Park Rapids Council passes ‘shouse’ ordinance

The final reading of the city code update passed without discussion on June 14.

Park Rapids City Hall
Park Rapids Enterprise file photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

The Park Rapids City Council on June 14 approved the final reading of an update to the city’s zoning ordinance.

An amended text of the ordinance was presented as an addendum to the council’s printed agenda packet.

The jury is out on whether it's usual or unusual for city officials to report monthly to the council. You're the jury. So what do you say?
The council approved conditional use permits for an offices-to-apartments conversion, a neighborhood bar and a sales and auction lot.
The council's July 26 workshop also featured an update from the Heartland Lakes Economic Development Commission.
The city council recognized Rod Nordberg on July 26 for his services to the city.

Council member Erika Randall made a motion to approve the ordinance. Without discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Most of the amended language is a complete replacement of city code Chapter 151.115, “Accessory Uses and Structures,” including standards for “shouses,” or combined sheds and houses. It states:

  • No accessory structure (shed) over 120 square feet and on a permanent foundation will be permitted before the principal building to which it is an accessory.
  • Sheds attached to the principal building must be structurally part of that building and meet requirements for the principal building.
  • Sheds “incidental to a dwelling” may not exceed 3,000 square feet without a conditional use permit (CUP) and must have a roof pitch of at least 6/12, except per the CUP.
  • No additions to nonconforming sheds will be allowed.
  • Private residential garages may not be used to operate a business, except as provided by Chapter 151.146 “Home Occupations.”
  • Detached sheds must be in the side or rear yard, and their footprint may not exceed one square foot in 10 square feet of lot.
  • Sheds may not exceed 75% of the combined footprint of the shed and dwelling (not counting decks, porches, etc.), except per a CUP.
  • Sheds exceeding 60% of the combined shed-dwelling footprint must have an egress window for every 15 full feet of each wall’s length, be of uniform appearance with the dwelling and have eaves extending at least 18 inches beyond the two longest walls and 12 inches beyond other walls.

The ordinance also features standards for business and industrial sheds, including parking requirements.
In an amendment to Chapter 151.147 “Standards for Single-Family Dwellings,” the ordinance specifies that single-family dwellings must have a minimum floor area of 800 square feet on the main level, not counting attached garages, decks, porches and other non-habitable spaces.


It also clarifies that single-family homes, other than park models, must meet all applicable ordinances, laws and building codes.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
What to read next
For at least six years, the city has dealt with malicious damage to the city beach house on Spirit Lake.
The event is hosted by Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) asked the Menahga City Council for suggestions about resolving unsafe conditions at the intersection.
Commissioner Mark “Chip” Lohmeier has a proposed operating budget for Deep Lake Park, the county’s new year-round recreational park. It’s located on the site of the former Val Chatel ski resort, about four miles north of Emmaville.