Planning Commission

The Planning Commision for the City of Watertown is made up of seven appointed commissioners, and a, ex-officio representative from Watertown Township. Planning Commission members are: Jim Rivord, Jim Sandquist, Don Hendricks, Howard Reinhard, Rob Wilkening, Jennifer O'Connell, and Jeff Onell.

The Planning Commission serves in an advisory role to the City Council in all matters related to Comprehensive Planning, zoning, platting, changes in streets, and other matters of a general planning nature.

Planning Commission Meetings

The Planning Commission holds regularly scheduled meetings on the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm.  All meetings are open to the public. View meeting agenda and packet items here.

Comprehensive Plan

A City’s Comprehensive Plan presents the vision of itself: what distinguishes it, what it values and how it will develop in coherence with the whole region. The plan provides a rational basis for local land use decisions with a twenty-year vision for future planning and community decisions.  The City of Watertown has had a Comprehensive Plan in place since 1981. 
 
The lifelong vitality of the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan region depends on planning for steady and coherent change. The challenges and inherent planning for the region come together through cooperation between local and regional planners. The Metropolitan Council, the regional planning agency, is charged with supporting and promoting communication across the seven-county area to implement the requirements and provisions of the Metropolitan Land Planning Act (aka comprehensive planning law). 
 
The City of Watertown is part of the seven-county metropolitan area which is governed by the Metropolitan Land Planning Act (part of Minnesota State Statute). The Metropolitan Land Planning Act requires each local unit of government to review and update their comprehensive plans at least once every 10 years. Plan updates and amendments are evaluated based on three criteria: 
Conformance with all metropolitan systems policy plans for transportation, water resources, and parks
Consistency with the Metropolitan Land Planning Act and Metropolitan Council policies
Compatibility with the plans of other jurisdictions including School District, Minnesota Department of Transportation, and Carver County
 
The Metropolitan Land Planning Act requires a plan to cover four main components including 1) the background—setting the stage, 2) land use—allocating resources and accommodate population growth, 3) public facilities (transportation, water resources, and parks)—protecting infrastructure, and 4) implementation programs to carry out the plans. 
 
The 2030 Comprehensive Plan was developed and written over a 2 year period, 2007 and 2008. It was submitted for approval to the Metropolitan Council at the end of 2008 and formally approved by the Metropolitan Council on February 25, 2009. The City Council adopted it on March 24, 2009. 
 
The City’s process to develop the Comprehensive Plan involved extensive public participation that was a multi-faceted approach. Over the two-year period the City involved the public in a variety of ways including public meetings/open houses, community wide survey, task force, adjacent community review, city wide newsletter updates, cable channel updates, constituent meetings, and communication with city staff, elected and appointed officials. 
 
At the beginning of the process, the City Council appointed a 13-member Task Force to work on the comprehensive plan update which included people from the Planning Commission, Park Commission, School District, Watertown Township, Franklin Township, Commission on Aging, Chamber of Commerce, and City Council. The Task Force met on a monthly basis. The Task Force recommended the Comprehensive Plan to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission which members are appointed by the City Council to review and make recommendations on land use cases, reviewed the Comprehensive Plan and made a recommendation to the City Council.