City of Grand Marais - Minnesota

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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.

On Wednesday July 1st the Planning Commission will be considering a draft ordinance. Public comment accepted via:

  • Email
  • Or letter addressed 
Attn: Planning Commission
PO Box 600
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Video's of The Grand Marais Planning Commission Meetings


View the documents below to learn more


Official Website for the City of Grand Marais, MN