Setbacks, Hardcover & Variances


Building and accessory structures must be located certain distances from all property lines. These distances vary in each zoning district. Additional information is available at City Hall.

All new construction must comply with setbacks. Additions to existing structures must be constructed within the appropriate setbacks unless a variance has been granted by the city. A site plan and/or survey, showing distances from property lines, is required for all building permits, except interior remodeling projects.

Hardcover/Impervious Surfaces

The City of Waconia has specific regulations and requirements pertaining to hardcover/impervious surfaces associated with generally all parcels within the City Limits. Prior to the installation of any hard surfaces on a property such as, patios, driveways, walkways, etc., property owners should contact the Community Development Department to ensure the proposed improvements are consistent with the requirements of the underlying zoning district. Staff can be reached via or at (952)-442-5689.


Variances from the required setback may be granted under the following conditions:

  • Special conditions or circumstances exist which are peculiar to the land, structure, or building involved and do not result from the actions of the petitioner
  • Literal interpretation of the provisions of the ordinance would deprive the petitioner of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same district under the terms of the ordinance
  • Granting the variance will not confer on the applicant any special privilege that is denied by the ordinance to other lands, structures, or buildings in the same district
  • The proposed variance will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property, or unreasonably diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding area, or in any other respect impair the public health, safety, or welfare of the residents of the city

The Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing, after posted, published and mailed notice, for all variances that exceed the applicable zoning requirements by more than 30%. Additional information on variance procedures is available at City Hall.