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Up to six hens per parcel are allowed provided a keeping of chickens permit is issued.
Yes, a one time permit and an inspection of your coop/run is required. Apply here.
No, chickens must be keep in an approved coop and run at all times. Property owners are encouraged to plan/build environments that allow chickens to do chicken things like scratching, pecking, dust bathing and roosting.
Yes, specific standards for coops and runs apply.
Yes, the Council included standards of care for chickens in the approving ordinance.
Selling of eggs from your property is not allowed. Keeping of backyard chickens for your use on site is contemplated. Raising chickens for slaughter or slaughtering chickens is not authorized under the keeping of backyard chickens ordinance.
Permits, either construction or zoning related, are usually required when making a change or adding something to your property.
Building permits are required when:
You don't need a building permit for painting, wallpapering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops, and similar finish work
Small sheds 200 square feet or less in size don't need a building permit but they do require a zoning permit.
Plumbing permits are needed when adding or changing plumbing fixtures, pipes, adding a second/irrigation meter, changing out water heaters/softeners and making changes to supply or drainage systems. You do not need a plumbing permit to re-set an existing toilet in a single family home, to replace a faucet, or to make repairs to an existing fixture.
Mechanical permits are required to add or change out heating, venting, air conditioning systems, and fire suppression systems.
Zoning permits are required for sheds over 25 sf to 200 sf and less in size. Sheds over 200 sf require a building permit. Zoning permits are also needed for fences, sheds, driveways, concrete slabs, patios (decks require a building permit), sidewalks, and parking pads.
Working in, excavating, or obstructing a street, boulevard, or alley requires a right of way permit. Replacing, expanding, or altering a driveway may require a right-of-way permit. Right of way permit applicants must provide proof of insurance and a bond/check to ensure work completed properly.
Prior to renting/letting any dwelling unit a rental license is required, regardless of the amount/type of rent paid or familial relationship with the property owner. The rental license process involves permit application and inspection.
When the occupancy of a building changes a permit and associated review is required.
Most electrical alterations, additions, or change-outs require an electrical permit. This includes utility service providers adding electrical back haul.
Many lots have easements which provide for drainage and utilities. If your project impacts an easement you must apply for an easement encroachment permit. Anything you put in an easement is at your own risk, meaning if the easement is needed for drainage or utility purposes your private property may be removed/removed and you will not be compensated.
Certain businesses require a business license to operate.
Most changes to property require some type of permit. There are two different categories of permits:
Zoning review including site plan, variance, conditional use permit, nonconformance expansion permit, and platting (property subdivision) may be required prior to securing a building or zoning permit.
Permit review consists of submitting and review of applications and attachments and conducting inspections. Permits must be applied for using City application forms. You will need to complete the appropriate application form and supply required plans and materials. Applications may be downloaded and completed online where available and are also available for pick-up at City Hall.
Site plans are often required.
You may need to locate your property by finding and exposing corner pins/stakes. The City has a metal detector loan program available to assist. The City doesn't locate property lines.
If you are unsure of where to begin, please review our permit guide.
Detailed information on permitting is included in our permit guide.
Surveys are not required for: interior remodels, re-roofs, re-siding, windows/doors.
Surveys will be required for residential building projects unless the work qualifies for one of the following exclusions:
This final exception also applies to expansions that have been reviewed and approved through the land use process using an existing survey or site plan.
New residential construction will always require submittal of a survey to document the proposed grading extent, location of erosion control, proposed drainage following construction, etc. Exceptions to this rule include:
If you have questions contact permitting.
Surveys will be required for commercial and industrial building projects unless the work qualifies for one of the following exclusions:
New commercial or industrial construction will always require submittal of a survey to document the proposed grading extent, location of erosion control, proposed drainage following construction, etc. Exceptions to this rule include:
Applications for new construction or expansions of existing footprints will be required to provide an as-built grading survey if one of the following criteria apply:
If you have questions contact permitting.
Surveys are necessary for proposals that require a land use application:
Exception: If the applicant is improving a property such that building footprints, hardcover, etc, will not change (i.e. building upwards) and an old to-scale survey or site plan already provides all information necessary to complete a review, the old survey or site plan may be accepted for the new land use process at staff's discretion.
When survey requirements apply to a project, Community Development typically use discretion to minimize survey costs whenever possible by excluding extraneous information that will be unnecessary for determining zoning compliance.
Work without a permit could result in a stop-work order, an investigative fee, and for contractors, an investigation from the State.
Savvy home buyers and realtors want to see proof of permitted work, so also keep in mind that if un-permitted work is occurring at your home, it could be an issue if you choose to sell.
The City has to follow building code rules for expiring permits, but in many cases if the work is ongoing, we can extend the permit beyond its original expiration date. Contact the Building Official.
Permits are active for 180 days from the issuance of the permit or last inspection, whichever is greater. It is important to not let your permit expire. Contact the Building Official for more information.
In most instances, as a general guideline, the following types of projects can proceed without a building permit. Please note exemption from building permit requirements does not grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner that is in violation of the building code or any other laws or ordinances, including work that requires a zoning permit.
Emergency repairs can be done without first obtaining the necessary permits, but the permits must be quickly obtained after the work has been done. Please remember inspections are a required part of permitting process and inspectors must be able to see what they are inspecting. We recommend you to reach out to the Building Official as soon as possible and proceed with an abundance of caution.
Unless otherwise instructed a contractor and/or property owner/representative must be present when an inspection is conducted.
You may email permitting at any time or call 952-873-5553 during normal business hours to schedule an inspection. We will make every effort to conduct an inspection within 48 hours of our receipt of a request. You will need to provide information on the type of inspection, permitted street address, permit number, name of person meeting the inspector, and a contact phone number.
We often use 'code' and 'ordinance' interchangeably. If we compare code/ordinance to folders filled with documents, then the 'code' is a file folder and ordinances as the individual sheets of paper in the folder.
Unless otherwise advertised, meetings are held in the Council Chambers at 218 Meridian St N. Enter from the parking lot under the awning which says "Council Chambers". There are copies of meeting agendas and a sign in sheet available on the table just inside the vestibule. You are welcome to take an agenda and follow along. You are also encouraged to sign in. There will also a single copy of the packet of meeting materials the City Council received to prepare for the meeting. You are welcome to look through it, however, we do ask that you not remove the packet. If you would like a copy of the packet of materials, you may download it for free or you may request a copy from the City using a data request form.
If you arrive after the meeting has already started, you are welcome to open the door and quietly find a seat in the audience.
The Mayor will lead the City Council in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. As a member of the audience, you will be asked to stand and participate.
The Mayor presides over the meeting. When it is time for the meeting to start, the Mayor will take attendance and call the meeting to order. State law requires that a quorum, or majority, of the City Council be present in order to conduct city business. If there is not a quorum, by law the meeting may not proceed.
The meeting agenda becomes official after it is approved by the City Council. City Council members reserve the right to ask that an item be added to or removed from the agenda. If such a request is made, the City Council will vote on this proposal using parliamentary procedures. Proposed changes could be approved or denied.
Minutes, once approved, are the official record of the city meetings. The City Council has an opportunity to make corrections and clarification their meeting minutes before approving them.
During this portion of the meeting, the Mayor may make proclamations, present acknowledgements, or speakers from outside agencies may present reports or other information to the City Council. Law enforcement officers or newly elected officials may take their oaths of office during this portion of the meeting as well.
The City Council will vote on a variety of routine business items with one motion.
Minnesota state law requires cities to hold public hearings when it is considering certain kinds of city business. Often, these public hearings are held during Planning Commission meetings and again by the City Council. During a public hearing, there will generally be a report delivered by a city staff member followed by a brief discussion of the City Council. The Mayor will then invite members of the public to comment on the business item at hand. When the Mayor asks if anyone wishes to speak, raise your hand and approach the podium as invited by the Mayor. You will be asked to limit your comments to three minutes. When all comments have been heard, the City Council will resume their discussion and may bring the item to a vote.
Generally, staff will deliver a presentation providing background information to the City Council. The City Council will discuss the item and either direct the City Administrator or staff return with more information or they will put the item to a vote.
Sometimes, the City Council will consider ordinances - either as a business item or as part of the consent agenda. Ordinances don't just provide a direction to staff or establish a policy. Ordinances are legal documents that establish fees, change the official city map or are incorporated into City Code and change Belle Plaine's municipal laws.
The Mayor will share public meetings of interest.
The City Council formally ends the meeting.
If you wish to leave before the meeting has formally ended, you may quietly do so at any time.
You can find information about the City Council, its members, and meetings on the City Council page.
City Council meetings are live-streamed online and cable cast live on cable channel 8. You may stream recorded meetings or watch rebroadcasts Wednesdays at 7 pm and Thursdays at 10 am on Channel 8.
Meeting agendas and packets can also be downloaded.
City HallAttn: Code Enforcement218 North Meridian StreetP.O. Box 129Belle Plaine, MN 56011
If a complaint is reported regarding a potential violation on your property, the Code Enforcement Official will come to your property to inspect for the alleged violation. If a violation is found, you will be notified that your property is noncompliant with City Code and given a 10 day correction period to bring your property into compliance. The Code Enforcement Official will explain what the violation is and how you can correct it.
After the correction period has ended, the Code Enforcement Official will re-inspect your property to confirm the violation has been corrected and your property if compliant with City Code.
Please remember, the goal with code enforcement is to work with property owners to ensure City Code violations get resolved voluntarily and quickly.
If you are unsure of how to bring your property into compliance with City Code or you think you may need additional time to correct a violation, communicate your concerns and questions with the Code Enforcement Official.
When a property owner fails to correct a City Code violation after being notified by the City and does not communicate the reason for noncompliance with the Code Enforcement Official, the City will move forward with disciplinary action. The disciplinary action depends on the violation. Typically, this involves issuing a citation to the property owner.
Violations of City Code are misdemeanor offences, which may carry a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. After the City issues a citation, the property owner will be provided with a court date. The Scott County judicial system will impose disciplinary action after a citation has been issued.
When a property owner has tall grass or weeds (12 inches) on their property and fails to mow after being notified by the City and given 10 days to do so. The City will have the tall grass or weeds on the property mowed and bill the property owner at a cost of $175 per lot to cover the costs of mowing.
Following are common subjects of code enforcement.
Keep your lawn mowed regularly and remove weeds from your property. Grass and weeds in excess of 8" (inches) in height must be mowed and maintained throughout the growing season. Control volunteer brush and trees to prevent the rank growth of vegetation on your property.
Do not leave unlicensed and/or inoperable vehicles parked outside on your property. Keep automobiles parked on paved surfaces and do not allow semi tractors or other commercial vehicles to be parked on your property.
On and off-street parking facilities accessory to residential uses can only be used for the parking of licensed and operable passenger automobile, no more than one truck not to exceed gross capacity of nine thousand (9,000) pounds, and recreational vehicles and equipment. A permit is needed for a parking pad or parking lot.
All areas intended to be utilized for parking space and driveways need to be surfaced with materials suitable to control dust and drainage. Driveways and parking stalls are to be surfaced with asphalt or concrete. Plans for surfacing and drainage of driveways and parking stalls for five or more vehicles must be submitted to the City Engineer for his/her review and the final drainage plan shall be subject to his/her written approval.
Keep items not intended for outdoor use, stored indoors. If you need to place such items outside, be sure they are not left there permanently. All outside storage of materials and equipment for residential uses shall be stored within a building or fully screened so as not to be visible from adjoining properties.
Store your trash in appropriate enclosed garbage bins and keep them out of your front yard on non pick-up days. Do not allow rubbish to be stored or disposed of outdoors on your property.
It is unlawful for any person to throw, deposit, maintain, or store outside any litter on any private property within the City, whether owned by such person or not, and the owner and the person in control of any such private property shall at all times maintain the premises free of litter.
Yes! You may responsibly compost leaves and grass in dedicated compost sites/bins in your back yard.
We encourage you to be conscientious in composting on-site and considerate of adjacent property owners. Composting is regulated under Chapter 4 of the City Code. Open the link and search for 'composting'.
If you have soil or dirt to dispose of please contact the Public Works Department.
You may request data by completing a form. You may complete and submit the Data Request Form online. Alternately, an electronic for can be emailed, a printed form can be mailed to you, or you may pick up a form at City Hall.
Data requests are to include:
Upon receiving your request, we will work to process it.
The City charges for copies of government data. These charges are authorized under Minnesota Statutes. Fees are included in the current fee schedule approved by the City Council. We will provide an estimated cost upon request prior to processing a request.
For questions about data contact City Administrator Dawn Meyer.
Other staff members responsible for the maintenance and dissemination of City records are authorized data practices contacts as apparent or assigned.
You have the right to look at (inspect), free of charge, public and private data that we keep about you. You also have the right to get copies of public and private data about you. The Government Data Practices Act allows us to charge for copies. You have the right to look at data, free of charge, before deciding to request copies. Also, if you ask, we will tell you whether we keep data about you and whether the data are public, private, or confidential. When requesting data classified as private data, you must show valid ID to verify that you are authorized to access the private or nonpublic data in the City’s possession.
As a parent, you have the right to look at and get copies of public and private data about your minor children (under the age of 18). As a legally appointed guardian, you have the right to look at and get copies of public and private data about an individual for whom you are appointed guardian.
Minors have the right to ask the City not to give data about them to their parent or guardian. If you are a minor, we will tell you that you have this right. We may ask you to put your request in writing and to include the reasons that we should deny your parents access to the data. We will make the final decision about your request based on your best interests.
The Government Data Practices Act presumes that all government data are public unless a state or federal law says that the data are not public. Data about you are classified by state law as public, private, or confidential.
If we have public data, we must give public data to anyone who asks. It does not matter who is asking for the data or why the person wants the data. The following are examples of some of the public data the City may have about you:
We cannot give private data to the general public, but you can have access to private data when the data are about you. We can share your private data with you, with someone who has your permission, with our government entity staff who have a work assignment to see the data, and to others, as permitted by law or court order. The following are examples of private data the City may have about you:
Confidential data have the most protection. Neither the public nor you can get access even when the confidential data are about you. We can share confidential data about you with our government entity staff who have a work assignment to see the data, and to others, as permitted by law or court order. We cannot give you access to confidential data. The following is an example of confidential data about you:
The City collects and keeps only those data about you that we need for administering and managing programs and services that are permitted by law. There is a presumption that all data are public unless there is a law that makes it not public.
When we ask you to provide data about yourself that are not public, we must give you a notice. This privacy notice is sometimes called a Tennessen warning and it controls what we do with the data that we collect from you. Usually, we can use and release the data only in the ways described in the notice.
We will ask for your written permission if we need to use or release private data about you in a different way, or if you ask us to release the data to another person. This permission is called informed consent. If you want us to release private data to another person, you must use the consent form we provide or another form approved by the City's Responsible Authority.
Summary data are statistical records or reports that are prepared by removing all identifiers from private or confidential data on individuals. The preparation of summary data is not a means to gain access to private or confidential data. The City is not required to compile data or summary data not already in existence.
The Government Data Practices Act requires us to protect your data. We have established appropriate safeguards to ensure that your data are safe from internal or external security breaches.
In the unfortunate event that we determine a security breach has occurred and an unauthorized person has gained access to your data, we will notify you as required by law.
The project area (PDF) includes most of the Downtown core
The project scope includes street and utility improvements.
Contact City Administrator Dawn Meyer.
The City is reviewing payment options which will likely include other jurisdiction participation (portions of the roadways in the project area are under Scott County jurisdiction), inputs from MSA (municipal state aid), assessments to benefiting property owners, American Rescue Plan Act economic funds, and debt financed through utility and capital improvement funds.
For decades the City has conducted an annual street and utility improvement project. Historically those projects have focused on the most aged infrastructure and streets, typically in the original townsite. Small, annual projects help us avoid falling into a situation where all streets and utilities need to be updated at once overwhelming our financial capability.
Although previously on improvement “radar”, the Downtown improvement project moved up in priority in 2020 when Scott County began talking with the City about updating State St W. Infrastructure in the Downtown ties into State St W and logistically needs to be completed prior to work on State St W. Planning, discussion, public outreach, and studies have been ongoing.
The City posts project updates online, through social media, and in The Bridge monthly newsletter. Meeting agendas and packet information is posted online, you may sign up for alerts to be notified of agenda posting. You can also check the project page or contact us for updates.
Belle Plaine City residents vote in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 218 Meridian Street North. The poll entrance is the northwestern most door signed as "Council Chambers".
If you are unsure of where to vote, you may confirm your Election Day voting location before Election Day by visiting the MN Secretary of State's Online Pollfinder.
In Minnesota, voters are allowed to cast an absentee ballot for any reason in the 46 days prior to Election Day by mail or in person. Voters can also vote early in the seven days before Election Day. Click to Learn more about absentee and early voting options.
Military and overseas voters can vote by absentee ballot by using the process outlined in the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) administered by the MN Secretary of State's Office.
If you are feeling sick on Election Day, are a patient in a hospital or other medical facility (including a nursing home), are a resident of a shelter or assisted living facility, or are disabled, you may enlist someone you know to help you vote.
Each agent is allowed to deliver and return ballots for a maximum of three voters.
You can cast an absentee vote by the agent if you are a:
How to Vote by Agent
On Election Day, you can also vote from your car at our polling location. When you arrive, have someone in your car let the election judges know you would like to exercise this option.
Find out what offices and candidates will be on your ballot by visiting the MN Secretary of State’s website on Who’s On My Ballot. Information is available approximately 45 days prior to Election Day.
Visit the Secretary of State’s Candidate Filings page to look for contact information for specific candidates and offices.
Some voters may be able to authorize an individual (agent) to pick up and return an absentee ballot for them. This service is available only within the seven days preceding an election. Find out more about how to vote by agent.
No. Not unless they qualify for Agent Delivery.
Some voters may be able to authorize an individual (agent) to pick up and return an absentee ballot for them. This service is available only within the seven days preceding an election. Visit How to Vote by Agent to find out more.
Wondering if you're registered to vote? Find out on the Voter Information Portal.
If you don't find your voter registration or if your information is incorrect, update your voter registration on the Minnesota Register to Vote website.
In the 46 days prior to Election Day, voters may cast an absentee ballot in person or they may complete the absentee process by mail. In Minnesota, all citizens are allowed to vote using an absentee ballot for any reason and all absentee ballots that have been received by Election Day and accepted* by the Absentee Ballot Board are counted. You can also track the status of your ballot and verify it has been counted!
View the Status of Your Ballot.
*To be accepted by the Absentee Ballot Board:
If you need help voting, you have lots of options!
In a state or federal election, every employee has the right to be excused from work to vote on Election Day without penalty or loss of salary or wages as per Minnesota Statute 204C.04.
You are welcome to bring a relative, friend or neighbor with you to help you as long as that person is not your employer or your union representative. The person you bring with you can help you in all parts of the voting process, including in the voting booth; however, helpers can only physically mark ballots for up to three voters in an election. In addition, they are not allowed to make choices for you, share how you vote with others or try to influence you to vote a certain way. If you have someone help you mark your ballot, you are welcome to show your ballot privately to an election judge to check that it is correctly marked.
All Absentee/Early Voting Centers and the polls on Election Day are equipped with ballot marking devices that can mark a ballot for you. It gives you privacy if you cannot or choose not to vote using a pen. These ballot marking devices can help you:
You may also ask election judges for assistance. Election officials are happy to work together to assist with:
If you cannot easily leave your vehicle to enter a polling place, you can ask to have a ballot brought out to you. This is known as "Curbside Voting." Simply ask the election judge stationed near the poll entry for assistance.
Please visit Safe At Home: An Address Confidentiality website well in advance of the election if you are in a situation where you wish to vote but fear for your safety if your address were to be disclosed in voter records.
You may bring someone with you to the polls to translate. Ballot marking devices assist with large print marking.
Election results can be found on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
Here are some unique situations you might fall into:
For more information, please contact any of the following voting resources:
Emerald Ash Borer has been documented within the City. The City doesn't remove ash trees but we are an information resource.
An early sign of infestation is jagged holes in the bark created by woodpeckers trying to dig out the larvae. Characteristics of trees infested with EAB include the presence of sucker growth or 'water sprouts', dieback from the top of the tree downward, woodpecker damage, S-shaped feeding galleries, splits in the tree bark, and D-shaped borer exit holes.
The Public Works Department has certified foresters who can answer questions and help you identify EAB, call 952-873-6742 or email them.
No, the City doesn't provide tree removal services to private property owners. We maintain a list of commercial tree removal and care contractors who have current licenses through the City.
Chapter Four of the City Code defines long grass as over eight inches tall.
Residents are encouraged to keep grass healthy and within standards. Residents are also encouraged to control volunteer vegetation around foundations, trees, structures, etc.
You may file a code enforcement complaint (PDF) about long grass.
Yes, managed native prairie and/or natural landscapes are allowed and encouraged. Standards apply and such landscaping plans are subject to City administrative review and approval.
Only certain types of business activities require a business license from the City. Businesses may require licensing from state or federal authorities as well. The following types of business activities or places where business is conducted need a license from the City:
Dog licenses are required. The Police Department issues dog licenses and they are good for two years. The number of pets allowed is limited to two dogs and two cats.
Large assembly permits are issued by the City Council and are needed for any public gathering of 250 or more people for events including, but not necessarily limited to: musical, racing, political, promotional, social, and other similar activities.
The following activities are not required to obtain a large assembly permit:
Unless otherwise noted parking in public parking lots is limited to 48 hours. Parking lots are monitored.
The downtown area is described as follows:
The 100 Block of South Meridian Street, from Main Street proceeding south and terminating at the north property lines of 127 and 130 South Meridian Street. The 100 and 200 blocks of North Meridian Street. The 100 block of East Main Street. The 100 and 200 blocks of West Main Street. The 100 block of East Church Street. The 100 block of West Church Street. The 100 and 200 blocks of North Willow Street. The 100 block of South Willow Street from Main Street proceeding south to the East/West alley.
Utility companies have the right to work in the street right-of-way and the drainage and utility easement, to install or maintain their lines. Before work begins, the respective company is required to call 'Gopher State One Call'. They then notify other utilities of the work to be performed. The other utility companies will then mark their existing lines in the area with paint.
If you would like to find out what work is being performed, you can contact the respective utility companies. You can also call the Public Works Department at 952-873-6742.
If you notice any color other than what is listed above painted on your property, please call the Public Works Department.
Meters are read monthly, typically near the 26th of the month.
The homeowner is responsible for any service line blockage or repairs between the home and the City wastewater main, including the connection at the wastewater main.
Problems with the sanitary wastewater system (the system conveying wastewater from homes, businesses, and industries) should be reported to the City Public Works Department.
Property owners experiencing sewer issues should call the Public Works Department if the public system is operating. If the problem is only with one fixture (sink or toilet), it is likely that the problem is in the private system and you should contact a plumber.
Please call Public Works for waste water questions 952-873-6742 and call Utility Billing 985-873-4644 for water and sewer bill questions.
Iron and manganese, which occur naturally in well water, can cause a rusty color. It is not harmful. Water can also become discolored from a malfunctioning water softener.
Public Works flushes the hydrants in spring and fall to remove iron and manganese from the system. The operation of each hydrant is also checked at this time.
The City maintains the water line within the public road right-of-way, the rest of the system is the responsibility of the homeowner. The City does not provide a repair service. The City of Belle Plaine Public Works Department will shut off the water at the curb stop, if needed, for a repair. In an emergency situation, call the Public Works after-hours number at 952.658.9051. If your repair is not an emergency, please call Public works at 952.873.6742. Please allow up to 24 hours before the repair is to be made to schedule the water shut off. The curb stop will be located ahead of time and checked for operability. A maintenance worker will meet with you or your representative at the scheduled time to shut off the water.
Trees cannot be planted in the boulevard and must be planted entirely on their private property at least 3 feet from the property line. It is the responsibility of the property owner to find their own property lines - the City does not locate property lines.
Typically, there is a ten-foot-wide easement adjacent to the right-of-way. It gives the City and the private utility companies the right to install and maintain underground or above-ground utilities (water main, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, telephone lines, gas lines, power lines, CATV lines).
A drainage problem involving public streets, stormwater inlets, storm sewers, or drainage ditches should be reported to the Public Works Department at 952.873.6742. If the drainage problem is on private property, the homeowner will need to determine how to correct the problem. The responsibility to do the correction is that of the property owner.
Wherever possible, the Public Works Department maintains a buffer of undisturbed vegetation along the shoreline of ponds. These buffers provide a variety of benefits, including the filtration and absorption of runoff water before it reaches the pond, shoreline stabilization, preventing grass clippings and fertilizer from being blown or spread into the water, and providing wildlife habitat.
These trees belong to the property owner and the property owners are responsible for the care of the trees. The City will send out notices to residents if trimming of the trees poses hazardous conditions for pedestrians and vehicles, or if they interfere with utilities. If you are unable to take care of trimming, the City will trim the trees and may charge for that service. Please call Public Works at 952.873.6742 if you are not sure if the tree is within the right-of-way.
Belle Plaine has two companies that service our town depending on where you live: Xcel – 800.960.6235 and MVEC – 952.492.8255 or 800.232.2328. You may call the company directly to report the outage, or, as a courtesy to our residents, we can take those calls. Contact City Hall at 952.873.5553.
Call Public Works at 952-873-6742
Streets are swept every Friday from Spring through Fall until the snow hits. Please call Public Works at 952.873.6742 if your street is in need of sweeping.
Yes! Billing, new service & change service requests can be requested by calling 952-873-4644 or by emailing [email protected]. Please find the Residential Utility Billing Automatic Payment Program form on our website by going to Residents, Utility, click on Service Providers, and then click on ‘Residential Service – Auto Pay Form’.
The City of Belle Plaine electronically reads the water meters each month. We collect the first four numbers off of your water meter register, which tells us how many thousands of gallons are used. We only bill for the thousand gallons that are used (see example). It is common to see fluctuations from one to two thousand gallons because we read by the thousands and don’t bill for the gallons used until it rolls to the next thousand.
For example: a new meter starts with a reading of zero (0000,000.00). A household uses 900 gallons in the first month (rdg = 0000,900.00). The reading that we receive from the meter is the first four numbers – which is still zero (0000). The next month the reading is 0002,300.00. The reading we receive is now 0002 (the first four numbers). Our billing system calculates the current reading less the previous reading for a total of 2,000 gallons billed. Therefore, you have been billed for zero gallons for the previous month and 2,000 gallons in the current month, even though in reality you used 900 in the first month and 1400 in the second month. This can also explain why some residents who may average 2,333 gallons per month will see a jump to 3,000 gallons every third month.
You have access to your meter in your basement so we strongly recommend monitoring it for usage. The national average for usage per person per month is 1,500 gallons each. Multiply that by the number of people in your household to get an average of what you should be using. Monitoring your usage on a daily basis might help identify some areas where usage can be reduced. Also check the water level in the tanks of the toilets – make sure it is at least an inch below the overflow tube. And please fix any toilet that is running. If you can hear a toilet running it is similar to leaving a faucet run. The most common cause of elevated usage is a running toilet.
Billing is done generally the day after the meters are read. Payments are due on the 21st of every month regardless of what day of the week this falls on. A ten percent penalty is added on the 22nd of each month on all past due accounts. You can mail your payment to: City of Belle Plaine, 218 Meridian St N, PO Box 129, Belle Plaine, MN 56011, use the drop box outside of the front door at City Hall, or pay by auto pay.
The best way to keep your utility costs down is to conserve water.
If you own the property and your property has a water service line that runs underground and connects to the City water main and then to your water meter, you are responsible for making sure the line and the curb stop/shut-off valve/s are working. You are also responsible for hiring and paying someone to repair your water line if it leaks or freezes. Most service lines are buried deep enough to ensure that freezing does not happen. If the lines have not frozen in the past, more than likely, they will not freeze.
You can avoid frozen lines by keeping temperatures above freezing in basement spaces where the service line enters the home. If your meter is in a separate room, open the door enough to allow airflow. Keep a faucet in the lowest level of your home running at a trickle until the ground thaws. Make sure your drain is free of debris to prevent overflowing or flooding. Place a visible note on the faucet reminding other people in your home to not turn the water off. Turning the water off, for even a few minutes, can cause a recently frozen line to freeze again. If you have a service line that often freezes, keep the basement temperature above freezing in the winter. You can also consider hiring a qualified contractor to lower your service line to a depth that can't be reached by the frost.
Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that comes from the soil. The gas can accumulate in the home. Radon gas decays into fine particles that are radioactive. When inhaled, these fine particles can damage the lungs. Exposure to radon over a long period of time can lead to lung cancer. It is estimated that 21,000 people die each year in the United States from lung cancer due to radon exposure. A radon test is the only way to know how much radon is in your home. Radon can be reduced with a mitigation system. The Mn Department of Health has more information on radon.
Radon is produced from the natural decay of uranium and radium, found in rocks and soil. Uranium breaks down to radium, and radium eventually decays into the gas radon. Radon gas is in the soil and common throughout Minnesota. Because soil is porous, radon moves up from the soil and into the home. It can then accumulate in the air and become a health concern.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) provides information on radon and how to protect your family's health. MDH recommends that every Minnesota home be tested for radon.
Sidewalks are an important part of how people move safely throughout the City. The City actively plans for a well connected network of sidewalks to provide for safe pedestrian travel and encourage pedestrian activity.
If a sidewalk is located adjacent to your property you are responsible for maintaining it. This means removing snow, ice, and/or items blocking the sidewalk.
Adjacent property owners are also responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in good repair. If cracks, holes, or uneven areas become evident, the sidewalk should be repaired or replaced. A sidewalk permit (PDF) is required to help ensure proper design.
If you have questions about sidewalks, please contact the Public Works Department.
The City plans for existing and future sidewalks and trails (PDF). The City also considers installation of sidewalks and trails in conjunction with street improvement projects and/or property owner petitions.
In general, sidewalks are of less width and adjacent property owners are responsible for maintenance. Trails are generally maintained by the City.
If you have questions about sidewalks and trails please contact the Public Works Department.
Yes, if you want to plan your walk or running route, you can easily determine distances using our interactive park and trail map.
The boulevard is the area between the back of a curb and a private property line.
Planting of trees in the boulevard by private property owners is typically not allowed. Contact the Public Works Department with questions.
Adjacent property owners are responsible for maintaining boulevards.
Winter weather imposes many obstacles for both residents & City staff. It is important to remember City policies & procedures regarding snow & ice removal.
It is the responsibility of the owner and occupant of any property adjacent to a public sidewalk to remove any snow, ice, and/or rubbish no later than 12 hours after any obstructions have been deposited. Any removal by the City will be recorded and assessed against the property.
Parking will not be permitted on residential streets during a snow emergency, when snow has accumulated to a depth of one-half (½) inch or more. Downtown parking will be posted as NO PARKING during a snow emergency. To ensure that your vehicle does not get towed away due to a violation of a snow emergency, the Belle Plaine Police Department offers a free program called Nixle, which allows an e-mail and text message to any cell phone regarding the information on snow emergencies and/or community information. Sign up for free at www.nixle.com.
The winter season comes with unique obstacles, but if everyone participates and is mindful of snow removal procedures and safety it will help contribute to a comfortable community atmosphere. City Code Chapter 5 Section 501.09
The City will repair boulevards disturbed or damaged by snow plows with black dirt and grass seed. This work will be performed in the Spring. If any landscaping and/or sprinkler systems are placed in the City’s right-of-way, it is placed there at the homeowners’ risk and will be the responsibility of the homeowner.
Yes, restrictions are in place year round and apply to all properties. No watering or sprinkling is allowed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. There are no exceptions for new seed or sod. Violations may result in a fine.
Restrictions are in effect to conserve water and manage our public system so everyone will have sufficient water throughout the year and adequate reserves can be kept for fire protection. Conserving water is always a good idea, and everyone is encouraged to use water efficiently. Sprinkling during cooler parts of the day means a greater percentage of the water will get to your lawn and sprinkling during morning hours helps avoid lawn fungus.
If you have questions, please contact the Public Works Department.
Emerald Ash Borer has been documented within the City. The City doesn't remove ash trees but we are an information resource.
City regulations require any tree planted is at least three feet from a property line. We encourage property owners to consider how large a tree may grow in relation to property lines and structures. Tree planting in the boulevard is typically not allowed.
We recommend you consider planting a variety of tree species that are appropriate for Minnesota climate and disease resistant. Our current list of tree species recommended includes a large selection of species.
We encourage neighbors to research tree/property line issues and work together to resolve. Such issues are between property owners and the City doesn't get involved.
The City Council has approved an unopened street & alley policy to provide guidance to the public.
An opened street or alley is a public right-of-way improved for "Public Use" by the general public to accommodate vehicle access on a regular, continuous basis as defined by the City. "Public Use" means the street or alley is available to the general public as distinguished from a particular individual or group of individuals. Public Use rights-of-way are available for vehicular use and travel by the general public.
A unopened street or alley is a public right-of-way that is not improved by the City or to City standards or otherwise intended for use "Regular Use" by the general public and has not been opened by the City for "Public Use" for vehicle access. Unopened Streets or Alleys may be accessed occasionally for non-regular use. "Regular Use" is defined as use of the unopened street or alley that results in a detectable altered condition of the street or alley. Altered conditions include, but may not be limited to, leaving ruts, furrows, channels or potholes or use that prohibits healthy turf maintenance.
The City has created a map of open and unopened streets and alleys. The map may not reflect precise existing conditions which may have changed since the map was created.
Very occasional use of an unopened street or alley is allowed. If your use of an unopened street or alley results in a detectable altered condition such as leaving ruts, furrows, channels or potholes or use that prohibits healthy turf maintenance, then a violation of the City policy has occurred and you will be required to restore the unopened street or alley to pre-use condition.
Typically no, access to garages must be from an opened street or alley. Unopened streets or alleys can only be used on a very occasional basis under City policy.
Typically no, City policy restricts placement of items, structures, etc. in unopened streets or alleys.
Typically adjacent property owners are to maintain turf in an unopened street or alley.
Yes, if adjacent property owners petition the City to improve the unopened street or alley to municipal standards and pay for the cost of improvement, then the unopened street or alley can be opened.
For billing questions, please email utility billing anytime or call 952-873-5553 during normal business hours.
Yes, go to online utility payments to create an account and schedule payment.
Yes, find more information in the online utility bill payment option or contact the Finance Department.
The City of Belle Plaine electronically reads the water meters each month. We collect the first four numbers off of your water meter register, which tells us how many thousands of gallons are used. We only bill for the thousand gallons that are used.
It is common to see fluctuations from one to two thousand gallons because we read by the thousands and don’t bill for the gallons used until it rolls to the next thousand. For example: a new meter starts with a reading of zero (0000,000.00). A household uses 900 gallons in the first month (rdg = 0000,900.00). The reading that we receive from the meter is the first four numbers – which is still zero (0000). The next month the reading is 0002,300.00. The reading we receive is now 0002 (the first four numbers). Our billing system calculates the current reading less the previous reading for a total of 2,000 gallons billed. Therefore, you have been billed for zero gallons for the previous month and 2,000 gallons in the current month, even though in reality you used 900 in the first month and 1400 in the second month. This can also explain why some residents who may average 2,333 gallons per month will see a jump to 3,000 gallons every third month.
The national average for usage per person per month is 1,500 gallons each. Multiply that by the number of people in your household to get an average of what you should be using. You have access to your meter in your basement so we strongly recommend monitoring it for usage. Monitoring your usage on a daily basis might help identify some areas where usage can be reduced. Also check the water level in the tanks of the toilets – make sure it is at least an inch below the overflow tube. And please fix any toilet that is running. If you can hear a toilet running it is similar to leaving a faucet run. The most common cause of elevated usage is a running toilet.
You may find the zoning of your property by accessing our interactive zoning map, by downloading an electronic copy (PDF) of the Official Zoning Map, or by stopping at City Hall.
Zoning is a designation assigned to your property that regulates how your property is allowed to be developed and used. Zoning districts specify the areas in which residential, commercial, industrial, or other activities may take place.
Zoning review is often part of a proposed development, change in how a property is used, or a change in structures on your property. Zoning reviews can be performed by staff or may need formal approval. Formal approval consists of review by the Planning Commission which makes a recommendation to the City Council which acts on the request.
Site plan, subdivision (plat), lot combination, lot split, variance, conditional use permit, and rezoning are categories of zoning review.