Sign Permits and Standards

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Variances

The Board of Adjustment and Appeals has jurisdiction over any variance which is not closely related to a land use application requiring consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council. Any variance which is closely related to such a land use application shall be under the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission and City Council.

A variance from the requirements of the zoning ordinance may be granted where the following circumstances are found to exist:

  • When the application for the variance establishes that there are practical difficulties in complying with the official control. Practical difficulties means the following:
    • The property owner proposes to use the property in a reasonable manner not permitted by an official control;
    • The plight of the landowner is due to circumstances unique to the property;
    • The circumstances were not created by the landowner;
    • The variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the locality; and
    • The problems extend beyond economic considerations. Economic considerations alone do not constitute practical difficulties.
  • It has been demonstrated that a variance as requested will be in harmony with the general purposes and intent of the chapter and when the variance as requested is consistent with the comprehensive plan.
  • The request is not for a use variance.
  • Conditions to be imposed by the Board of Adjustment and Appeals must be directly related to and must bear a rough proportionality to the impact created by the variance.
  • Variances in the Floodplain Overlay Zone also shall meet the following criteria listed in City Code 151.015.

Submitting an application - Apply through ePermits

  1. Apply on our ePermits site. 
  2. Pay application fees online with a credit card. This will begin your project and create a project on our ePlans website. Once your project is created and fees paid, you will receive an email notification from donotreply@shakopeemn.gov with a temporary password and instructions how to log in.
  3. Upload the Multi-Purpose Planning & Zoning Application [PDF] (see document for submittal dates) through ePlans.  All planning projects need to be accompanied by the appropriate planning application, as well as additional submittal requirements.

Additional submittal requirements

  • Paid application fee and recording fee.
  • Evidence of ownership or an interest in the property.
  • A site plan at a scale large enough for clarity showing the following information:
    • Location and dimension
  • Such other information as may be required by the city.
  • The city will provide mailing labels for residents within 500 feet of project property. Applicant (except single family applications) will be expected to mail out notices and conduct a neighborhood meeting at least two weeks prior to a public hearing at City Council meeting. 

More information is available in the variance application information handout [PDF].

Variance Review Process

  1. Meet with city staff
  2. Application received by city
  3. Public hearing scheduled IF application is deemed complete by staff
  4. Staff and outside agencies review application
  5. Staff prepares memo and recommendation(s)
  6. Public hearing held at Board of Adjustment and Appeals
  7. Decision determined or tabled
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Note: Signs placed within city, county or state right-of-way or attached to trees, utility poles, rocks or other similar surfaces are not permitted and can be removed without warning.

Does my sign need a permit?

Click on the different types of signs to learn more about sign requirements and see examples.

Electronic Message Boards
Flag
Freestanding Sign
Highway Sign
Projecting Sign
Revolving or Moving Signs
Temporary Sign
Wall Sign

In 2018, the City Council adopted an overhauled sign code that alters most of the previous standards and definitions. Sign overlay zones are no longer in effect; sign standards are determined by the zoning designation of a property.

How is sign area determined?

The exact square footage permitted for each sign type is determined by the property’s zoning designation: highway business, community commercial, neighborhood commercial, industrial, major recreation, office and business park and residential.

What are the standards for my sign district? 

Information outlining the signage size and placement is available in City Code 151.185 and the approved Sign Ordinance [PDF]. Note: Applicable parcels based on proximity to principle arterials are subject to change.

Sign Ordinance Table [PDF]

Highway Signs Map [PDF]

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