Cook County's Failure to Give Reasons Did Not Mean Zoning Request Automatically Granted

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: zoning, Minn. Stat. 15.99.

Johnson v. Cook County. MN zoning, Minn. Stat. 15.99

Property owner made a zoning request in 2001, which was denied by the Cook County Board of County Commissioners. However, the board failed to state the reasons for the denial in writing, as required by Minn. Stat. 15.99, subd. 2. The landowner brought a declaratory action in 2006. He took the position that since the required written reasons were never given, this constituted an automatic approval of the request. . The Minnesota Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Dietzen, reversed the the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court held that County's failure to provide reasons did not constitute automatic approval of the request under that statute.

No. A08-1501, 786 N.W.2d 291 (Minn. July 29, 2010).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

For more information about attorney Clem, please visit his website.
For more information about his low-cost CLE programs, please visit his CLE page.
Return to index of case summaries

Copyright 2014, Richard P. Clem.
Attorney Richard P. Clem is responsible for the content of this page.

Richard P. Clem, Attorney
PO Box 14957
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: +1-612-378-7751
Minnesota Attorney Registration Number 0192648

Books by Richard Clem:

Please visit my author page at

Copyright and privacy notice.