The Community Development Department oversees all land development in the City of Forest Lake, including commercial, industrial, residential, and subdivisions. The department is also responsible for signage review and approval, conditional/interim use permits, issuance of certificates of compliance, variance requests, code enforcement, and a substantial portion of the City’s economic development activities. The Zoning Administrator also provides recommendations to the Planning Commission and City Council regarding the City’s land use.
The Forest Lake Planning Commission is comprised of seven appointed members who are appointed by the Mayor and City Council for three-year terms. Duties of the Planning Commission include making recommendations to the City Council on the City's Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code; the Planning Commission also conducts public hearings on land use applications, including variances, conditional use permits, and concept plans. Meetings are held the second and fourth Wednesday of each month and application submittal deadlines are on the 2nd and 4th Monday (by 12:00 pm, Noon) of each month.