Grand Marasis, MN Seeking Public Comments On Housing

Next City Council Meeting  Sept. 3rd, 2020

The City Of  Grand Marais Is Taking A Serious Look At Its Housing Issues


In 2019 the City sought proposals for a plan to address housing in Grand Marais. HKGi’s proposal was selected from a number of firms and over the last year, the city has been working with them to develop a solution to Grand Marais’ lack of housing.

After analyzing housing stock and undeveloped land within city limits, the planning commission began identifying adjustments to the zoning ordinance that would allow for more housing to be developed throughout the city through increased density, providing additional opportunity for housing, without the substantial levy increases required to fund new utilities and infrastructure projects.

As a strategy to reduce the city’s barriers to the development of more diverse and affordable housing types, some new housing types are being added in the City’s Zoning Ordinance as permitted uses to three zoning districts that are primarily residential:

  • Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) – sometimes called granny flats, an additional small apartment attached or in your backyard
  • Small apartment dwellings
  • Large apartment dwellings
  • Rowhouse/townhouse
  • Cottage courtyards – a small cluster of single-family homes arranged around a shared courtyard
  • The ordinance will allow for tiny houses as long as they have a foundation and are connected to city utilities

Each housing type will have unique lot and building standards identified in the ordinance. Minimum lot sizes are being reduced for single-family dwellings – from 10,000 sq. ft. to 4,000 sq. ft. and 75 ft. lot width to and 40 ft. lot width.

In most cases, the minimum side yard setbacks are proposed to be reduced from 10 ft. to 5 ft, and front yard setbacks will be flexible to reflect the existing setbacks of the surrounding homes.

The council did not set a firm deadline for public comments but said they would give it “about a month” at that July 8 meeting. The next meeting at which the Grand Marais Planning Commission can review public comments and consider changes is Wednesday, September 3rd, 2020

Grand Marais draft ordinance. Public comments will be accepted through email or mailed.

Please send your comments by email:

Please send your comments by mail:

Attn: Planning Commission
PO Box 600
Grand Marais, MN 55604

August 12th, 2020 City Council Meeting

View the documents below to learn more

Featured Image: Courtesy Vertical Works

509 345 2013

509 770 1694