Planning Advisory Commission


The purpose of the Planning Advisory Commission is to promote the proper planning and development of Washington County. The Planning Advisory Commission is established pursuant to Minnesota Statute 394. 


Duties and responsibilities of the Planning Advisory Commission are: 

  • To study, report, and make recommendations on amendments to the Development Code and the Comprehensive Plan prior to adoption of the amendment by the County Board.
  • To order the issuance of and amendments to Planned Unit Development Permits and Conditional Use Permits for one or more categories of conditional uses authorized by the Washington County Development Code.
  • To conduct hearings and make recommendations to the County Board on alleged violation(s) of condition(s) contained in conditional use permits.
  • To issue conditional use permits and impose conditions on nonconforming uses and to conduct public hearings thereon.
  • Such other duties as the County Board may request or prescribe.


The Planning Advisory Commission is composed of eight members. A majority of members are residents of that portion of the county outside the corporate limits of cities. 

  • There is at least one member from each commissioner district. 
  • There are no more than two members from any one municipality (as defined in Chapter One, Section 2, of the Washington County Development Code).
  • One member is a county commissioner who is a non-voting, ex-officio member.


No voting member of the commission shall have received, during the two years prior to appointment, any substantial portion of income from business operations involving the development of land within the county for urban or urban-related purposes.

Previous experience with review of land development requests may be a benefit for members of this commission, but such experience is not required for appointment. 

The County Board encourages persons with various interests to apply so that a balance can be struck between urban-rural, developer-consumer, economic development-ecology, and professional-layman groups.

Procedures for appointment

Applicants must complete the required application for appointment to this committee. Submit any background information requested.

Applicants for appointment to the Planning Advisory Commission are interviewed by the County Board in advance of an appointment decision being made.

Member terms

Members are appointed for three-year terms, with the terms being staggered so that no more than four members' terms expire in any one year. No member shall serve more than three consecutive terms for a total of nine consecutive years of service. Exception, a member who is appointed to complete the term of a vacant seat shall not have that service count as part of the nine consecutive years of service.

Even though a member may be appointed (or reappointed) to a term on the Planning Advisory Commission, the County Board may, at its discretion, replace the member at any time when, in the opinion of the Board or the County Commissioner appointing the member, it is in the best interests of the county to do so.

Members who miss three consecutive meetings without a reasonable excuse may be replaced by the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

The County Commissioners serving on the Planning Advisory Commission serve for a period of one year but may succeed him or herself on the commission.

Meeting requirements

The Planning Advisory Commission normally meets once each month on the fourth Tuesday of the month. However, this schedule may be modified as commission business dictates. Meeting time is normally 7 p.m., and meetings may extend for several hours. Efforts are made to adjourn the meeting by 10 p.m., but sometimes meetings may run later.


Members of the Planning Advisory Commission receive meeting per diem and mileage reimbursement at the rate established by the County Board.

Operating procedures

This CDBG Citizens Advisory Committee operates in accordance with the operating procedures established by the county.