate or dispose of any liquid effluent other than household waste, 6) If not connected to public sewers, the use shall not generate waste exceeding the design standards for residential use under current building codes for new construction, 7) The use shall not include the outside storage of supplies, materials or equipment.

How do I know if signs/awnings can overhang the sidewalk in front of my business?
The lowest part of any projecting sign that is located over any public or private walkway or within a radius of 30 feet of any intersecting curb shall be not less than eight feet above the finished grade of the surface below it. Projecting signs shall not be permitted over any public alley and shall not project above the parapet line of the wall to which it is attached, or exceed 24 feet in height and measured from finished grade to the sign’s uppermost feature, whichever is lower. Projecting signs shall not extend to more than eight feet from a building or two feet from the inner curb line of the nearest street, whichever is less.
How do I get floodplain information?
To determine whether your property is in a floodplain, call the Engineering Department at 457-8269 or contact the Planning Department at 507-457-8250.
What are the requirements for installing a pool?

What are the requirements for installing a pool? A pool may be installed on a residential property as long as it is at least 10 feet from any property line and that the pump and filter installations are at least 20 feet from any property line. A private swimming pool or the entire property on which it is located, shall be so walled or fenced as to prevent uncontrolled access by children from the street or from adjacent properties. If a corner lot is involved, more restrictions may apply. Please call the Community Development Department at (507) 457-8250 should you wish to install a pool.

Private Pool Setback Requirements PDF

What do I need to know about putting up a fence?

Permits are not required for putting up a fence. Property lines should be determined by a surveyor. Fences may be placed up to but not on the property line. On street sides, fences must be at least one foot back from the sidewalk. Fences may be up to six feet high in the back yard (non street side) and up to four feet high in the front yard or street sides of a lot. Placing the “nice” side toward the neighboring lot is a courtesy to neighbors, however, there is no code to require this practice. If you live on a corner lot, you are subject to additional fence regulations and should call the Community Development Department at (507) 457-8250 before installing a fence.

Fencing Requirements PDF

How do I determine where my property lines are?
The only accurate way to determine a property boundary is to hire a professional land surveyor to perform a survey of your property. The city does not provide surveying services.
Where can recreational equipment be stored on residential property?
Where can recreational equipment be stored on residential property? Recreation vehicles should be stored inside an enclosed structure that conforms to the district’s zoning requirements or outside in a side or rear yard behind the required front yard setback. If this space is not available for your recreational vehicle, please call the Community Development Department at (507) 457-8250. Parked vehicles may not be used for living, sleeping or housekeeping purposes while stored. The vehicle shall be at all times mobile and not be permanently fixed to the ground in a manner that would prevent removal.
How do I subdivide my property?
Minimum lot sizes and street frontages must exist before a subdivision would be allowed. To determine if your property could be subdivided please call the Community Development Department at (507) 457-8250.
How do sign regulations affect my property?
How do sign regulations affect my property? The sign code regulates advertising based on the zoning district and street frontage of a property. Properties in more intensive zoning districts with larger street frontages are allowed more signage than smaller, less intensively zoned properties. Please call the Community Development Department at (507) 457-8250 to determine the allowable sign size, height and setback requirement for your property or refer to Section 43.43 in the Winona City Code.
How do I check the zoning on property?
How do I check the zoning on property? Please call the Community Development Department at (507) 457-8250 with the property address or tax parcel number and we will verify the zoning on any property in Winona.
What are off-street parking requirements?

Generally, off-street parking cannot be provided in front yards, or in side yards adjacent to a side street.  Parking is permitted in driveways that lead directly to an off-street parking area (e.g. garage).  Cars cannot be parked in a manner that blocks sidewalks.  See below for an illustration of permitted parking areas.  Contact the Planning Division with any questions.

Off Street Parking Requirements

Unified Development Code
Unified Development Code