New Subdivision and Zoning Ordinance Project

Frequently Asked Questions

The City of Horace is preparing a new Subdivision and Zoning Ordinance (Zoning Code). This is a follow-up to the Horace 2045 Comprehensive Plan project. The new Zoning Code will establish land development regulations to ensure that new development in the city reflects the community’s vision for the future, as illustrated in the Comprehensive Plan. The City is working with Giffels Webster, a planning and zoning consulting firm, to develop draft ordinance language.

The tentative goal is to complete the draft Zoning Code by December 2021. There will be multiple opportunities for public input into the Zoning Code process. See Q&A “4.” below for an overview.

The following frequently asked questions have been prepared to provide information to citizens, property owners, and business owners seeking to be informed about the new City of Horace Zoning Code.

1. Why is the City updating the Zoning Code?

There are three primary reasons that the City is updating the Code:

• To implement the Horace 2045 Comprehensive Plan.

• To provide general updates to reflect case law and current planning practice.

• To make the code more user-friendly, illustrated, and searchable.

2. What is the difference between the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Code?

A Comprehensive Plan is a document and policy guide designed to help the city create a vision of the future. The Comprehensive Plan addresses numerous key issues including future land uses, community development, transportation, and other various community features. While not legally binding, it portrays a clear statement of community goals and objectives, establishes a vision of the future, and includes strategies to achieve the vision.

A Zoning Code provides the legal requirements for building and site development to regulate how land can be used and developed. It has the force of law. The State of North Dakota gives cities the ability to regulate land development through zoning in the North Dakota Century Code, Chapters 40-47. Zoning “shall be made in accordance with a comprehensive plan,” so a key goal of the new Zoning Code will be to create regulations that are consistent with the recommendations in the Horace 2045 Comprehensive Plan.

In terms of process, the zoning code draft is first prepared by the Planning Commission. Afterward the final draft of the Zoning Code is an ordinance adopted by City Council.

3. When this new Zoning Code is approved, will I have to change my building or signs to reflect the new regulations?

Existing uses, sites, and structures may remain as they are if they were lawfully constructed or established under previous zoning regulations. If they do not align with the updated code, they will be considered legal nonconforming uses, sites, and structures. Once the new Zoning Code is adopted, if you build a new building, it will need to comply with the new regulations. Expansions and alterations of nonconforming uses, sites and structures may require partial or complete compliance with the new code depending upon the type and extent of the change.

4. Will there be a public hearing on the new Zoning Code? Will there be other opportunities for public input into the process?

Yes and yes. As required by the North Dakota Century Code, “no regulation, restriction, or boundary may become effective until after a public hearing at which parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard. Notice of the hearing must be published once a week for two successive weeks before the time set for the hearing in the official newspaper of the city.”

In addition, there are several other opportunities for public input including the following:

- All meetings of the Planning Commission are open to the public. Throughout 2021, the Planning Commission will be discussing the new Zoning Code. Visit the City of Horace website for meeting agendas at the website below.

- Information about the Zoning Code update process will be posted on the Horace Zoning website:

- The email address posted at the end of this FAQ is available to receive public comment on the Zoning Code.

- As part of the process, once the City’s Zoning Code Team has developed a zoning framework for all of the districts, additional public input will be welcomed during a public open house.

- Upon completion of the draft Zoning Code, a public hearing will be held as noted above.

The City of Horace 2045 Comprehensive Plan is available on the City’s website:

For other questions, please contact the Community Development Department at 701-492-2972 

Or email: