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Planning & Development Services

Is comprised of four main areas:

Economic/Community Development is handled by the Department Director.  The Director is the primary contact for commercial and residential development, industrial development, and business relocations in the City of Willmar.  Zoning administration is also handled by the Director.  The Director,  acts as staff support for the Community Development Council Committee, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Economic Development Commission of Willmar.

Planning and Zoning deals with land use issues. The Planner, along with the Director, enforce the City Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance, and act as staff support for the Planning Commission as well as the Board of Zoning Appeals. Planning & Zoning deals with applications for Conditional Use Permits, Variances, Subdivision Plats, Plan Review, and Zoning Amendments.

The Building Inspections portion of the Department handles plan reviews and inspections to ensure compliance with all applicable construction codes. The Building Inspectors enforce the 2007 Minnesota State Building Code and assist in the enforcement of the City's Zoning Ordinance.

The Rental Inspections segment of the Department enforces the Rental Housing Maintenance and Occupancy Ordinance. The purpose of the Ordinance is  to insure that the quality of rental housing units is adequate for protection of public health, safety, and general welfare. 


The Willmar Zoning Ordinance regulates land use within the city limits. It stipulates permitted uses, building setbacks, parking regulations, sign code, exterior storage, and accessory structures for each parcel within the City Limits based off which zoning district the parcel is designated.

Building / Construction

Building permits are required for all new residential structures, outbuildings greater than 200 sq. ft., building additions, re-roofs, re-siding, door and window replacements when size is being enlarged or reduced from the original opening, plumbing, mechanical, and excavating.

Rental Housing


Planning and Development Services administers a rental housing program.  The Building Inspector inspects and certifies rental properties that meet the minimum standards as spelled out in the rental property ordinance.


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