Downtown North St. Paul 2005 Design Manual

The 2005 Downtown Design Manual communicates and informs readers about the design review process and regulations contained within the North St. Paul Code of Ordinance. It will provide clear illustration of design standards and guidelines that will reinforce the vision of a vibrant community center in downtown North St. Paul. The current 2005 Downtown Design Manual has had numerous conflicts with the City’s Zoning Code. It is the City’s goal to rewrite and update the manual to be consistent with the Zoning Code and updated design practices. The intent of the new manual is not only to update and modernize the design standards, but also to create encouraging guidelines that reinforce the community’s desires for quality design and place making and to support sustainable development practices. 

Application Procedure and the Design Review Process

Applications for a Design Review can be found on the City’s website and also within City Hall at the Community Development Department.

The following steps comprise the review procedure:

Step 1: Schedule a Pre-Application Meeting. Contact the City Planner, Corrin Wendell at 651-747-2400 to schedule your pre-application meeting. NOTE: You may also have to schedule meetings with the City Building Official.

Step 2: Application Submittal. Thirty (30) days prior to the next Design Review Commission meeting (4th Thursday of every month), submit the Design Review Application to the City Planner at the Community Development Department within City Hall or email to corrin.wendell@northstpaul.org as well as pay the appropriate fees.

Step 3: Completeness Review. The City Planner will review the application for completeness and can request additional information. No application is complete unless all of the required information is included and all application fees have been paid.

Step 4: DRC Review. The Design Review Commission will review the recommendation for your Design Review Application at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The DRC will recommend approval, denial, or approval with certain conditions to the City Council.

Step 5: City Council Action. The City Council will take action on the application referral by the Design Review Commission.

Step 6: Notification. Following the City Council action, the applicant will be notified of the action taken.

Reapplication. If the design review application is denied, you must wait one year from the date of an order of denial unless the new application has been modified to eliminate the objections to the requested basis for denial or change in circumstances warrants it.

Design Manual Update 2016

The Design Review Commission and City Staff have determined that a full Downtown Design Manual Update is necessary in order to provide better flexibility and design solutions to the Downtown Mixed-Use District built environment. This process will take approximately six months to complete while including the participation of City staff, City Council, Commissions, various City departments, business owners and residents.

Process and Involvement

This process will take a strong commitment from the City to inform, involve, and engage North St. Paul residents, business owners, the Design Review Commission, other Commissions, the Business Association, City Council and various City departments to create a full Downtown Design Manual Update. The City would like to extend its outreach efforts to provide an inclusive process. North St. Paul has many passionate residents, Council members and Commissioners who care deeply about our Downtown, and who through their participation, can help to shape the elements of the manual. The Downtown Design Manual Update will ultimately be a better document because of the comments, suggestions, and critique provided by all of those who engage in the project. The City will be thankful for their contributions and dedication to this process.

Why is a Downtown Design Manual Update necessary?

The former 2005 Downtown Design Manual is a document that, over the past 10 years, has implemented its design standards within the City, but has numerous times resulted in conflicts and inconsistencies with the City’s Zoning Code that often made the document difficult to interpret and use. It is the City’s goal to rewrite and update the manual to be consistent with the City’s Zoning Code and updated design practices. The design standards will provide direction to decision makers, design professionals, and the public regarding site planning, building, landscaping, and infrastructure design. The intent of the new manual is not only to update and modernize the design standards, but also to create encouraging guidelines that reinforce the community's desires for quality design and place making and to promote sustainable development practices. The manual will be written to support local businesses and new development interests in North St. Paul. As a result, the review procedures and processes will be streamlined, any unnecessary or contradictory standards will be removed, and more opportunities for creative development consistent with the City’s goals and policies will be facilitated.

Proposed Design Manual Update Timeline

Months 1-2 (November/December 2015)

• Discussion Sessions

• Meetings with Council and Commissions

• Research and Analysis

Months 3-4 (January/February 2016)

• Discussion Sessions

• Meetings with Council and Commissions

• Working drafts by Section to Design Review Commission

• Open House at Design Review Commission – (TBD)

Months 5-6 (March/April 2016)

• Working drafts by Section to Design Review Commission

Month 7 (May 2016)

• FINAL DRAFT: Bring Final Draft to Design Review Commission

• Open House of Final Draft and Comment period – (TBD)

• Modification of Zoning Code Sections – possible text amendments

• Take possible Text Amendments to Planning Commission and City Council

• FINAL DRAFT: Bring Final Draft to City Council for approval