Planning & Zoning

Due to the recent Presidential/Governors’ executive orders we are having to amend our current operations to provide basic essential services to the public. 

As of Noon 3/20/20 we are closing our lobby areas to the public, only Polk County staff can enter our building until further notice.  It is our goal to continue to provide services with as little interruptions to normal operations as possible.  This situation is very fluid and can change hourly/daily.  

At this time we are unable to allow residents and contractors into the building to meet and go over permitting procedures.  As of 3/20/20 we can no longer perform public hearings required to carry out special permitting such as variances, conditional uses, and plats.  We are unsure of when we will be able to hold public hearings so please be aware of this prior to submitting applications to our office staff.  

It is Planning & Zoning staffs goal to continue to provide permitting for projects that require land use zoning permits during this period.  We will be using electronic means and mailings to perform permitting tasks. Your projects are important to us and we thank you in advance for your patience with our services during this difficult time.  If you have any direct questions for our staff at this time please contact us at 218-281-5700.    

Polk County Planning and Zoning Department is charged with interpreting, applying, and enforcing the rules and regulations found within the Polk County Zoning Ordinance and those required by State or Federal Law.

Polk County’s Zoning Ordinance is applied countywide, excluding incorporated municipalities. Polk County participates in cooperative joint zoning with those Townships that wanted to retain local control of township-specific issues.


Permits are required for any improvement to the property, unless specifically exempted by the Ordinance. A fee is charged for any permit, based upon the fee schedule adopted by the Polk County Board of Commissioners.

Permit requirements vary depending on the site location within its Zoning District (Agriculture, Village, Commercial, Industrial) or its Special Overlay District (Shoreland, Flood Plains). It is encouraged that the property owner contact Planning and Zoning staff to inquire about their specific situation prior to finalizing plans and submitting permit applications.

Preliminary Flood Map Update Information

Preliminary updated maps can be viewed on the FEMA website by navigating to the Polk County Information or by accessing the Polk County GIS website.

Final Map approval is scheduled to occur by the end of 2019.