Planning & Zoning


Zoning Administrator: Laine Sletta
Assistant Zoning Administrator: Robert Santaella

Brown County Online Permitting (PDF) - Permitting Application Website (Link)

Notice: Burn Permits are no longer required in Brown County, Residents will still need to contact the Sheriff's Office and the Fire Chief (Link)


T UNebraska Lincoln Life Cycle of the Emerald Ash BorerThe Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed emerald ash borer (EAB) in Brown County in southern Minnesota. This is the 21st county in the state with EAB. Because this is the first time EAB has been identified in Brown County, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will be enacting the emergency quarantine to limit the movement of firewood and ash material out of the county. This will reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect.

Brown County is currently under Emergency Federal Quarantine for EAB. This means that no federally regulated material may leave a quarantine county or zone. Regulated material is any ash material (i.e. logs, lumber, chips, and mulch) along with all hardwood firewood.  Firewood is considered any wood four feet or less in length, regardless of diameter. 

If you have any comments on the Formal Quarantine Language for Brown County, Read it here, please submit them by November 11th, 2019 to Kimberly Thielen-Cremers. Formal Quarantine will take affect on November 14th, 2019.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
Minnesota Department Agriculture
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55155

Symptoms of ash trees that might have EAB:

  • Thinning leaves in tree crown (by about 50%)
  • Branch die back
  • Bark splitting along branches
  • New sprouts on the trunk or random locations
  • Increased woodpecker activity

Symptoms of ash trees that definitely have EAB:

  • D-shaped exit holes roughly 1/8-inch wide
  • S-shaped tunnels/galleries under bark.
  • Visibly dead branches
  • Visible EAB egg clusters

Ways to treat for EAB:

  • Full tree removal of ash tree
  • Chemical treatment of ash tree

All of the above information can be found at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s EAB Program website, link here.


The Planning and Zoning Department coordinates the overall administration of the Brown County Comprehensive Plan through the County Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations in the unincorporated areas of the county. This office issues building permits and provides inspections and permits for the on-site septic system program. It also enforces the Wetland Conservation Act and provides oversight of ag and weed inspection issues. Zoning staff work with all conditional use permit applications, variance applications, other related zoning issues. The department also has oversight of feedlot applications and enforcement of the State Feedlot Rules.

The department works with the county Planning Commission which makes recommendations to the County Board of Commissioners in regard to conditional use permits, subdivision plats, Zoning Ordinance amendments and other issues as needed. Staff works with the Board of Adjustment in regard to variance applications.

Open Burn Ordinance (PDF)

Planning and Zoning Documents