Small City, GIANT Living

Permits, Licensing, & Forms

Building Permit

Building permits are required for almost all new construction and remodeling projects. Projects like new gas lines, plumbing lines, exhaust fans, fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, shingling, siding and many others all require permits. If you have any questions about whether your project requires a permit, please call Steve Anderson (the City’s Building Official) at 507.526.7336 or email sanderson@becity.org.

Download a copy of the City’s Building Permit Application.
Download a list of Required Building Permit Documents.

Below is a partial list of the projects that do not require a building permit:

  • One-story detached accessory structures, used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet. A site plan is required to be submitted to the City prior to beginning the building project.
  • Fences not over seven feet high. (A City Fence Permit Application is required for  submitting a site plan.)
  • Retaining walls that are not over four feet (1,219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II, or III-A liquids.
  • Decks and platforms not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above adjacent grade and not attached to a structure with frost footings and which is not part of an accessible route.
  • Sidewalks and driveways that are not part of an accessible route.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops, and similar finish work.
  • Window repair and replacement but only if the wall structure is not changed.
  • Flooring.
  • Wall coverings and painting.
  • Cabinet installation.
  • Toilet replacement.
  • Faucet replacement.

Residential Brochures

It is your responsibility to ensure that the contractor you hire is licensed, bonded and insured. You may be liable for injuries suffered by a contractor working on your job, or you may not have recourse if a job is done wrong if the contractor is not licensed, bonded and insured. It is wise to ask a contractor for proof of licensure and insurance before allowing the contractor to begin work. Verify if a contractor is licensed by the State of Minnesota.

Citizen’s Guide to Home Building and Remodeling.
Consumer’s Guide to Hiring a Residential Contractor.

Minnesota Licensing

Building Contractors and Remodelers: All residential building contractors and residential remodelers who contract with an owner to construct or improve dwellings for habitation by one to four families (including detached garages) and perform two or more special skills must be licensed unless exempt. The licensing requirement also applies to any person acting as a “spec” homebuilder. The only difference between a residential building contractor and residential remodeler is a residential building contractor can build new homes and work on existing structures, whereas a remodeler can only work on existing structures. Owners working on their own property must also be licensed if they build or remodel for the sole purpose of speculation or resale.

Roofer: A residential roofer is defined as a person engaged in the business of doing work on residential real estate (one to four family dwellings, including detached garages) in roof coverings, roof sheathing, roof weatherproofing and insulation, and repair of roof systems, but not construction of new roof systems.

Contractor’s Recovery Fund: The Contractor’s Recovery Fund compensates owners or lessees of residential property in Minnesota who have suffered an actual and direct out-of-pocket loss due to a licensed contractor’s fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest practices, conversion of funds or failure of performance. You are ineligible to the Contractor’s Recovery Fund if you hire an unlicensed contractor.

Buried Service Line Location

Before doing any project that requires excavating, even planting trees, contact Gopher State One-Call at 800.252.1166 or www.gopherstateonecall.org to have buried water, electric, phone and gas lines located and marked on the surface.  

Candidacy for Elected Positions

Filing for a city office in the City of Blue Earth is open to anyone interested in the following offices:

  • Mayor for a four-year term (one position)
  • Council Persons for a four-year term each (six positions)
  • Board of Public Works Members for a four-year term each (five positions)

You must be at least 21 years of age upon assuming office, be eligible to vote, and will have been a resident of the City of Blue Earth for 30 days prior to the filing period. You may file for candidacy for an office at City Hall, 125 West Sixth Street, Blue Earth, Minnesota. Download an Affidavit of Candidacy. Filing fees are $5.00 per office with Affidavit for Candidacy form. The City of Blue Earth is divided into 3 wards.  All elective offices shall be at-large elective offices. Elections shall be held for the vacancies created by expiration of all terms by general election.

Charitable Gambling Permit

A permit to conduct gambling must be obtained from the City of Blue Earth prior to applying for a gambling license through the State Gambling Control Board. The permit to conduct gambling in the City of Blue Earth is described in detail in Chapter 3, Section 330 of the City Code.  

The permit fee for a Charitable Gambling permit through the City of Blue Earth is $100. The permit fee for a one-time Gambling License through the City of Blue Earth is $15.  

Code Enforcement

If you wish to make a formal complaint regarding the upkeep of a property or a specific nuisance, please fill out the Code Enforcement Complaint Form with signature and mail, e-mail or fax the form to City Hall.

Vacant Building Registration

Due to the increase in the number of buildings and structures within the City of Blue Earth which are no longer in use for any purpose and sit vacant with very little supervision or maintenance the City Council adopted Ordinance 11-10 Vacant Building Registration providing for the securing of vacant buildings.

The owner of the vacant building is required to register within 30 days after any building in the city becomes a vacant building, as defined in Subsection 540.10, Subd. 5. The owner of a vacant building shall pay an annual registration fee of $500.00 each year the building remains vacant. If the vacant building is listed for sale with a licensed realtor, for a sales price which is no greater than 10% above the assessed value of the property for real estate tax purposes by the Faribault County Assessor’s Office, then the owner shall not need to pay said registration fee.

Conditional Use Permit

Some practices or developments in the City require a Conditional Use Permit. This permit allows a use after approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission and with specific conditions.

Circumstances that require a Conditional Use Permit include, but are not limited to:

  • Some large signs
  • Land or building uses not normally permitted in a particular zoning district
  • Certain types of construction in a flood plain

Typical procedure for handling a Conditional Use Permit:

  1. Applicant completes the form and submits it to City Hall with application fee.
  2. The City will schedule a hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission on the application.
  3. The City will send notice to all owners of properties surrounding the property for which the Conditional Use Permit has been requested.
  4. The notice of the hearing will be published in the newspaper at least 10 days before the hearing.
  5. The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the appointed date and review, discuss, advise and recommend action to the City Council
  6. The City Council will take action for all variance and conditional use permit applications in a timely fashion as required by State law.
Demolition

The City and State have various requirements regarding demolition within the City of Blue Earth. A Building Demolition Permit with a fee of $100 must be submitted before demolition.

City Memorandums

Government Data & Public Information

To look at data or request copies of data that the City of Blue Earth keeps, please make a written to the City Administrator. You may make your written request for data by mail or email, but you must use the Data Requests Form provided by the City of Blue Earth.

House Moving Permit

A permit and deposit is required to move a house into or within the City of Blue Earth. This is to ensure safety while the house is being moved and to ensure that the City’s zoning ordinance is observed. The Moving Buildings ordinance is Section 380 of the City Code.

Liquor License

The liquor licensing and regulations are described in detail in Chapter 4 of the City Code. View a licensing information summary chart of the various license fees and the basic liquor licensing information.

Parking Permit

Occasionally there arises a need for a citizen to request a waiver from normal parking regulations. In these cases, a Parking Permit Application is required. A permit is also required for overnight parking in city-owned parking lots.

Pet Licenses

All cats and dogs in the City must be licensed annually for a fee of $5.00. In the event that a cat or dog is impounded, please call City Hall for information on retrieval of your pet. In case a cat or dog is lost, please call City Hall or KBEW AM1560 (507-526-2181) and staff will provide limited assistance in locating your pet.

Request for Improvement Petition

Citizens can request that the City make improvements to sidewalks, streets, etc. Fill out a Petition Request for Improvement and submit it to City Hall.

Right-of-Way

A frequently asked question is: “what is a right-of-way?” The City-owned Right-of-Way (ROW) are those areas through which the City runs utility lines, alleys or streets. A Right of Way Permit is required to work in the ROW!

In the older, central part of the City, the ROW generally extends from the far edge of the sidewalk (that edge closer to a house or building and further from the street) on one side of the street to the far edge of the sidewalk on the other side of the street. In the newer subdivisions and commercial/industrial areas, the ROW generally extends 30 feet to either side from the centerline of the road (for a total 60 foot ROW centered on the middle of the street). Many alleys and green spaces between lots are ROW’s also. Please call City Hall with any questions about work in a ROW.

Sanitary Sewer Connection

A permit is required to connect a service from any building or structure into the City’s sanitary sewer system. Ensure that you call for an inspection before backfilling any excavation.

Download the  Sewer System Permit Application and required inspection signature form.

Signs

All signs installed in the City of Blue Earth require a sign permit. Most signs will only require submission of a sign permit to City Hall to be reviewed by municipal staff. Some larger signs or signs in certain districts require a Conditional Use Permit. The details regarding signage regulation are laid out in Chapter 10, Section 1040.28 of the City Code.

Simple Lot Split & Minor Subdivision

There occasionally arises a need to split a city lot in two; this is permissible if a new lot for building is not created from such a split. A minor subdivision is a simple lot split that does create an additional building site from a lot. A simple lot split or minor subdivision both require submission of a Current Lot Split Application.

Special Vehicle Permits

No person shall operate a motorized golf cart, all-terrain vehicle or mini-truck on streets, alleys, sidewalks or other public property without obtaining a Special Vehicle Permit. Also, some roads within the city are off-limits for special vehicle use. All special vehicles registered for a permit with the City shall visibly display the permit issued by the City at all times in which the vehicle is in operation upon public streets and rights-of-way and other public properties. A $25.00 fee is due with each permit renewal in addition to a current certificate of insurance.   

View a map of the City’s restricted streets.  (Properly permitted motorized golf carts may operate on all City owned roadways if said golf carts comply with the provisions of Minnesota Statutes 169.045.)

Transient Merchant, Solicitor, Peddler

All transient merchants, peddlers and solicitors operating in the City of Blue Earth must complete and submit to City Hall a permit to operate and sell products in the City. This Solicitor, Peddler, Transient Merchant Application must be completed before a merchant, peddler or solicitor begins operations in the City.  Read additional information on the permit procedure.

Variance Request

Sometimes a property owner proposes a project that does not conform to the City’s zoning code. A variance may be requested from the Planning and Zoning Commission by submitting a variance application.

The Planning and Zoning Commission has reviewed variance applications for:

  • Front, side and rear yard building setbacks
  • Garage sizes

Typical procedure for handling a variance request:

  1. Applicant completes the form and submits it to City Hall with application fee.
  2. The City will schedule a hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission on the application.
  3. The City will send notice to all owners of properties surrounding the property for which the variance has been requested.
  4. The notice of the hearing will be published in the newspaper at least 10 days before the hearing.
  5. The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the appointed date and make a decision on the application and apply conditions.
  6. If a party is aggrieved by the Commission’s decision, the aggrieved party may appeal the Commission’s decision to the City Council.
Waste Hauling Permit

The Waste Hauling or Recycling licensing and regulations are described in detail in Chapter 3, Section 340 of the City Code. The 2017 cost of the Waste Hauling or Recycling License is $120.