Preliminary plat and development review process

This page was developed to clarify how the county plat review process works, who is responsible for submittals to the county, and what type of response schedule can be anticipated.

Minnesota State Statutes MS 505.021, 505.03 and 462.358 stipulate that cities need to submit plats to the county for review and comments. These statutes also specify what items of information must be submitted and what time schedules apply.

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Who should submit plats?

For formal plat reviews, the county does not accept plat submissions from third parties – the submissions must come from the city directly.

City submission is important to ensure completeness of the submission, provide consistency in the process, and to assure good communication between agencies.

Prior to a formal submittal, county staff is very willing to examine concept layouts, preliminary site plans, or sketch plans. Cities, developers, project consultants, or property owners can submit this type of draft information. The benefit of an early review is that many issues can be identified and possibly resolved prior to the formal plat review process (often speeding up all subsequent reviews).

Submitting a plat

Preliminary plats should be submitted to:

Carla Stueve (electronic submittal preferred), or by mail:

Hennepin County Public Works
Transportation Planning Division
1600 Prairie Drive
Medina, MN 55340-5421

Plat submittal checklist

To be complete, plat submittals to the county should include a transmittal letter and a legible plan set including the following information.

Transmittal letter should include:

  • City contact person
  • Dates of upcoming city actions such as Planning Commission or City Council meetings
  • Date of desired response from the county (if prior to the 30 days allowed by state statute)

A location map of the site relative to area roadways.

A site plan map and plan set with scaled dimensions authenticated by a registered engineer or land surveyor showing:

  • Date, title, scale, and north arrow
  • All existing and proposed property lines
  • Lot dimensions, right-of-ways, & easements
  • Existing centerline and paved area of the county roadway (which is not always centered in the right-of-way)
  • Proposed development building footprints
  • Parking lot layouts, aisle configuration
  • Locations of ingress and egress to the proposed platted area including existing and proposed driveway locations
  • Locations of other nearby driveways, street intersections and access points on the county roadway in the vicinity of the proposed plat. This would include driveways immediately adjacent to or across from the proposed plat
  • The outlet for and means of disposal of surface waters from the proposed platted area

A written description of the current and proposed use of the property including land use type (commercial, industrial, residential, etc.) and specific uses (discount store, convenience center, etc.) if known.

If the plat is for non-residential uses, include an estimate of the amount of daily traffic the development is expected to generate.

Plat evaluation

County staff evaluates proposed plats for a number of items that affect county roadways. Some examples of review items include:

Safety issues

  • Conformance with entering sight distance guidelines
  • Weaving & merging maneuver conflicts
  • Turn lane / auxiliary lane needs

Access management

  • Proposed driveway and street entrance compliance with county access spacing guidelines
  • Opportunities for access reorientation and / or consolidation
  • Driveway design, throat lengths

Right-of-way needs

  • Anticipated future roadway section
  • Right-of-way needs for turn lanes / auxiliary lanes
  • Other needs (pedestrian / bike accommodations)

Operational elements

  • Intersection capacity analysis
  • Turn lane / auxiliary lane design configurations
  • Traffic control needs
  • Potential on-site circulation impacts

Pedestrian and bicycle accommodations

Miscellaneous items

  • Drainage needs (road and/or site)
  • Encroachments within roadway right-of-way
  • Proposed grading impacts

Review process

State statutes provide the county up to 30 calendar days for review after receipt of the plat. This review period only starts when the county receives a complete plat submittal.

As part of the plat review process, the county will confirm receipt of the plat with the city and provide notification of any missing information.

The steps below illustrate the key time points for the county review process.

Key steps in the county plat review process

  • Preliminary Plat is submitted to the county by the city
  • County acknowledges receipt and notes any missing items via email or mail-back card
  • Once the submittal is deemed complete - the 30-day review period begins.
  • The county Plat Review Committee meets to discuss the plat. Follow-up meetings may occur if further information or analysis is needed.
  • The county submits a comment letter to the city noting any issues, concerns or requirements.
  • The city responds back to the county via letter regarding how the county comments will be addressed. If any unresolved issues remain - the city schedules a meeting with county staff to discuss.
  • The city council approves the preliminary and final plats.
  • The property owner / developer submits the plat to the county surveyor's office for registration.

Submittal items must include:

  • Evidence of the submission of the preliminary plat to the county.
  • Copy of the county comment letter on the preliminary plat.
  • Copy of the city response to the county comment letter and evidence of any follow-up meetings held with the county to resolve remaining issues.
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