Residential Properties Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions for Residential Properties in the City of Rochester

How is my property zoned? You may access the Interactive Zoning Map online or contact the Planning Department at 507 328-7100.

Where can I find the Rochester Zoning Ordinance? TheRochester Land Development Manual and Zoning Ordinance is available online.

Do I need a building permit? Contact the Rochester Building Safety Department at 507 328-2600 to determine whether your project will require a building permit. If you are building a shed and the Building Safety Department has determined that no building permit is required, please contact the Planning Department at 507 328-7100 to apply for a zoning certificate.

Do I need a permit to build a fence? Fences that are 6 feet tall or less do not need a building permit. Fences may be built up to the property line, but not over the property line. Fences cannot be built in a drainage easement. Please contact the Planning Department at 507 328-7100 if you are planning to build a fence or wall in a front yard, or along a road, driveway, sidewalk, or an alley.

How do I find out where my property lines are located? Property lines are determined by a survey. Do not assume that a fence is a reliable marker for the location of a side or rear property line. You may be able to determine the approximate location of your property lines by looking up the Subdivision Plat or Interactive Zoning Map. If you are unable to find the survey markers in the ground at your property, you can hire a licensed land surveyor to mark your property lines. The Planning Department does not keep any surveys on file.

What should I know about building a garage or shed? Detached garages and sheds must meet zoning requirements for setbacks, height, square footage, etc. Please visit the Planning Department with a sketch or a site plan outlining the proposed location of the garage or shed to discuss the proposal with Planning Department staff.

Where can I get a copy of my site plan? Some properties may have site plans on file at the Rochester Building Safety Department. Please contact the Building Safety Department at 507 328-2600 to request a copy of a site plan.

What are the building setbacks on my property? Building setbacks depend on how the property is zoned. Please contact the Planning Department at 507 328-7100 to determine the building setbacks for your property.

Do I need to schedule an appointment to meet with a planner? The Planning Department welcomes walk-in visits to discuss any planning and zoning questions or concerns. A planner will be available to meet with you Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. The Planning Department is located at 2122 Campus Drive SE, Suite 100.

Additional Info:

FAQ For Residential Properties

Fences Walls and Hedges

Sample Site Plan