The Planning Division is part of the Community Development Department. Edina was the first village in the State to appoint a Planning Commission - that was in 1929.


Edina has always been a community that has recognized the importance of its past while preparing itself for the future. From its incorporation in 1888 as a milling community on the banks of the Minnehaha Creek, Edina has evolved to be a model among municipalities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. It has been an innovator and leader in many ways.

  • Adoption of a comprehensive zoning ordinance in 1929, the first Minnesota village to do so
  • Approval and construction of the County Club neighborhood in 1924, featuring contoured streets, parks, trees, and 18-hole golf course and housing with private covenants governing unit placement, architectural style and property maintenance
  • Establishment and upgrade of the 50th and France commercial district starting in the 1930s
  • The opening of Southdale Center in 1956 as the nation's first fully-enclosed, climate-controlled regional shopping mall - a model that has been subsequently used throughout the country
  • Development of Centennial Lakes and Edinborough parks, which have become contemporary models for the integration of commercial and residential land uses

Planning Director

In 1957, the City hired the State's first full-time Planning Director. It was evident then, as it is now, that planning is an integral part of Edina's past and future.


Although the City is more than 98 percent developed, the Planning Division is still confronted with the challenges of continually changing land uses. Properties that are redeveloped and that are surrounded by existing established neighborhoods, services and streets require a sensitive and careful review to ensure a compatible and sensitive result. The Planning Division reviews development and redevelopment proposals with the guidance of the City's long-range Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance.

Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is the City’s long-range guide to how property should be developed or redeveloped.

Zoning Ordinance

The Zoning Ordinance defines the current rights that owners have for their properties. The Zoning Ordinance regulates many aspects of land use, such as the type of use, sign regulations, landscaping requirements, setbacks and density regulations.

Zoning Requests

Requests for zoning changes, variances, conditional use permits, subdivisions, site plans and comprehensive plan amendments require review by the Planning Commission and approval by the City Council. Planning staff serves as liaison to the Planning Commission, making recommendations on the land use issues.

Additional Functions

The Planning Division also performs the following functions:

  • Maintains and updates the City's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Map
  • Advises the Heritage Preservation Board
  • Advises developers, land owners and residents about the requirements for land use, plats and zoning
  • Administers and oversees the Community Development Block Grant Program
  • Issues sign permits
  • Oversees U.S. Census data
  • Oversees Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) map information

Typical Day

On a typical day, the Planning Division will:

  • Meet with developers, land owners and residents inquiring about development or redevelopment of property
  • Review residential, commercial and industrial building plans
  • Answer residents' inquiries regarding building setbacks, lot coverage and building height requirements
  • Review sign permit applications and answer inquiries regarding size, location and height requirements for signage
  • Review plans and answer inquiries regarding radio and television antennas and towers
  • Field questions and process applications for the Community Development Block Grant Program
  • Field questions regarding home occupations
  • Conduct follow-up inspections and investigate complaints regarding Zoning Ordinance compliance

Typical Year

In a typical year, the Planning Department will:

  • Process 30 variance requests
  • Submit to the City Council between 20 and 30 requests for subdivision, rezoning, site plan, comprehensive plan and conditional use permit approval
  • Process 100 sign permits
  • Administer $150,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding

Heritage Preservation Commission

The role of the Heritage Preservation Commission safeguards the significant heritage properties of the City by identifying and nominating them for designation by the City Council as Edina Heritage Landmarks.

For more information, contact the Planning Department at 952-826-0369.