The city of Ironton is currently accepting proposals from parties interested in working with the council and residents of Ironton to update the City of Ironton's 1999 Comprehensive Plan that was later updated and amended in 2014.  The plan recognizes and builds upon past and existing planning efforts and is based on community input.  It will carry out many of the goals and policies that have been working for the city of Ironton while providing new ones based upon the current issues, future trends and desires of the community.  If you are interested in submitting a proposal please contact the city clerk @ 218-546-5625.

Purpose of a Comprehensive Plan

     A comprehensive plan is an expression of the community’s vision for the future and a strategic map to reach that vision. Comprehensive planning is not mandatory in cities outside the seven- county metropolitan area. However, comprehensive planning is an important tool for cities to guide future development of land to ensure a safe, pleasant, and economical environment for residential, commercial, industrial, and public activities. In addition, planning can help:


• Preserve important natural resources, agricultural, and other open lands. • Create the opportunity for residents to participate in guiding a community’s future.

• Identify issues, stay ahead of trends, and accommodate change. • Ensure that growth makes the community better, not just bigger. • Foster sustainable economic development.

• Provide an opportunity to consider future implications of today’s decisions. • Protect property rights and values.

• Enable other public and private agencies to plan their activities in harmony with the municipality's plans. For many cities creating a comprehensive plan is the first step in adopting zoning and subdivision regulations for the city.


As a result, the comprehensive plan normally lays out a vision for the city’s future land development and land use, dictating where growth should occur, the type of growth that is allowed in various areas of the city, and the density of such growth. However, a comprehensive plan also may include a:

Minn. Stat. § 462.352, subd. 8. Minn. Stat. § 462.352, subd. 7. Minn. Stat. § 462.352, subd. 8. Minn. Stat. § 462.352, subd. 9.

• Public or community facilities plan.

• Thoroughfare or transportation plan.

• Parks and open space plan.

• Capital improvement program.


While not all cities are required to adopt a comprehensive plan, a plan is still a good practice for a couple of reasons. First, once a plan is adopted, it guides local officials in making their day-to-day decisions and becomes a factor in their decision-making process. Second, preparing a comprehensive plan prior to the adoption of a zoning ordinance also affords the city additional legal protections if a particular ordinance provision is challenged in court. Zoning ordinances must be reasonable and have a rational basis. Comprehensive plans assist a city in articulating the basis for its zoning decisions. Usually the courts will not question the policies and programs contained in a comprehensive plan adopted by a local community, or question the ordinances based upon the plan, unless the particular zoning provision appears to be without any rational basis, or clearly exceeds the city’s regulatory authority.

Minn. Stat. § 462.357, subd 2. Minn. Stat. § 462.352, subd. 6. Minn. Stat. § 462.357, subd. 2 (c).


If a city is not able to develop a comprehensive plan prior to adopting a zoning ordinance, the zoning ordinance should be adopted in conjunction with extensive, written finding of facts, stating the policy reasons that necessitate the ordinance’s adoption.