Design Standards Concerning Painted Surfaces


The City’s design standards for commercial, industrial, and office-institutional developments prohibit the use of painted concrete, brick, and block in visible exterior areas. This standard was created in response to the maintenance issues associated with the paints available at the time the ordinance was adopted; however, the quality of paints has improved and the standard may no longer be necessary. 


The City Code prohibits the use of painted concrete, brick, and block on visible exterior portions of commercial, industrial, and office-institutional buildings. The prohibition was adopted due to the fact that the City had several poorly maintained buildings where issues with pealing and chipping paint were not being addressed. At the time the City’s design standards were adopted, the general consensus was that the maintenance requirements of painted surfaces created a risk of unattractive facades and, thus, painted surfaces should be restricted to non-visible or accent elements.

Staff believes that modern paints are much better at withstanding Minnesota’s weather and adhering to concrete, brick, and block. Additionally, since painting does not require a permit, several buildings have painted portions of their concrete, brick, and/or block facades in the years after they have received their original site plan approvals and staff has not observed the type of maintenance issues that were the impetus of the ordinance’s prohibition. For these reasons, staff believes the City’s design standards should be amended to remove the prohibition on painting.

The following sections of the Chanhassen City Code are subject to changes:

  • Section 20-1065 governs what type of materials can be used where and in what proportion on industrial, commercial, and office-institutional buildings.

Related Resources

Issue Paper


Date Meeting Type Action
May 17, 2022 Planning Commission TBD
June 13, 2022 City Council TBD