Chamber Blog

Ruth Ann Hanson, Chamber Area Director
Ruth Ann Hanson
Lisa Paxton, Chamber CEO
Lisa Paxton
Kathi Nagorski
Kathi Nagorski
Shannon Janco
Shannon Janco

Make Informed Decisions On November 2

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Do your part when you enter the voting booth on Nov. 2 by making an informed decision! Numerous resources exist in the Brainerd Lakes Area to allow voters an opportunity to learn more about the candidates.

We are proud at the Brainerd Lakes Chamber to introduce one such source, This voter informational project, in partnership with LAKES Media Collaborative and sponsored by Crow Wing Power, allows voters the ability to learn how local candidates stand on the important issues facing our cities and counties. features three-minute YouTube videos with comments from local candidates on the Brainerd Lakes Chamber channel, and an online Voters Guide, where candidates were asked to respond to three questions targeted to their specific race.

Local public access cable television channels throughout Crow Wing and southern Cass County feature “Candid Conversations with Candidates” – 10-minute interviews with individual candidates. You also can find a broadcast schedule on to help you know when to tune into your public access television station to watch the full-length interviews, the schedule of upcoming candidate forums, and links to polling places.


Brainerd Zoning Map Changes Proposed

Changes are planned to the Brainerd Zoning Map and your property may be affected. The Brainerd Planning Commission has been reviewing the zoning districts for property in the City and is recommending that changes be made. A zoning district is a specific area within the City which follows certain guidelines regarding the use of property in the district. Typical zoning districts include single-family, multi-family, industrial, commercial and mixed-use. The Zoning Map identifies the geographic boundaries of zoning districts.

Reviewing the Zoning Map is the third part in updating the City’s land use regulations. The first part was completed in 2004 when the current Comprehensive Plan was approved. The second part was completed when a new Zoning Ordinance was approved by the City Council in June 2009.

A review of the Zoning Map was necessary because:
• New Zoning Ordinance district names differ from the names on the current map.
• New Zoning districts were added or removed from the Zoning Ordinance, requiring the maps be changed.
• Some areas of the City have zoning districts that are inconsistent with current or planned uses.
• There have been approximately 140 zoning changes since the early 1970’s and a corresponding comprehensive Zoning Map review has not been done.
• The new Zoning Map allows the City to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map.

All of the proposed changes cannot be included in this article. Some of the significant changes include:
• Adding a zoning district for smaller lots in the City core area and a zoning category for larger lots in the outer areas of the City.
• Reducing the area of zoning that allows for duplex and multiple families dwelling in Southeast and Northeast Brainerd.
• Expanding the Central Business District zoning.
• Adding multiple family zoning adjacent to Downtown.
• Creating a zone for a portion of the Washington Street corridor intended to allow flexibility for redevelopment.
• Expanding the commercial zoning depth on a portion of Washington Street east of Gillis Avenue.

The Planning Commission is beginning a community public awareness program to inform City residents of the changes proposed to the Zoning Map. A public hearing has tentatively been set for 6:00 p.m. January 12, 2011 in Council Chambers at City Hall to consider input on the proposed map. Between now and then all those that have an interest in the zoning of their property are encouraged to view the proposed map. The proposed map, along with the current Zoning Map, is available for viewing at the City website The maps can be viewed in person at the Planning Department located at City Hall. The current and proposed maps are also available for viewing at the Brainerd Public Library. To understand the purpose of each district, what uses are allowed, and the regulations for each district, a copy of the Zoning Ordinance is needed. The Zoning Ordinance can be viewed at the City’s website and a copy is also available at the public library.

The Planning Commission urges anyone that has a comment, question, or concern about any changes to submit it by December 1, 2010. They can be sent via e-mail to or in writing to Planning Department, 501 Laurel Street. The City Planning Department can also be contacted at (218)828-2309 for more information.

Mark Ostgarden
Brainerd City Planner


Powered by Blogger

Brainerd Lakes Chamber     Minnesota     800-450-2838 or 218-829-2838     Home