FAQS: Planning & Zoning

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. General flood and floodplain information may be obtained at the Federal Emergency Management Agency website: http://www.fema.gov/hazards/floods. Flood insurance information can be found at the Federal Emergency Management Agency website:http://www.fema.gov/about/divisions/mitigation.shtm.

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