Administration Department

The Administration Department is responsible for managing the internal operations, as well as implementing the direction of City Council.

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Building Permit Trends

Building Permit Trends

Year Single Family Townhomes Apts
2005 175 140
2006 105 21
2007 20 32 1 – 8 units
2008 5 8 1 – 11 units
2009 4 0
2010 4 24
2011 5 0
2012 30 0
2013 33 0
2014 47 0
 2015 38 0
2016 32 10
2017 33 8
2018 47 0 1 -16 units
2019 48 2 (duplex) 2-150 Units
Public Data Requests

The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA), Minn. Stat. § 13, is a state law that controls how government data are collected, created, stored, used and released. The MGDPA sets out certain requirements relating to the right of the public to access government data and the rights of individuals who are the subjects of government data.

How to Make a Data Request

Please review the City of Buffalo Data Practices Policy and complete the Data Request Form.

Written requests for general city data should be directed to:

Susan Johnson
City Clerk
City of Buffalo
212 Central Avenue
Buffalo MN 55313

Written requests for Police Department data should be directed to:

Kelly Prestidge
Office Manager
Buffalo Police Department
215 1st Avenue NE
Buffalo MN 55313

View public documents that have been scanned by going to the Document Archive. 

Estimate of Development Fees

Fee Schedule

Development fees will be calculated according to the adopted fee schedule. Most development fees are due at time of development agreement with some exceptions. Please contact the City Administrator or Planning Specialist to discuss questions you may have.

Human Resources


Human Resources provides services and support to the City of Buffalo departments and its employees. These include:

  • Managing employee recruitment, selection, and hiring process.
  • Performing labor relations duties, including contract negotiations, contract management, investigations, discipline, and grievances.
  • Administering employee benefits, workers’ compensation, employee compensation, job classification, and employee recognition and wellness programs.
  • Maintaining compliance with various federal and state employment laws and regulations.

Shelby Pahl

Human Resources Manager

  • New Hire Onboarding
  • Employee Outboarding
  • Personnel Files
  • Employee Professional Development
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Employment Screening and Testing
  • FMLA/Leave Requests

Carmen Merrill
Senior Finance Officer

  • Payroll
  • Benefits
  • Work Comp
  • Employment Verifications
  • New Hire Onboarding
  • Employee Outboarding


Planning & Zoning

City of Buffalo Contacts:


Are Tarp Garages Allowed in the City of Buffalo?

The City of Buffalo would like to inform the residents that all tarp garages are considered temporary buildings and do not meet zoning and building code requirements. Therefore, the City would like to notify the residents that the use of tarp garages is prohibited by the City of Buffalo.  Often times, these temporary buildings are put up for temporary use, but remain on properties for long periods of time, eventually becoming permanent.  The City would like to avoid this situation and that is why we are bringing this to your attention now. 

Out of courtesy to neighbors and in the best interest of property values within our community, the City would appreciate your cooperation in this situation to help keep the City of Buffalo looking at its best. 

Planting Requirements in New Subdivisions

There are many new homes in Buffalo and most of them came with the front yards sodded or planted. It is an ordinance of the City of Buffalo and a requirement found in all subdivision development agreements that the front yard of any new home must be sodded within one year of the occupancy of the home. Also, two trees meeting minimum city standards must be planted within that one year time period in the front yard.

The City Ordinance specifies that type and size of trees required.  You can also obtain a copy of the development agreement for your subdivision by calling the city offices at 763-682-1181. 

Most property owners have already complied with the above requirements. There are others, however, that have not done the required minimum improvements. The City of Buffalo will be actively enforcing the subdivision requirements this summer, and will be notifying those homeowners that fail to meet the minimum requirements. 

Land Use

The City of Buffalo provides for the regulation of land use activities in an effort to create and maintain a high quality of life in our community. This summary of land use regulations is derived from the Buffalo Code of Ordinances, Chapter 11 and 12, Land Use Regulations (Zoning) and Subdivision Regulations (Platting).

The Comprehensive Land Use Plan was updated by the City of Buffalo in 1996. The document is a compilation of Plans and Programs affecting every function of municipal activity. Land use decisions affect utilities, transportation, and a host of other community services. New growth also has a great affect on the community. The Council has adopted an Orderly Annexation Agreement with neighboring townships in order to better manage growth and to be able to determine how land can be serviced.

Building Permits

Individual property owners often decide they want to build onto their home or business or build an accessory building, for example. In many cases this may only require a building permit.

Conditional Use Permits

In some cases a conditional use permit is required before a land owner can proceed with a project. The purpose of a conditional use permit is to provide the City with a reasonable degree of discretion in determining the suitability of certain designated uses upon the general welfare, public health and safety. In making this determination, whether or not the conditional use is to be allowed, the City may consider the nature of the adjoining land or buildings, the effect upon traffic into or from the premises, or on any adjoining roads, and all other or further factors as the City shall deem a prerequisite of consideration in determining the effect of the use on the general welfare, public health and safety.

These decisions are made at a public hearing held by the Planning Commission the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Applications are due on the third Friday of the month preceding the hearing.


A variance is often sought by a land owner when it is desired to vary from ordinance standards. A variance may be approved only in instances where the strict enforcement of the ordinance would cause undue hardship because of circumstances unique to the individual property under consideration. The City grants such variances only when it is demonstrated that such actions will be in keeping with the spirit and intent of the ordinance.

Variances are considered at a public hearing held by the Planning Commission the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Applications are due on the third Friday of the month preceding the hearing.

Planning Commission & City Council Review Requests

The Planning Commission typically reviews most land use requests. Buffalo’s Planning Commission consists of a seven-member board of citizens appointed by the City Council. Commissioners must be city residents to be appointed to the Commission and serve three-year rotating terms. The meetings are held the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. If the meeting date falls on a legal holiday the meetings are moved to the second Tuesday. To view the Planning Commission Calendar, please visit the Public Meetings Schedule and select “Planning Commission.”

Once the Planning Commission has formulated a recommendation on an application it is presented to the City Council at their regular meeting, typically on the third Monday following the Planning Commission hearing. The Council makes the final disposition on the request.

Property Values

In Minnesota, property taxes provide much of the funding for local government services. Each property’s share of taxes is determined according to its value, use, and the property tax levies.

Assessors are responsible for estimating property values and setting property classification for tax purposes. The City of Buffalo has contracted with Wright County to do the work of assessing property values for Buffalo.

Approximately every 5th year, you can expect a visit from an appraiser who will view your property.

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